Money, money, money, must be funny in the rich man’s world—that’s how the song by ABBA goes. If you own a transportation company, you’re already familiar with the proof of delivery (POD). It’s a document that proves the customer received the goods you sent. And it can be either a paper or an electronic document. Based on that document, you issue an invoice and charge either the shipper or the final customer accordingly. So, you follow a three-step process, or cycle:
- Generate a POD.
- Create an invoice for that POD, matching a purchase order.
- Trigger the payment process to your client.
As with many different areas, there’s a lot of room for processes to be improved with mobile technology. Stay tuned in that arena and increase your revenue! Start with reading this post. It pinpoints eight ways that optimized point of delivery payment apps will change the logistics industry.
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The Downside of Paper PODs
Let’s first enumerate some disadvantages of paper PODs:
- Your truck or van driver may fill them in the wrong way or with illegible handwriting.
- They may lose the PODs.
- They may damage the PODs.
- Any of the above can delay the payment process.
And you don’t want any of that, do you? That’s right. But the main drawback of a paper POD is the amount of time it takes for you to receive it. Immense! The longer that takes, the longer it’ll take for you to see the color of money.
Now you know how things can go wrong with paper PODs. You get paid later and PODs can be lost, damaged, or useless. However, there’s a solution to those problems. But first of all, let’s establish a common ground in terms of terminology. What software can you use to manage your deliveries at the point of delivery? Is it exclusively mobile? And what does it have to do with payments? Go ahead and read the next section to get the answers.
What’s a Point of Delivery Payment App?
A delivery management system may have a web-based application for use in the office. Along with that application, a delivery management system may have a mobile application for use by drivers or delivery people. Since the mobile app is used at the point of delivery and later on triggers a payment to the transportation company, we may call it point of delivery payment app.
As a customer of delivery management software, you must be more demanding nowadays than you ever were. And you’re right to have high expectations of software and to want new and fast experiences! Therefore, a paper POD belongs in the past. With an electronic process, you receive a POD instantly and can charge your clients with similar speed.
Now, let’s delve into those general upsides of point of delivery payment apps.
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Optimized Point of Delivery Payment Apps Will Rock
Optimized point of delivery payment apps benefit transportation companies in many ways. Let’s discuss a few of those.
1. Delivery Data Collection
Electronic PODs and optimized point of delivery payment apps allow you to collect a lot of details about every delivery such as
- A handwritten signature or a picture of a damaged package
- Geotags and timestamps collected from dispatch to delivery
- Customer remarks and feedback
Using point of delivery payment apps improves the accuracy of all the data listed above and optimizes the delivery process. In other words, all the data listed above—because it’s electronically collected—allow you to get to meaningful conclusions. You can rely on the accuracy of electronically collected data—think of data collected via global positioning system (GPS), for instance—to learn things such as
- How long it takes for a driver to park the truck or van or for a customer to answer the door and sign the POD
- The number of damaged packages per driver, vehicle, or shipper
- Which customers are usually not at home even though they specified a preferable time for delivery and you satisfied that requirement
Subsequently, you can translate those conclusions into actions to streamline delivery operations for higher efficiency and revenue.
The data that optimized point of delivery payment apps collect serves other purposes, such as delivery process auditing and continuous delivery process improvement.
2. Faster Invoicing and Payments
The adoption of optimized point of delivery payment apps triggers a chain reaction so you process invoices and payments more quickly. This chain reaction includes
- Receiving PODs in real-time
- Comparing PODs with purchase orders and issuing the corresponding invoices faster
- Processing those invoices faster
- Triggering the payment process in your client faster
- Getting paid faster
Once the customer signs the electronic POD, the app uploads the document to your delivery management system. Consequently, you get the following benefits:
- You don’t need to wait for your driver to return with the POD.
- The risk of losing the POD decreases substantially.
- Archiving PODs is automatic rather than manual.
That means there’s no more need for several people to handle paper PODs before storing them in a software system or paper box. An example of a task that paper PODs demand is scanning, so your staff doesn’t need to waste time scanning one POD after the other. And there’s less idleness between tasks.
If your company struggles with slow payment cycles, happy days! Thanks to optimized point of delivery payment apps, that’s over. Just adopt an app that suits your needs.
