What Is Proof of Delivery (PoD) and Why Your Business Needs It
Proof of Delivery, or PoD for short, is a term used in the business world to describe the confirmation that an item has been delivered.
Many businesses today require proof of delivery before they release payment to a supplier, and this is where electronic proof of delivery software applications come in handy. In this blog post, we will discuss what PoD is and why your business needs it.
What Is Proof of Delivery (PoD)?
Proof of Delivery is a delivery receipt you will receive once the package has been delivered to its destination. It is also commonly referred to as PoD or an e-PoD for those delivered digitally.
Logistically, businesses use them to monitor their shipments and confirm timely delivery. They can improve shipping efficiency and performance with picture proof of delivery.
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Top 4 Reasons Why Your Business Needs Proof of Delivery
No business is complete without some form of proof of shipment. This not only gives customers peace of mind that they received what they paid for, but it also protects your business from any potential claims that the customer did not receive their purchase.
Why is it crucial to have proof of delivery for your business? Let’s find out.
1. Improves the Customer Experience
With proof of shipment, you’ll be able to track your customers’ orders more efficiently and prevent any mix-ups.
2. Improves Order Accuracy and Lowers Costs
By requiring a PoD for both product and service-based companies, you can confirm that customers have received their orders and are happy with the work. This will save you time, money, and resources by preventing the need for refunds or replacement orders.
3. Accelerates Back-Office Operations
Our proof of delivery feature ensures your office receives an automated confirmation whenever a product or service is completed. This improves back-office efficiency by reducing paperwork and manual tasks.
Other benefits related to back-end operations:
- Automates sending customers notifications before their product arrives.
- Improves driver efficiency by reducing the amount of time spent at each site.
4. Protects Your Business and Your Customers
According to sources, the average eCommerce return rate is 18.1%.
Proof of delivery is the most foolproof way to protect your business against false customer reviews. Too often, buyers leave fake reviews on eCommerce sites, claiming that their orders were never delivered.
With a picture or video showing the order has been received, you can quash these activities and protect your brand.
Top 3 Reasons Why Your Customers Need Proof of Delivery
Here are three reasons we recommend offering proof of delivery to your customers.
1. Gives Customers More Control
Customers who purchase items online have less control over when they receive their orders than those who buy in person. A study by Verte showed that 91% of customers actively track their packages, with 39% checking the status daily.
In addition, a report found that efficient tracking helps shoppers feel more in control and less anxious.
Along with a packing slip, proof of delivery assures customers that they will receive their order on time and as expected.
2. Prevents Items from Being Stolen
Once customers have received their proof of delivery, they can rest assured that their items are either with them or a trusted neighbor.
3. Keeps Customers Updated
With contactless deliveries being in high demand and inside delivery less common, electronic Proof of Delivery (PoD) is the best way to keep your customers updated on the status of their service and any next steps.
The Different Types of Proof of Delivery
There are three types of Proof of Delivery:
- Paper Proof of Delivery (traditional method)
- Electronic Proof of Delivery (e-PoD)
- Photo Proof of Delivery
1. Paper Proof of Delivery
The most common type of PoD is paper. The driver has a physical paper that the recipient has to sign when they receive the package.
Paper PoD is time-consuming for drivers and can only be manually entered into a database. Overall, it lacks sender transparency. That’s why many carriers are moving to electronic PoD.
2. Electronic Proof of Delivery
Many people are familiar with UPS or FedEx proof of delivery in electronic form. Instead of having the recipient sign a paper document, the driver hands them a digital device to sign electronically. This is much quicker than gathering a physical signature.
The recipient signs the e-PoD, then a copy is either emailed to the recipient or available for download through the original tracking link. The completed transaction is now visible to everyone.
Speaking of visibility, here’s everything you need to know about supply chain visibility.
3. Photo Proof of Delivery
Photo PoD is a service used by Amazon and other companies that delivers a package and takes a photo to document its arrival. The image then attaches to the customer’s delivery confirmation email or SMS.
If you’re unavailable to retrieve your package, share the PoD photo with someone you trust and ask them to pick it up.
