May 8, 2020 admin

What is Proof of Delivery and How Does it Work? Deep Dive

Proof of delivery (or simply POD) is described as a method used to determine and ascertain that the intended recipient received the contents sent by a sender. For the logistics sector, POD becomes an integral component of the delivery system. It is vital for any business owner since it proves that every item they send to their customer is received in perfect condition.

Proof of delivery, therefore, acts as an official receipt that the delivery has been made. When a sender sends many items, possibly some of them might not reach their destination. For many years, post offices offered extra service of guaranteed delivery which they referred to as an avis de réception (advice or acknowledgment of receipt).

With the POD, the sender can be sure that their items were received by the proper recipients. It works to the benefit of both the receiver and the sender, especially in the logistics sector.

Proof of delivery comprises a written acknowledgment of having received the order of a particular worth on a specific date and time. It also features the name of the person who receives the shipment and all the other shipping details. The recipient needs to sign the document and it is filed by the sender.

If it is a business transaction, or there are important documents enclosed, the POD is imperative. It helps to determine where the error in the delivery process chain was in case it arises. Also, it acts as protection whenever disputes arise since it shows that the item was delivered to the recipient despite their claims.

Proof of Delivery Matters

If your business deals with logistics, POD is a form of accountability that is passed from you (seller) to the receiver. The customer can put a remark about the state in which they received the product. Whether it was damaged, broken, or a leakage in the package, they can indicate.

If the customer sees any outer damage on the package, they can immediately put a remark on the POD which will enable you to improve your services. But, it is always advisable for the customer to check their package thoroughly before signing. That helps to follow fewer steps while claiming procedure. The customer can refuse the delivered item if they are not happy with its condition.

Also, the seller should follow the same procedure if a product is returned. If the seller does not find the package in a proper condition, put a remark on a POD. If the customer and seller receive the package in a damaged condition, they should include a necessary remark on POD paper. A claim should be raised within 24 to 48 hours of the shipment receipt.

Whenever financial and legal documents are to be exchanged between two parties, proof of delivery becomes quite important. Postal services provide POD and commercial fleet operators also need to confirm proof of delivery of goods to their recipients. 

PODs save organizations time and prevent friction that may arise between businesses and customers. Drivers may also capture customer signatures, text notes, and photos using the POD feature in the Driver App. The attachments sync to orders found within the web dashboard which makes it easy for business operations teams to collect and store logistics information.

Easy access to the proof of delivery files enables companies to easily and readily ensure that no disputes exist between organizations and customers. Thus, companies can improve their customer service and also stay organized. With proof of delivery services, teams can manage the last-mile more efficiently and minimize challenges throughout the day to keep drivers, operations teams, and customers satisfied..

Types of PODs

Traditional

Years ago, proof of delivery would be mailed backed to the sender. It mainly included the signature or a copy of the signature of the person who received the package. It also included the name of the receiver if the sender needs to contact the entity or business to follow up.

In most cases, this is still done. Nonetheless, there are now paperless methods that courier services and logistics companies prefer.

Electronic 

Technological advancements are changing every aspect of the world and how business is conducted. Proof of delivery has also evolved with the emergence of electronic signatures. In this context, the sender gets a tracking number which enables them to guarantee that their items reach the intended destinations.

The sender also may use the tracking number to monitor where the items are on their journey at any given time. Thus, they can prepare adequately for their arrival. Once the package or documents reach their destination, the person who receives it signs on an electronic tracking pad.

Once the recipient signs, the e-document updates automatically for the sender to see it on their tracking page. Some couriers email or text the sender informing them when the package gets received. Additionally, they may also show a clear picture of the signature. Others do extra by providing a photo of the item delivered to prove that it reached its receiving address.

That way, the sender can rest assured that the rightful recipient has the package. Since not all courier services specify the person needed to sign for the package, the photos offer an additional layer of protection.

In the e-commerce world, companies and businesses exchange millions of electronic documents that are mainly used to track accurate delivery data and information. They use a computer to computer communication strategies that include electronic data interchange, file transfer protocol, and email.

The electronic documents list various transaction details. The primary information in these documents includes product specifications, information about purchase orders, price quotes, invoices, and shipping details. These documents exchange new information and corrections to previously transmitted messages.

Sometimes, legal challenges come up when the recipient refutes receiving a corrected product specification or any form of message about delayed shipments. Both parties may be in strong disagreement with every side proving/not proving the existence of specific communication.

