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What is digital Proof of Delivery?

Traditionally Proof of Delivery has simply been a signature on paper to prove that goods have been received at the intended location. Wikipedia describes Proof of Delivery (POD) as “a method to establish the fact that a recipient received contents sent by a sender.” 

This description is a very simplified definition of what digital Proof of Delivery is capable of. Many organisations are now moving to digital methods of collection with real time transmission of the data back to the office via mobile telephone networks.

When collecting a proof of delivery electronically it is now possible to include the following points of information and more:

  • Transaction details
  • Shipping details
  • Product specifications
  • Confirmation of parcel count
  • Prices and any adjustments required at time of delivery
  • Photographs of the items when delivered to prove condition, could even include a temperature for food
  • GPS details and photos of delivery location
  • Signature, if collected, from the recipient, or photograph of the person if contactless.

What are the benefits of digital Proof of Delivery?

With POD the digital records can become part of the invoicing process and be stored as a commercial record of the delivery, plus any comments, quantities or adjustments associated with the delivery, for example, any components or parcels missing or damaged in transit.

Because the information can be relayed in real time to the office, invoices or notifications of delivery can be created on the day of delivery. The information is communicated through the system digitally from order to invoice and any human data entry errors are eliminated from the process.

A further bonus of using digital proof of delivery is the elimination of paper and ink from the process. Although usually only a couple of pieces of paper for each delivery over a year this can soon result in a large saving, not just in the cost of paper, but also the elimination of printers and the cost of their ink along with the time associated with the wait for them to be printed for each delivery run. This can play a large factor in reducing the carbon footprint of deliveries.

New digital systems can also allow for contactless proof of delivery, so there is no longer a requirement for a physical signature or the handing over of any devices, this has proved to be an important issue during the Covid-19 pandemic. The data record can include GPS coordinates as part of the proof of delivery as well as photographs.

Operational Benefits of electronic digital Proof of Delivery

How does proof of delivery help customers?

Not only can digital systems ensure, through the scanning of barcodes, that all the required items are delivered, but also help record any discrepancies that might result in returns, refunds, or a replacement delivery. Documentation errors are eliminated, and customers are able to see details after a delivery if a query arises, such as a photograph of the recipient, or where an item was left during the delivery. The effectiveness of the data captured and relayed to the customer helps to build confidence in the process, improving their overall experience.

Summary of benefits obtain from using digital proof of delivery.

  • Reduction in the cost to capture customer delivery data
  • Elimination of human data entry errors from the process
  • Bar code scanning ensures the correct items are delivered to the correct address and recipient
  • Reduces claims and disputes after a delivery along with the time involved to deal with those disputes
  • Reduces the carbon footprint of deliveries by eliminating paper and ink from the process
  • Covid-19 safe process

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