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Electronic proof of delivery software: How does it work?

by Matt Corby,
Jun 23, 2021

Four things to consider before you make the switch to ePOD software.

Are you still relying on the ol’ pen and paper for proof of delivery? Time consuming, isn’t it.

Let alone when something goes missing and you need to manually follow the paper trail.

Happily, there are modern alternatives that’ll save you time, speed up the delivery process and allow visibility right along the chain.

We give you: electronic proof of delivery (ePOD) software.

But before you ditch your faithful pen and paper, let’s have a look at exactly what this software does and how it might work in your business.

In this article we’ll run through what it is, how it works, who can use it and why they should consider it.

What is electronic proof of delivery software?

Proof of delivery (POD) used to require signing a paper delivery note to confirm receipt of goods, which would then be returned back along the supply chain to allow for invoicing.

With a paper-based system, each step needs to be manually actioned and losing the paper POD presents problems.

Using electronic proof of delivery software automates this process for you and becomes faster, more efficient and less vulnerable to error.

It will let you turn your delivery drivers’ smartphones (or other devices) into a terminal for the customer to sign their name electronically, called ‘sign on glass’.

The signature is then uploaded into the delivery app (your software) to provide a digital proof of delivery, where it can be referenced by dispatch. It can even be automatically returned to your customers in their required format, within moments of it being collected.

Makes for a good customer experience, doesn’t it?

Electronic proof of delivery software can be installed on a range of mobile devices, and if it’s fully featured will integrate with agents’ systems too. Meaning no more endless devices for your drivers to switch between.

With this real-time visibility and reliable data, your entire chain becomes easy to trace. It also allows for automated invoicing and delivery notifications.

Giving you back control as you oversee the entire chain in real time.

How does proof of delivery software work?

The software is usually split into two parts.

  1. A mobile app for your drivers to collect signatures quickly and easily.
  2. A management portal for your other staff to view real-time updates and
    oversee the next steps (which can also be automated).

Throughout the day your drivers collect POD signatures using the app, and they can also take a photo of the parcel on arrival in lieu of a signature. The signature or photo and relevant data (like device and location information) is then transmitted back to the management portal in real time. Instant mobile proof.

Looking at the portal, your office staff can do a range of things:

▶️ Create workflows for drivers to follow for operational efficiency
▶️ Set up automated customer contact triggered by the POD
▶️ Contact drivers when necessary
▶️ Monitor the live data stream.

And when a delivery goes missing? Your entire team will be able to track and trace quickly and accurately. Customer service agents, transport managers and depot staff all have clear visibility in real time to know exactly where that parcel was last seen.

What types of businesses can use POD software?

If you run a Delivery, Courier, Point 2 Point, Transport, Warehouse or Freight Management Company, then it may be right for you. We know you’re flat out. More than just saving you costs, switching to a fully-featured proof of delivery software will put time and control back in your hands.

Okay, what are the benefits for the business?

You might be wondering by now exactly what changes you’ll see with electronic proof of delivery software. Let’s take a closer look.

Reduced paperwork. Keep digital, real-time records for the whole delivery cycle. No more lost paperwork or missed invoices.

Manage customer expectations. Keep your customers in the loop with real-time tracking. Take and store images as standard practice so when things go wrong, you have the data to solve issues.

Sign on glass. Capture signatures and record pickups and deliveries instantly. Drivers can send automated confirmation to the customer. Set up contactless delivery for health and safety in a post-COVID world.

Proof of presence. No more customers doubting drivers were really there. GPS tracking, photos and scanned QR or barcodes all prove they’re at the right address.

Schedule driver itineraries. Manage driver workloads and schedule consignments strategically using a combination of automated and manual processes.

Manage vehicle loading. Auto-allocate based on predefined rules, but manually override as needed when you watch vehicle loading happening live on your desktop.

Create industry workflows. Don’t get locked into someone else’s process, flexible software will allow you to adjust workflows to suit almost any scenario. Make rules for specific customers or freight profiles.

How to make the change run more smoothly

Okay, so you’re considering making the switch from manual to electronic proof of delivery?

It’s not always simple, unfortunately, changing over any business system can be time-consuming and stressful. But with some time and consideration on your part and expert guidance from us, together we can make the switch seamless for you.

Leverage our experience to claim back time and control of your business.

Here’s a few quick tips to help smooth the process:

  1. Define your goals: what do you really want to get out of your electronic proof of delivery software?
  2. Find the right software for your business: make sure you choose one which has the right features for your business now and into the future.
  3. Get your staff on board too: they’ll be the ones using your software and can make or break the process.
  4. Make and follow a detailed plan: implementing new software can be a long process, having a clear plan will help your team maintain momentum.

Still got questions?

Learn exactly how TransVirtual can transform your business with our own fully-featured software, or read our guide to successfully implementing your new software (without losing your mind). And of course, just get in touch with any questions. We’re here to help.