The Message-oriented middleware (or simply MOM) software implements a computer-based business document exchange which helps transmit electronic proof of delivery documents. This system uses various techniques like logging each send/receive activity.

Some of the companies also employ intermediate data brokers to send and receive different types of data and information. These services provide proof of delivery services, multi-point delivery, data integrity, and a single point of contact for data exchange.

The Use of Proof of Delivery App

All drivers and courier service providers can easily install a proof of delivery app on their mobile devices. The application has fully automated pickup and delivery detection functionality based on geofencing and digital proof of delivery which makes tracking very easy.

Automated detection of delays or early deliveries and a lot more. Thus, your drivers and shippers can focus on ensuring that deliveries are made and not focus on administration issues. With an automated and up-to-date feedback tool, the entire chain can evaluate and enhance future service deliveries.

To use the electronic proof of delivery, simply launch the feature on your device application and log in to the company’s platform where the e-document is found. You can add images as proof of delivery. Upload the image or take a new picture to confirm that the recipients got their order as agreed.

After adding the image, click on the add signature icon to enable the customer to e-sign affirming that the package arrived in the expected state. The electronic proof of delivery offers real-time information update on the movement of drivers. It guarantees traceability and control across the whole delivery process. You may also use the scanning function to confirm that the order has reached its intended destination.

Who Needs Proof of Delivery?

Anyone who needs important information sent needs to go for the courier service companies that provide proof of delivery. For instance, the US government confirmed that many people use private courier services to submit their passport applications.

People applying for passports and visas send important documents including marriage certificates, birth certificates, passports for visas, and other items. The government asks for the original copies and losing them would be a huge issue. Hence, they prefer using a courier who has proof of delivery.

Thus, you should always use this service whenever you want to be sure that something that you sent has reached its destination. Whenever you want to send a package with proof of delivery, go for the courier services that let you select that option when you are shipping your items.

When you want to send your items through proof of delivery let the outlet know that you want to send as ‘signed for.’

Benefits of Proof of Delivery

An electronic proof of delivery software replaced the traditional paper delivery note or delivery order and can be installed on various mobile devices. It is an excellent tool for any mobile fleet since it helps in the control of activities including deliveries, service calls, and collections done by employees. It is proven to enhance visibility and transparency in doing business.

Various benefits are associated with modern proof of delivery. First, it is known to eliminate paperwork. Time-consuming, tedious, and manual data entry procedures have become outdated. Also, issues of long delays linked to slow data processing services and lost or damaged paper delivery notes are all resolved by electronic proof of delivery.

With electronic POD, the office-based workers receive real-time data which reduces the administrative burden of paperwork. Evidence shows that it would take up to three days to process paper-based proofs of delivery while ePOD most likely takes one day to process.

Boost On-Site Service

Offering a crumpled or soaked delivery document to a customer leaves an impression of incompetence to some extent. When your delivery agent is the only contact your client has with your firm, all contact must be positive and professional which, in turn, enhances customer satisfaction rates.

Once you start using an electronic POD, you speed up processes that improve your brand image. It enables your drivers to have all the necessary tools and information that they need for their deliveries including customer-specific delivery instructions.

Electronic delivery software offers easy-to-use applications that make work easier for drivers which increases efficiency in their service delivery. When efficient service delivery is realized, customers are satisfied and they readily become the best brand ambassadors for your company.

Increased Accuracy

The paper-based delivery notes provide limited options. But, with an electronic proof of delivery, the options are endless. It is possible to create business-specific electronic forms that have checkboxes, photo capturing options, notes, and alpha-numeric fields. These features make the document filing process significantly easy for the employees.

Most of these itemized forms offer a detailed overview of what is happening in the field and enhance the accuracy of the information that you send to your clients.

Real-Time Visibility

Office laborers will benefit from real-time updates and data obtained from the field letting them respond quickly to issues that may arise. For instance, if a package gets damaged along the way, they can review photos sent by the courier services or in-house drivers and organize for a new delivery or even negotiate a discount with the customer.

Moreover, they get up-to-date accurate information and data about the delivery, and in case of any delays, they can reallocate jobs between drivers. Thus, late deliveries are minimized which also reduces negative feedback from the clients.

