date21 June 2022

How EPOD can help food distributors develop efficient delivery services  

No matter which part of the diverse food sector a business operates in, there are many challenges to overcome including ensuring operations and deliveries are optimised. Not only do efficient deliveries help to reduce costs and make the business more effective, but they can also have a positive impact on customer service and satisfaction.

An electronic proof of delivery (EPOD) system is ideal for ensuring enhanced deliveries – from route planning and optimisation to proof of delivery and invoicing.  

How an EPOD system can help food deliveries

Able to grow with a business and its increasing demands, an EPOD system should act as an asset for any food business. With its many system features, electronic proof of delivery solutions should work to optimise operations and deliveries, benefiting both the business and its customers.

Route planning & optimisation

Taking out the manual process of route scheduling, an EPOD’s route planning and optimising reduces the manual time and effort taken by a planning team and ensures the most efficient route is taken. This is incredibly important for food deliveries as it helps maintain product freshness.

For The Bread Factory, delivering quality baked goods to their customers and automating the existing manual processes were key. By connecting with their existing system, PODStar creates job runs, automatically allocating drivers and vehicles based on their capacity and job timings.

With more efficient deliveries, customers receive their freshly baked products in a timely manner. 

Driver integration

A benefit to using an EPOD system is the driver integration. Not only can they upload timings sheets for payroll, but routes can be automatically sent to their devices. Once a route has been optimised and approved, the driver will receive their jobs to their smartphone to start working.

During their deliveries, real-time data is constantly shared between the drivers and the back office, including their job status, performance and location.

For Hedges Chilled Distribution, they valued this level of real-time data sharing and driver integration, including the vehicle checks. With a focus on employee and public safety, having an integrated driver approach was important as it meant that staff could complete the required daily vehicle checks within the PODStar app, with any issues reported immediately to the Fleet Manager and repair work can commence without delay.

Electronic proof of delivery

A key feature of any EPOD system is the collection of proof of delivery. The drivers are able to use their smartphone to collect a signature, photo, or both, as proof that a delivery has been completed. This data is then uploaded to the system and allocated to the job in real-time, ensuring information is kept up to date, and allowing the back office to see what jobs have been completed and when.

For New Wave Seafood, collecting proof of delivery proved to be an invaluable asset when transporting fish and food. Not only did it reduce their use of paperwork by at least 50% (which is great for the environment!) but it has also ensured that once a job is complete, invoices can be sent promptly via email which helps to encourage timely payment.  

Why are optimised food deliveries important

An efficient delivery schedule ensures that as many customers are delivered to as possible, in the shortest amount of time. This can help cut down wasted fuel usage and time by allowing drivers to tick off more deliveries per route and allocation, which is a major benefit for businesses. For customers, this also means they could receive their delivery quicker rather than having to wait for an empty delivery spot. In addition, for temperature-controlled goods, effective deliveries are especially important for cold chain temperature compliance to ensure products are kept at the correct chilled level.

Using an EPOD system to optimise deliveries can also help reduce discrepancies for the business and customer, ensuring that anything that should be delivered is received on time and invoiced correctly. The reduced amount of paperwork and exchange of real-time data between drivers and the back office means that all information is correct and can be referred to almost instantly once a delivery has been made.

Photos can also be taken and uploaded to a job, confirming a delivery has been completed. Although using an EPOD does decrease inconsistencies, if there is a dispute, all of the information collected during delivery, including a photo, time, location and date can be used within the resolution. The information stored inside the system makes every delivery easier to track and trace without staff having to spend a lot of time going through paperwork manually. A customer can receive an answer to their query promptly, helping to improve customer relationships and satisfaction.  

Find out more

Enjoy less paperwork and optimise your deliveries by introducing an EPOD system to your food business. Integrate our PODStar solution with your existing systems to benefit from real-time data, route optimisation and optimal control over your operations. If you are a business in the food sector and are looking to make business-critical efficiencies through introducing an EPOD solution, contact TouchStar today.