date04 December 2018

Four factors to consider when choosing a Proof of Delivery system

Today’s consumers want efficiency and flexibility when it comes to receiving their goods but most of all, they don’t want to wait. And, as online shopping accounts for more and more of the market, the pressure on businesses to provide quicker and more adaptable delivery options is greater than ever. All this means that the days of manual delivery service management are well and truly over.

As many businesses have come to realise, it’s simply not possible to offer a delivery service that meets these demands without the support of an Electronic Proof of Delivery (EPOD) system. But, how do you know which EPOD solution is right for your business? What are the most important factors to consider when choosing EPOD software and a supplier to provide it? These four elements are a good place to start.

The capabilities of the EPOD software

It pays to have a checklist of the functions you need most from an Electronic Proof of Delivery system. All EPOD software will do the basic job of recording a successful delivery, but there’s far more that a solution can – and should – do. For example, thanks to the ability it gives your delivery team to take an electronic signature, confirmatory images and scan barcodes on high value or sensitive goods through a handheld device, your chosen EPOD solution should help you cut the amount of ‘false missing goods’ claims you receive. It should also offer route planning functionality; generating the fastest and most logical delivery manifests for your fleet, and should even enable you to stay on top of vehicle maintenance through remote driver inspections and automatic compliance alerts. Proof of delivery should be just the beginning of what the right EPOD system can help you achieve, so look for software that’s multifaceted.

The EPOD implementation process

It goes without saying that the process of getting a new EPOD system up and running within your business should be as quick and simple as possible. Beyond that though, make sure your supplier has the skills and experience to support you throughout implementation; scoping your software or hardware to meet your unique business requirements through a bespoke solution if necessary, and providing as much training and advice as you need to get the most from your new system.

Thorough implementation also means integrating your chosen EPOD solution with any existing ERP, accounting or management packages integral to your business. Ensure your supplier has the expertise to devise and carry out a seamless integration strategy, keeping you in the loop at every stage.

The EPOD hardware

It’s not just EPOD software that should be multi-functional; the hardware your drivers use in the field should also maximise the return on your investment. As ever, adaptability is key; your EPOD mobile software should run on any device you prefer your delivery team to use, from a smartphone to an in-cab tablet, or a specially-designed rugged handheld computer.

Regardless of the device type you choose, hardware should enable you to track your drivers and vehicles in the field, transmitting their locations to a real-time map back at base. Intelligent EPOD hardware and mobile applications should also mean that your drivers can manage many of their own administrative duties on the move, saving them and you time and paperwork. With the ability to submit timesheets, holiday requests and expenses directly from their handheld devices, your drivers have more time to concentrate on deliveries.

The ongoing support from your EPOD supplier

Once it’s in place, your EPOD system shouldn’t be a static application. The best solutions are those under continuous development, that grow alongside your business and its proof of delivery needs. Look for a supplier who will keep adding to and refining the EPOD software they provide. Just as important is the level of support you will receive from your supplier, even after your system is fully implemented. You need to know that, however unlikely it is that something will go wrong with your EPOD system, there will be rapid specialist assistance available to get you back up and running.  

Here at Touchstar, our EPOD systems, implementation and support services provide all of the benefits we’ve mentioned above, plus many more. Get in touch with us today to find out what else our scalable Electronic Proof of Delivery systems can do.