Enhanced Customer Communication

Customer needs and expectations are changing with every day that passes. Thus, companies must strive to offer more proactive products and services while also interacting with their clients in real-time. By implementing task management and electronic proof of delivery software gives your business multiple options assured to keep your clients informed during the entire delivery process:

  • Pre-delivery notification – There are delivery management software systems that offer manual and automated notification options. Hence, clients receive an SMS or e-mail once you dispatch their order from your premises.
  • Delivery tracking – the pre-delivery notification offers the recipient an HTML tracking link and estimated delivery time enabling them to trace and track the route of their package.
  • Post-delivery notification and ePOD – after the parcel/package is delivered, the driver automatically sends an electronic proof of delivery to the customer and the office staff. The office staff can then generate an electronic bill almost instantly. The ePOD may also include a picture and necessary instructions to the particular location of the package in the case that it was not delivered hand-to-hand.

Using these features and functionalities builds brand trust and keeps all your employees protected from any fake allegations or negative customer feedback. Also, the service enables your customers to know what delivery or service they should expect from you and can stay home to receive the package or change it if needed.

Minimize Internal Communication Time

Whenever you are using a paperless proof of delivery documents and a web-based task management software, employees will get their daily instructions, tasks, and documents through an app. Hence, it eliminates the need of coming to the office to get or return the necessary paperwork.

Furthermore, your employees can communicate quite fast and accurately through the app using messages and even form workgroups. Therefore, there is no need to call and risk vital information becoming distorted or lost. All of the shared data and information can be validated in the instance that a misunderstanding arises.

Optimal Workforce Productivity

Many methods of enhancing labor force productivity in the field and the office exist. The best-proven strategy is using real-time data transmission that is provided by the electronic proof of delivery software. Here are several enhancement methods:

  • Daily KPI reporting become faster as a result of real-time data availability
  • Drivers can complete more tasks in a single day with the help of the quicker on-site processes.
  • The office-based employees can use the system to free up their time for higher-value tasks since they will not need to participate in manual data entry activities.

Collect and Monitor KPI Data For Improvements

Data management software systems simplify the collection of data that is recorded by the workers that you send to the field. It lets you automatically create dashboards for daily reports and trend analysis to determine the areas that may require instant boosting.

Data is always important when you are making decisions that are meant to enable you to improve the services that you provide to your clients. Once your customers are happy, they will order more from you which will boost your profit margins. Always ensure that the analysis you have is clear and straightforward and that it does not create extra work for you.

Share Important Data With Everyone

The best ePOD software should easily and readily integrate with your company systems and offer you important and valuable data. This ability is vital if you want to use it to enhance your processes across multiple departments.

For instance, the warehouse teams can manage your company’s stock levels and process returns more quickly. Then, the finance department can generate electronic invoices quite fast. Hence, more proactive management can be achieved by customer service teams because they always receive real-time data that details all delivery issues when they arise.

Summary

Proof of delivery is an important process for ensuring that customers get the products that they order. The process also helps in resolving any potential customer disputes that arise later on. With POD, you cater to the growing need for delivery transparency which makes your brand credible which improves your profit margins.

As the delivery market expands, customers keep demanding for more detailed information on when and how their packages and deliveries are transported. Although proof of delivery may be a bit expensive to integrate into your business operations, it proves worthwhile eventually.

With the right tools and processes, proof of delivery can be agile, cost-effective, and convenient for your business and customers.

FAQ About Proof Of Delivery

The delivery sector is thriving as technological advancements change the entire business world. Most people have different issues and questions that they ask to learn more about proof of delivery. Here are some of the frequently asked questions.

What is Proof of Delivery?

Proof of delivery (POD) is a method used to ensure that the intended recipient received the contents sent by a sender. For the logistics industry, POD becomes an integral component of the delivery system. It is important for any business owner since it proves that every item they send to their customer is received in perfect condition. Hence, Proof of delivery acts as an official receipt that the delivery has been made.

What are the Advantages of Using Proof of Delivery?

Proof of delivery increases accuracy and efficiency in the logistics sector. It ensures that business owners ascertain in real-time that deliveries are made to the right recipient. Some of the POD systems enable customers to put their remarks about the packages they receive when they receive them to ensure that any disputes that may arise in the future are resolved accordingly.

Why is Proof of Delivery Important?

If your business deals with logistics, proof of delivery is a form of accountability. You pass it to the receiver (customer) who can remark about the state in which they received their product. It supports efficient communication with your customers enabling you to determine where you need to improve your services to keep them coming back for more from you.

Should I Send My Item With Proof of Delivery?

In the case that you are not sure whether or not to send your items with proof of delivery, always choose the side of caution. You may need the proof of delivery to prove that the company or person on the other end received what you sent. It may cost just slightly more but it is good for your peace of mind.

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