Why You Should Automate Your Proof of Delivery System
Many industries have increased productivity, improved communication, and reduced time and cost by automating business processes. Technological advancements allow employees to focus more on the business than administrative tasks.
Automating proof of shipment is one good example.
Here’s why you should automate your proof of delivery system.
1. Minimises Risk While Maximising Profit
Automating PoD virtually eliminates the need for companies to keep track of physical documents such as notes, receipts, purchase details, and signatures.
Precise record-keeping is not the only advantage of automating PoD. With each delivery comes more risk to drivers contracting COVID-19, so using an automated PoD process helps prevent this. Automated PoD uses digital capture to replace physical signatures with photos, timestamps, and geocapture to prove delivery instead of paper records.
The use of photographs gets rid of the contamination danger posed by physical signatures on deliveries. This gives drivers extra protection while making their rounds.
When your business communicates delivery expectations to customers, you’re giving them a sense of security and peace of mind to those self-isolating.
Here’s a quick 9-minute read on how to organize delivery scheduling for your business.
2. Makes Administration More Efficient
Automating the PoD process does not only streamlines the administrative side of your business. It also helps employees adhere to social distancing measures. Moving towards electronic record-keeping cuts down on double handling and makes documentation more efficient.
Instead of requiring heaps of paperwork, all information is digital and collected from drivers as they deliver. This way, drivers complete deliveries quickly and safely while providing accurate customer records.
Automation gives your administrative staff the opportunity to work remotely. It protects them from possible infection and the hassle of handling documents in person. Furthermore, electronic storage allows easy access and portability for customer inquiries.
The Role of Electronic Proof of Delivery in Delivery Logistics
E-PoD has two roles in delivery logistics.
First, it validates the delivery of your product.
Electronic proof of delivery software collects confirmation of packages delivered.
The software does this by:
- Electronic signatures (e-signatures)
- Electronic delivery forms (e-forms)
- Electronic delivery notes (e-notes)
- QR codes
- Unique alphanumeric codes
- Unique order identification numbers
Electronic delivery confirmation allows drivers to wait less at the customer’s doorstep. This improves driver performance and reduces wasted time, resulting in better customer service.
Secondly, most companies use e-PoDs for reporting purposes.
Once a PoD is collected, it’s automatically uploaded to the central system, where dispatchers and logistics managers can review it. This allows office teams to track field team activities. They can check if drivers followed instructions for dropping off the package, order accuracy, missed deliveries, and more.
If someone requests a return after their purchase, your customer service team can use the data to take action and ensure both satisfaction and efficiency.
Find out why customers love door-to-door delivery so much!
How Does Electronic Proof of Delivery Work?
After downloading the digital proof of delivery software onto your phone or tablet, you can start collecting customer information. You can either have them fill out an e-form, take an electronic signature, or scan an order code after they approve the drop-off.
The drawback to this method is that it can be hard to get information from the PoDs once they’re collected. You would need to connect the e-PoD software with a stronger solution or export the data whenever you want to use it. A smarter approach would be using an all-in-one solution, such as a delivery management platform.
Software-as-a-service (SaaS) delivery systems have two components:
- A dashboard
- A mobile app
Delivery agents use the app with a mobile device to collect and upload the PoD, which becomes available online for dispatchers. The driver app marks each delivery as completed once the e-PoD is uploaded, and dispatchers can live-track drivers’ progress from stop to stop. The apps are compatible with iOS and Android devices, so you won’t need to purchase new hardware.
Are you considering to expand your logistics?
Learn more about 4PL logistics and why it’s good for your business.
Top 5 Proof of Delivery Applications and Software
In this section, we have gathered our top five picks for proof of delivery software.
The Track-POD driver app is part of a delivery system that allows contactless delivery. The software efficiently plans for multiple deliveries in real-time, dispatches field service jobs, and provides SMS and email notifications to track your delivery status.
Designed for teamwork, the software’s route planner has user roles, including dispatchers, managers, and drivers. This way, you can add all the relevant people to the software and give them the necessary access levels.
