AWM improves financial losses & customer dispute resolution
INDUSTRY: Food Distribution
CHALLENGE: Difficulty managing documentation and high stock-replacement costs
OUR SOLUTION: Mobile ‘Sign on Glass’ Proof of Delivery Solution
OUTCOME: Improved visibility, process optimisation, customer satisfaction and reduced disputes and stock loss
Managing Customer Queries
Australian Wholesale Meats uses a combination of its own trucks and a third-party transport company to deliver meat to local and interstate butchers. The business works with up to eight different transport companies to supply meat to regional and rural parts of Australia. Largely relying on a paper-based proof of delivery process AWM was experiencing some challenges effectively managing this.
Australian Wholesale Meats (AWM) was established 20 years ago and remains 100 per cent Australian owned and operated. Its mission is to provide superior quality products and services using Australia’s best suppliers, brands, and a professional approach that delivers results to its customers. AWM provides wholesale meat to butchers in Sydney, Melbourne, and across Queensland.
With numerous customers being serviced weekly, staying on top of the paperwork proved difficult. For example, if a customer were to query their order after a few weeks, the proof of delivery docket would likely be buried in a pile of paperwork in the office. If the business was unable to locate the proof of delivery, it risks damaging relationships with its customers or having to resupply meat that has already been supplied at their own expense.
Bonny Patel, Operations Manager, Australian Wholesale Meats, said, “Sometimes there is no one there to take physical delivery of a meat order. The driver puts a note on the paperwork to state that the recipient wasn’t there and leaves it onsite. However, it’s incredibly difficult to prove delivery if the customer queries it weeks later.
“For larger disputes, AWM would search the video footage of the warehouse to find the evidence that the order was placed onto the truck then locate the GPS trackers to prove that the truck went to the customer site. However, this was an inefficient, costly and time consuming way to prove a delivery happened.”
Proof of delivery was further complicated by the fact that drivers had to carry so many pieces of paper; between 20 and 30 pages for each day’s delivery. The paperwork could sometimes be lost or contain illegible comments. They then had to hand these signed pieces of paper to the AWM accounts team at the end of each day. The accounts team would then scan each proof of delivery docket to the archive drive, with no way of identifying if there was missing paperwork not returned by drivers.
While the process served the requirements, this time consuming and partially manual solution was costing AWM time and money and was error prone. The businesses needed a solution that would remove paper from the process, let it track proof of delivery more effectively and reduce the amount of time spent by the team both managing proof of delivery paperwork and addressing customer disputes.
Mobile Sign On Glass Solution
Being a long-time Upstream customer and having evolved from a simple forms and scanning solution to a digital archive solution, AWM worked with Upstream to implement its next generation of digital proof of delivery solutions, ‘Sign-on-Glass’.
REMOVING THE PAPER HURDLE
The solution digitised all the proof of delivery processes, eliminating physical paperwork and making it easy for AWM to definitively prove that deliveries have occurred.
Bonny Patel said, “AWM chose the Upstream solution mainly because of the quality of the service and the functionality that it provides. It means drivers no longer have to carry paperwork.
Instead, they carry a device with all the proof of delivery documentation in digital form, plus a runsheet that includes the customer name and how many cartons are supposed to be delivered.
DIGITAL VERIFICATION & CAPTURE
The customer quickly verifies and records how many cartons they’ve received using the device, turning proof of delivery into a three-second job for the drivers. Mobile sign-on-glass capability means the customer signs the device and no physical paperwork changes hands, yet all relevant details are captured digitally.”
The solution has reduced accounting time by half a day on average, and also reduced the drivers’ time by around half a day, which means drivers can do more deliveries in one day. This is enormously helpful in terms of both time and cost savings.”
Bonny Patel, Operations Manager
The Power of Digitisation
VISIBILITY REDUCES STOCK-REPLACEMENT COSTS
The proof of delivery solution from Upstream has saved time and money for AWM. Paperwork is no longer lost or disputable; the mobile sign-on-glass solution means that the AWM accounts department has immediate access to the proof of delivery which is automatically saved into its system. Using the M-Files content management system, proof of delivery dockets are quickly and easily searchable so that, if a customer has a query about their delivery, the dockets can be found instantly. By eliminating physical paperwork with SoG, AWM has seen disputes reduce substantially.
REDUCED STAFF PROCESSING TIME
Bonny Patel said, “The solution has reduced accounting time by half a day per month on average, and it has also reduced the drivers’ time by around half, which means drivers can do more deliveries in one day. This is enormously helpful in terms of both time and cost savings.”
While some long-term delivery drivers were initially reluctant to embrace the digital solution, brief training was enough to demonstrate its ease of use and value and get them onboard.
Bonny Patel said, “For customers who require a paper-based copy of the proof of delivery, AWM simply emails it to them for their records. This means the Upstream solution meets everyone’s needs.”
ADDITIONAL PROOF WITH PHOTO CAPTURE & GEOSTAMPS
The solution also lets the drivers capture photo proof along with a timestamp and the geotagging coordinates if there is no one onsite to claim the delivery. This additional verification of the delivery helps reduce disputes and stock replacement costs.
INCIDENTAL COST SAVING ON 3RD PARTY SERVICES
The integrated GPS functionality in the Upstream solution means AWM no longer requires a separate GPS subscription service saving the business up to $30,000 per year just on GPS licences alone. Moreover, the Upstream solution automatically considers GPS data in planning routes for delivery drivers, recommending different routes if traffic is likely to hold them up, for example.
Bonny Patel said, “If AWM needs to change the delivery in some way, this can be done online from the office and the driver is immediately notified and their digital runsheet is updated. This wasn’t possible before implementing the Upstream solution.”
IMPROVED CUSTOMER PAYMENTS
Bonny Patel said, “By implementing the mobile sign on glass solution and providing digital copies of delivery dockets to customers, we’ve also seen an improvement in invoice payments. Because we can easily and quickly provide copies of PODs more customer are meeting the payment terms outline on the invoice without needing to dispute the transaction.
“The Upstream proof of delivery solution has proven to save time and money for AWM, eliminating wasteful processes and streamlining the delivery workflow. This lines up with AWM’s focus on quality and delivering an exceptional customer experience.”
By implementing Upstream’s mobile sign on glass POD solution and providing digital copies of delivery dockets to customers, we’ve also seen an improvement in invoice payments with more customer meeting the payment terms outline on the invoice.”
— Bonny Patel —