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What is Electronic Proof of Delivery (ePOD)?

Executive Summary

Traditional delivery methods required the recipient to sign a physical “delivery note” to confirm delivery and initiate, or finish, the payment. 

With the advent of ePOD i.e. Electronic Proof of Delivery, this process has now become digitized through the use of digital signatures, scanned barcodes (etc.) on convenient hand-held devices like mobiles and tablets. All this is enabled and monitored by linking the ePOD with modern Last-Mile Delivery software and cloud servers to assimilate and share this data with the fleet management companies.

The result is a greatly improved and transparent Logistics and Distribution process.

What Exactly is ePOD (Electronic Proof of Delivery)?

In times past, a physical “delivery-note” was signed by the receiver of goods to confirm receipt of delivery and also to raise a payment invoice and receive payment, as required. ePOD, quite simply, is the electronic version of this – it can be a digital signature, a scanned bar code (etc.) that is collected by the deliverer at the point of delivery to the customer.

ePOD has digitized the whole process and has eliminated the historical pen-n-paper processes, not only saving time but also vastly improving the speed and efficiency of the entire delivery process and, in particular, the Last-Mile Delivery.

When used in conjunction with a Logistics and Distribution system like Last-Mile Delivery software, an ePOD enables mobile fleets such as delivery teams to record real-time data to confirm receipt – or, failure- of the goods.

ePOD software can easily be installed on various hand-held devices (mobile phones, tablets) and has become an invaluable tool for Logistics and Distribution companies that manage a fleet of vehicles since it has enabled Fleet Managers to monitor and manage all activities related to the collection, transport, and delivery of goods in real-time and that too, with far greater efficiency and transparency.

ePOD: How it Works

ePOD has two main components:

  • A Mobile App component that collects and records numerous data-points
  • A Web App component that monitors, modifies, and manages the data from the central control room (e.g. office)

This process enables dispatchers and drivers to collect delivery proof at the location after making the delivery. Simultaneously, the central office can immediately access the delivery details and furnish the information to their customers – as well as various ecosystem stakeholders – and provide efficient logistics services.

As mentioned earlier, modern ePOD software (whether used in isolation or as part of a larger logistics network solution) can be installed on all mobile devices and operating systems including iOS and Android. Therefore, firms can choose the devices suited to their needs.

ePOD is not restricted to only collecting digital signatures, QR codes, or other types of delivery verification data– it can also record other relevant data like time, location, pictures, and comments at the same time. The collected data is then uploaded to centralized cloud servers and can be accessed by the dispatcher via the Web App.

With such a real-time process, the efficiency and visibility of the entire delivery process are enhanced. Fleet Managers can easily monitor and track field operations in real-time and make necessary decisions accordingly – especially in cases of delays, re-routing or emergencies.

Who uses ePOD?: All industries that deploy mobile workforces – e.g. delivery firms, fleets for various logistics and distribution services – benefit by using ePOD software. It improves all your delivery-related processes, improves efficiency, minimizes costs, and most importantly, improves customer satisfaction. 

Popular type of ePOD verifications: apart from the typical digital signatures, other types of verification data are also enabled such as:

  • Photos (e.g. clicked by the delivery man’s hand held camera)
  • QR code, Barcode
  • Alphanumeric data

When the App is opened on his device by the delivery agent to verify delivery, the App automatically records other important data such as:

  • Delivery time
  • Vehicle details
  • Driver details
  • Location

Top 7 Benefits of ePOD Software:

1.    Eliminate cumbersome processes and paperwork: as with several other aspects of our modern lives that now work without traditional pen-n-paper processes, using an ePOD eliminates paperwork, cumbersome data-entry, and data-processing tasks, the problem of soiled or lost delivery notes, and reduces the overall burden of administrative tasks significantly. Most importantly, ePOD gives your central team real-time data. Manual methods averaged about three days for firms to complete tasks related to paper-based proof of delivery – with ePOD software, it typically takes just a day!

2. Increasing Customer Demands: requires that firms must offer modern, automated, and real-time services. Using a last-mile delivery software enables firms to keep customers updated at all points of the delivery process.

  • Pre-delivery alerts: Customers receive a notification (SMS, email, in-app pop up) when their package is out for delivery along with a live link from where they can track it
  • Real-time notifications: Real-time updates about delivery progress e.g. delays (if any)
  • Completion notification: Customers receive an e-copy of their invoice with details of delivery 

3. Enhanced Customer Satisfaction: in today’s uber-competitive world, Customer Satisfaction is the final metric for success. Therefore, using age-old paper notes (and, often crumpled or damaged) will hardly create a good impression for your company. Also, your delivery valet is the face of your company for your customer and your chance at creating a positive impact. ePOD ensures a speedy process, improved customer service, and your chance to create a satisfying customer experience. This results in positive WOM (word-of-mouth) which is always the most powerful way of attracting new customers.

4. Real-time transparency: using an ePOD forms a part of an overall real-time delivery process i.e. progress of cargo, delivery completion, updated information (e.g. delay). As a result, team members can immediately supply or process the data onwards, and solve problems arising due to delays or damaged goods (e.g. photos of damaged goods sent by the delivery man) by rearranging delivery times.

5. Data Analytics: with the entire process now becoming digital, data points are recorded at every single step, and Fleet Managers can automatically mine the data in myriad ways to extract information and insight. The master dashboard automatically monitors daily data feeds and numerous reports to pick up on trends – both, good and bad – and identifies areas that can be used as examples of best practices or those that need improvement.

6. Enhanced workforce productivity:  Using a last-mile delivery software with an ePOD greatly enhances your workforce productivity. Daily schedules, documents, and instructions are disbursed via the software thus enabling work-from-home for employees, faster internal communication, zero loss of documents, and real-time sharing of progress and completion of tasks while maintaining stringent schedules. 

7. Seamless integration: a last-mile delivery software that utilizes ePOD software can easily be integrated with overall company MIS and processes. As a result, the detailed data that is collected across all your business processes that finally culminate in delivery can not only be shared in real-time with all departments but can also be analyzed by each department per their requirements. For example, inventory teams get a holistic view of re-order levels.

Conclusion: in today’s world of same-day and 24-hr deliveries, logistics companies must optimize their operations using modern technology and systems. Using the ePOD feature along with a modern GPS-enabled Last Mile Delivery Software is the way to go. 

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