The web planner optimizes routes and plans loads, and the driver mobile app also offers delivery confirmation with a free barcode scanner.
Routific is a delivery software company that helps businesses manage their daily deliveries and track their drivers.
Delivery notifications and live tracking provided by Routific allow businesses to improve their Delivery in Full & On Time (DIFOT) rate by ensuring customers know when to expect their product.
Routific provides two mobile apps for couriers, which enable Proof of Delivery. When delivery confirmation has been collected, dispatchers can see it immediately. With Routific Driver, dispatchers can view both e-signatures and photo proof. With Routific Driver Lite, however, the electronic signature is the only thing visible to them.
Onfleet is a delivery management system that not only streamlines route planning and multi-drop optimization but also offers customer notifications with an estimated time of arrival and live tracking. Plus, there’s even Proof of Delivery, complete with feedback collection!
While other software systems only offer partial integrations, Onfleet delivers a complete solution by integrating with third-party solutions via API. This ensures smooth data transfer in real time.
The Onfleet driver app supports features like photo capture, electronic signature capture, age verification where necessary, and barcode scanning.
OptimoRoute is a two-part software solution that offers route planning and Proof of Delivery management for multi-drop delivery operations. The web app is designed for the back office, while the mobile app is meant for drivers.
Proof of Delivery with OptimoRoute consists of 3 components.
- Electronic notes.
- Photos (multiple photos are allowed within one order).
OptimoRoute’s features, such as customer notifications and live tracking, help businesses provide an excellent delivery experience. Part of that delivery experience includes electronic Proof of Delivery.
Route4Me is the only paperless delivery system that covers all the steps of an efficient workflow, from instant multi-drop routes to delivery notifications and driver tracking. Plus, with our logistics KPIs, organizations can make the most of their transportation resources while keeping customers happy.
How Dropoff’s Proof of Delivery System Works
What sets Dropoff apart is our innovative technology. We want customers to get clear oversight into all their deliveries at all times. This is a core focus for our team and why we are a leader in the last-mile industry. Our proof of delivery system was designed to give customers transparency and security in the delivery process. The system allows them to track their deliveries in real-time and receive confirmation once the delivery is complete. With features that include signature capture, age verification, photo verification, and more, customers can’t help but experience that added layer of assurance.Neil Seth, Chief Technology Officer at Dropoff
Our electronic Proof of Delivery system gives customers instant delivery confirmations based on their needs.
When a driver arrives at a delivery location, they will use a handheld device to scan the barcode on the shipment. This will automatically fill the Proof of Delivery form with the relevant information, including the customer’s name, address, and phone number.
Our experienced couriers will verify package delivery via photo, signature, email, text, or any courier action you prefer. Once the form is complete, it will be emailed to the customer in real time.
Want to learn more about the capabilities of our proof of delivery system?
Talk with a Dropoff expert and watch your business transform.
FAQs on Proof of Delivery
PoD in shipping stands for Proof of Delivery.
Proof of Delivery is a delivery receipt you will receive once a package has been delivered to its destination.
A PoD document confirms that a shipment has arrived at its destination with all items accounted for and no visible damage.
An electronic proof of delivery, or e-PoD for short, is a digital version of the standard paper PoD document confirming a package successfully delivered to its destination.
Electronic proof of delivery software does this by:
– Electronic signatures (e-signatures)
– Electronic delivery forms (e-forms)
– Electronic delivery notes (e-notes)
– QR codes
– Unique alphanumeric codes
– Unique order identification numbers
This proof of delivery service is provided by USPS free of charge.
For the Priority Mail Express, USPS offers this service as mentioned below:
– Individual requests are given by email and offered electronically.
– USPS provides bulk proof of deliveries for the Priority Mail Express Manifesting service users.
For the Signature Confirmation, USPS offers this service as mentioned below:
– Individual requests are given by email or fax by article number.
– USPS offers bulk proof of deliveries for the Signature Confirmation service customers who use the electronic option or privately printed extra service labels.
The package delivery is only confirmed when both the sender and recipient have signed off.