3. Automated Tasks
By adopting an optimized point of delivery payment app, you reduce a lot of dispensable manual work such as POD sorting and filling in. As a result, these apps reduce
- Errors caused by manual data entry in PODs
- The complexity and time consumed by heavy, laborious tasks such as generating and organizing PODs and extracting data from them
- Labor costs
- POD data inaccuracy, such as approximate times of delivery instead of exact ones
For example, if a product isn’t in the delivered package as it should be, the driver must indicate that on the paper POD by hand. Afterward, someone at the office must manually correct the received quantities in the delivery management system. However, if the handwriting is illegible or the POD damaged, nobody will be able to enter the received quantities into the system. As a result, the invoice will contain an error.
4. Customer Loyalty and Satisfaction
Customers absolutely love signing an electronic POD. They love everything that technology does that makes their lives easier, you know. So, if you use an optimized point of delivery payment app, your customer’s satisfaction level will increase.
For customers, an electronic POD is a delight and a synonym for a flawless service upon delivery. Consequently, you impress your customers and you receive their loyalty.
If your competitor provides a better technological experience to customers upon delivery, it’s possible that your customers will replace you with your competitor, even if your products are better in quality than theirs!
Customer attraction and retention is a great investment that requires a lot of money and effort—way too much for you to risk losing them by making them dissatisfied with your service over time. So, an electronic POD may even trigger your customers to recommend your company to others. That’s priceless!
Since you get the POD faster, if a package is damaged you can promptly contact your customer to apologize and offer compensation or an alternative. If you rely on paper PODs, that’s not possible on such short notice. But if you rely on electronic PODs, your customer doesn’t even have time to get mad at you.
Additionally, if you use an optimized point of delivery payment app that registers customer remarks and feedback, that’s bonus points for you!
5. Fewer Setbacks
With an optimized point of delivery payment app and, consequently, electronic PODs, you face fewer setbacks in your invoicing and payment processes.
For instance, in the case of misfiled or illegible paper PODs, you have to request your customers for data confirmation. With electronic PODs, you most likely won’t have to bother your customers like that.
6. Parallel Tasks
An optimized point of delivery payment app allows you to complete parallel tasks simultaneously. For example, an app can send a delivery confirmation and invoice to your customers by email while updating information in your customer relationship management (CRM) system.
7. Integration With Other Systems
The seventh way optimized point of delivery payment apps will change the face of logistics is by linking the data they gather in the field with other kinds of systems, such as an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system or a CRM system.
Integration between those types of systems fosters better customer service and, above all, boosts productivity among your employees, both in and out of the office.
8. Lower Paper Costs
With the explosion of e-commerce, deliveries have increased exponentially. That is to say that PODs have also increased in number. If your company relies on paper PODs, either you already deal with or will deal with huge volumes of paper. And dealing with paper PODs implies printing, scanning, organizing, processing, storing, and retrieving all that paper. What a nightmare! And it can get worse if someone loses a POD and you have to track it down.
All those tasks cost what? Money. And the bigger your company is, the bigger your troubles with paper PODs are.
Moreover, constantly buying large volumes of paper is costly. With an optimized point of delivery payment app, there’s no need to print the POD before delivery. You reduce the use of paper in your company. And if you really need to print the POD once it’s in your delivery management system, you can always do it.
Long Story Short
The benefits you get from an optimized point of delivery payment app definitely pay off. You’ll get your return on investment (ROI) for sure.
Less evident benefits of an optimized point of delivery payment app include
- More electronic PODs equal more deliveries because deliveries get faster. As a result, the business grows because you deliver more in the same period of time.
- You can customize your POD and integrate your optimized point of delivery payment app with other kinds of systems.
- Boosted revenue. You raise your company’s revenue by maximizing your cash flow.
The bigger your company is, the more you need an optimized point of delivery payment app. Above all, an optimized point of delivery payment app contributes to the soundness of your business.
The most severe consequence of not using an optimized point of delivery payment app is not being able to invoice or receive accurate payment or any payment at all from customers. The causes may be data entry errors in PODs or the loss of PODs. A misplaced or nonexistent POD can even compel the company to deliver the product a second time. Don’t take any chances of that happening to you! Follow the example of other companies, such as Tiger Lines or Western Distributing.
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