How to improve your proof of delivery management with electronic processing

Proof of delivery (POD), or proof of transaction, is the final step in the supply chain where you confirm the product or service has been provided to the recipient. Once your service has been provided tracking the transaction and proving it’s been successfully delivered is crucial to being able to confidently invoice your customers and, if there is any question over the receipt of it, you can point to your records to confirm that you did your part.

But, if your POD consists of a pile of handwritten dockets, crumpled and smudged, hard to read, and potentially incomplete, that takes days or weeks to be received and processed at the office then your chances of confirming a successful delivery will take a hit.

Digitising this process can save you time, money, and confusion.

Processing time

Traditionally, POD processes rely on the driver to capture and return these value documents, along with any anomalies that may occur with the delivery. Without timely, accurate information, your business is on the back foot in relation to the ins and outs of that transaction. 

Once you’ve received the paperwork, it then involves a series of manual tasks, such as document matching and storage (i.e. PO, picking slips, POD, invoice, credit notes, remittances, driver run sheets) which, more often than not, mean double handling and manual processing, often based on handwritten documents that create enormous potential for error. Physically sorting, matching and filing paperwork not only takes up large amounts of time but also means important details, such as damaged goods or ‘part acceptance’ could be overlooked in the process. Furthermore, managing the POD transactions physically adds a huge burden to office space and puts your business at risk of losing important documents or wasting valuable time finding them. These processes are costly and time-consuming for your business.

With a POD system, data entry becomes an automated process, and tracking deliveries is fast, with real-time information. The risk of errors is reduced alongside the risk of losing documents, as all are digitally captured and stored. Information can be easily accessed and irregularities or delivery issues identified immediately as well, improving customer service through faster replies and accurate data.

Benefits of a POD system:

  • immediate visibility to delivery details and customer receipt
  • reduced double-handling and errors caused by manual processing
  • digitally stored documents, making them easy to locate and eliminating the need for physical filing systems, which take up office space
  • improved customer service with more time and readily available information.

Invoice payments

Physically processing of all the transaction-related documents for a delivery manually is a time-consuming, frustrating task, which usually doesn’t instill much enthusiasm in workers. Although it may seem mundane and simple, manually handling these documents creates a high risk of errors, especially when it’s relegated to the office junior who may not pick up discrepancies or missing paperwork. Even a small mistake, like a missing misfiling or matching a document, can have a massively detrimental effect on payments.

With an electronic POD system in place, key metadata is automatically extracted and captured, then added into the appropriate locations. Importantly it automates the document matching workflow and immediately identifies missing paperwork through exception reporting, letting you immediately address and reconcile any issues. This makes processing invoices seamless and accurate. A digital POD solution also stores all the information captured, making searching and accessing invoices and dockets an instant and simple process. No more flicking through handwritten dockets, or searching through filing cabinets or archive boxes for slips of paper.

Having access to accurate and digitised POD documentation means that you can prove a transaction easily and ensure your invoices are paid without delay.

Benefits of a POD system include:

  • electronic copies of all dockets and documents, with quick and easy search capabilities
  • automated data capture and document matching to reduce time and errors
  • visibility of unreturned, incomplete or irregular delivery to action appropriately
  • automated workflow and document processing, saving you time and money.   

Dispute resolution

If you’ve made errors in your document capture, lost POD dockets, or can’t otherwise verify deliveries, then you open yourself up to disputes. A customer could say they hadn’t received the delivery even though your driver is adamant that they signed for it. Without the right paperwork it becomes difficult to prove and dispute resolution becomes nigh on impossible. To avoid losing a customer, you may elect to take the hit and re-supply their order. This can be expensive and time-consuming, as well as frustrating.

Having a digital POD system relieves the pressure of missing information by storing all the relevant details, including signatures and confirmation of receipt, and tracks the delivery status of items.

By being able to easily provide a customer with copies of their signed paperwork, it’s much harder for them to claim an order wasn’t delivered. And, should there be any variances at the time of delivery, such as quantity or damages, that information is captured and stored at the time digitally on your POD records via notes, geotagging or photo capture. Most importantly, you can resolve the situation faster and more cleanly than if you didn’t have immediate access to, and visibility of, that information.

Benefits of a POD system include:

  • reduced errors and inaccuracies, while identifying outstanding documents and delivery information
  • quick and easy access to all information and associated documents stored when required for customer queries, audits or other purposes
  • tracking and matching deliveries, ensuring they are received or actioned appropriately
  • digital signature, photo and geocapture to confirm deliveries.  

For more information on how proof of delivery systems can help you save time and money, and improve dispute resolution, contact Upstream today.