Did you know that 132 billion parcels were delivered worldwide in 2019-20, most shoppers have shifted online, and same-day deliveries have become the norm. The on-demand culture has influenced not only brands but also businesses in logistics and supply chains.
COVID-19 has brought in new expectations and put extra pressure on businesses. Many are trying to shift to digital methods of managing their operations to gain a competitive edge and meet increased customer demand. However, businesses are still struggling with managing proof of delivery (POD) that makes an essential part of the delivery process and experience.
But can electronic proof of delivery help you out? Let’s take a look at the challenges faced and the advantages of digital POD here.
Major Challenges of Managing Proof of Delivery for Businesses
While proof of delivery systems have tons of advantages both for the customers and the business, here are some major challenges of managing a POD system for businesses.
Businesses that thrive on deliveries or supply chain management operations need proof of delivery for every order. However, most organizations still rely on manual, paper-based processes for all the operations.
Needless to say, a driver who makes a hundred deliveries can easily get lost in the paperwork. Manually tracking addresses, making deliveries, and collecting proof can be time-consuming. Additionally, so many addresses and sheets of paper may lead to deliveries in wrong addresses and other inefficiencies. Not having a proper proof of delivery system also takes a toll on productivity.
Manual processes are tied with high costs. Businesses spend huge sums of money just for paying wages to people to record data. Additionally, you need to invest in stationary and print all your documents every day. This leads to loss of productivity and overhead costs due to manual processes too. Not only that, you can also be overtaken by the competition due to your high charges.
According to McKinsey, 70% of customers want the cheapest way of shipping. So, you need to charge affordable fees to get customers. Moreover, you can’t afford to offer perks like same-day shipping if you are not in control of your costs.
The biggest challenge of managing proof of deliveries is ensuring customer satisfaction. You are going to have unhappy customers if you mix up deliveries or take more time to ship. Additionally, your customers shall see you still depend on outdated ways while the competition has moved on to digital POD.
Moreover, you won’t be able to attract customers with incentives like same-day shipping, which 23% of customers prefer. Even if you did, you would end up charging more and losing your customers. Not having electronic proof of delivery can ultimately impact your end goals.
Advantages of Adopting Digital Proof of Delivery for your Logistics Businesses
Switching to a POD software can bring many benefits to help you win the competitive edge:
1 Real-Time Visibility into Operations
Manual methods of validating your delivery don’t give real-time visibility into your operations. An electronic proof of delivery solution is the way to get a real-time, granular look into your processes.
Data is updated automatically in your ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) or back-office system as soon as your delivery guy updates proof of delivery. They can use a smartphone to take photos or electronic signatures from the customer and avoid any paper trails.
Your dashboard shall give you real-time updates like the location of your drivers and deliveries pending for each. As a result, you can manage your business processes adeptly and pave the way for growth and success.
2 No Manual Paperwork
The most significant relief provided by digital proof of delivery tools is the elimination of paperwork. Less or no paperwork means less manpower with increased efficiency. So, you can look forward to automation and unification of customer and logistics information for better management.
Any data recorded by your delivery team gets updated in real-time to reflect on your stocks. You don’t need any human labor for data entry, sorting deliveries, or recording proof of shipping. Your software shall take care of everything.
3 Improved Data Accuracy
Manual methods and human interventions always throw up the risks of errors and mistakes. A single wrong digit in the address can make your driver roam for hours, wasting fuel and time. Also, you can also experience disputes that arise from the mismanagement of proof of deliveries.
A proof of delivery app shall help businesses record a range of information and details for foolproof evidence. The data may include:
- Photo of the product at the delivery location
- Digital signatures of customers via smartphones
- Delivery time and location through GPS
These records are much more reliable than paper receipts and help you stand your ground to resolve disputes.
4 Save Time and Money
A digital solution for tracking your deliveries and providing evidence can save money in many ways. First, you reduce your paperwork and shift to a digital platform. That saves any expenses on papers, printers, and related accessories.
The tool shall also automate manual and repetitive processes like data entry. You shall not need to hire or pay anyone to record data into a spreadsheet. Additionally, you may also automate tasks like route planning to save on labor hours and wages. Ultimately, the boost in efficiency and productivity shall lead to more savings.
5 Happy Customers
Managing your proof of deliveries like a pro shall surely create a positive effect on your customers. You are not going to mix up your last mile delivery services or have regular disputes over shipping. Your business shall be able to manage deliveries efficiently and provide a great customer experience.
Plus, you can appear more professional with the latest POD systems on gadgets to increase customer faith and eventually gain customer satisfaction.
Digitization of Proof of Delivery Offering Additional Benefits to Supply Chain Operations
Supply chain operations can receive a big boost by adopting online proof of delivery. The software can be easily customized to meet unique business needs and help you strengthen your revenues. Here’s how that is possible:
A proof of delivery tool can help you streamline your supply chain operations and boost productivity. You can customize the app to meet any requirements, like creating route plans or stops based on structural hierarchies. Plus, you can even shift from delivering and tailor your tool to focus on specific supply chain operations.
Another way to streamline your operations is by automating repetitive processes to save time and money.
Gain Full Control over Your Operations
Just like businesses in logistics, supply chain organizations can gain real-time visibility into their operations. They shall be able to track every step of the supply chain to establish accountability and transparency.
You shall know where your goods are and any issues as they happen. Your proof of delivery software shall help you get complete visibility into your operations for better management. Moreover, you can trust the data as it is far more accurate than spreadsheets created by humans.
Many organizations pay suppliers once they receive the shipment. Here, proof of delivery is a significant process as your payments depend on validating your orders. Traditional methods of proving shipments take too much time and can even result in disputes.
Digital proof of delivery systems can be your way to quick and assured payments. Your tool can generate a bill as soon as your personnel complete the process on their smartphones. You shall not need to record data or initiate a bill manually. Your system shall automatically take care of everything. In case of disputes, you can easily make your claims stand with your digital evidence.
Returns are a tough job for businesses. However, without returns, it’s impossible to grow, when you are in the supply chain industry. As a result, your goal should be to deal with returns quickly and efficiently.
Electronic proof of delivery makes it easy to determine if goods fit return policies. Your staff can take pictures, write comments, and update them to your system. You can expect a good improvement in traceability and get only legit returns.
Waste is a natural consequence of any supply chain business. Some of your products shall result in waste due to several reasons. For some industries like food, supply chain drawbacks can lead to as much as 40% waste.
The right way to tackle waste is to establish transparency and accountability. Your proof of delivery solution can help you reduce waste by improving visibility and traceability. You shall know of any issues instantly, and even the location or stage of the supply chain they are in. As a result, you can take timely steps to reduce waste and optimize your resources.
Electronic proof of delivery is the need of the hour for logistics and supply chain businesses. From improving efficiency to automating tasks, you can help your business grow in many ways. A digital proof is also more reliable and can be verified quickly and easily.
You can expect to provide stellar delivery experiences by switching to a digital system to validate your shipments. Associated perks like cost and time savings, more productivity, and competitive edge also await their turn.
Nitin Lahoti is the Co-Founder and Director at Mobisoft Infotech. He has 15 years of experience in Design, Business Development and Startups. His expertise is in Product Ideation, UX/UI design, Startup consulting and mentoring. He prefers business readings and loves traveling.