An Ultimate Guide on How to Collect Electronic Proof of Delivery

Handing the delivery process for some eCommerce brands or offering courier services involves a lot of operations. You have to schedule the dispatch, start the transit, meet the estimated arrival time and manage the workforce. 

Among all these operations, one important job that has been eased for the delivery businesses with the adaptation of modern technology is collecting the proof of delivery

The job that was manual and dependent on the receiver’s physical signature is now processed through electronic means.

The delivery and logistics industry is now leaning toward digitizing its operations. And in pursuit, acquiring an electronic proof of delivery is subtle but crucial digitization.

Definition of Proof of Delivery

Proof of Delivery (POD) is the acknowledgment that the intended customer has received the order. A delivery proof is not just for the eCommerce packages but for all the businesses that need a note on service completion. 

Initially, paper-based proof was collected from customers for transparency and security upon successful delivery. 

But with the COVID 19 pandemic, the demand for contactless deliveries increased, for which electronic proof of delivery (ePOD) was the most preferred. 

Electronic signatures were first used by some of the big courier and postal service providers, such as FedEx and DHL. But as of today, many small delivery companies are adapting this technique to minimize the manual procedures and to support the contactless initiative of making deliveries. 

Electronic proof of delivery is the digital signature that customers provide through delivery software after the service or product is delivered.

Apart from that, if the customer is not home and still wants the product delivered to neighbors or some attendant at their house, they can give their digital signatures to process the same. 

Here is a list of information that the paper or electronic proof of delivery includes:

  • Name and address of the customer
  • Transaction details
  • Purchase order details
  • Shipping details
  • Invoice details
  • Price quotes
  • Product specifications

What are the Different Types of Proof of Delivery?

To help you better understand proof of delivery, here are three types of it that are currently being used by the delivery teams:

1. Paper proof of delivery

Paper POD is the traditional mode of getting the delivery note signed physically by the customer at the given address after handing over the product or courier. 

The immediate problem with a paper-based proof of delivery is that it becomes tedious for the drivers. It is because they have to update such paper delivery documents into the database through manual data entry. 

And this is the reason why delivery businesses are shifting to different methods of acquiring proof of delivery.

2. Electronic proof of delivery

Electronic POD is a better alternative to automatically update the customer’s signature to the database upon delivery. One of the ways to acquire that is by carrying a digital device to request customers for their signature on the screen. 

The signature capture process is quick here and shortens the time of arrival and departure of delivery drivers at the customer’s address. 

After the customer completes the delivery process by signing the proof of delivery, a copy can be sent to the receiver or customer via email or an SMS link.

3. Photo proof of delivery

Photo POD has been a trend initially set by Amazon but is slowly being followed by many small delivery businesses. 

The driver  leaves the package at the customer’s address and captures photos to document the completion of delivery, which is then updated in the database. 

The documented photo is sent to the customer via a confirmation SMS or email. If the customer is not available at their address, they can send the proof of delivery photo to a known person to collect the package.

Ways to Collect Paperless Proof of Delivery

If you have decided to add paperless and electronic proof of delivery to your business operations, then here are the two ways with which you can do that:

1. Using standalone ePOD device or software

The first way to acquire paperless proof of delivery data from the customers is by using standalone ePOD software or ePOD app. Such software and devices serve just the purpose of collecting digital signatures. 

Some ePOD software have additional operations embedded in them, but you have to buy it at an additional cost. It ensures customer satisfaction as a copy of the relevant data associated with POD is sent to them via email immediately.

2. Using a delivery management system

The most popular way of acquiring paperless proof of delivery today is using delivery management software

A delivery software comprises many service features other than securing signatures. You can plan out your routes, track drivers, send automated ETAs, store recipient information, and more with a delivery app to manage your operations. 

Upper Route Planner is one such route planning and delivery management system that offers all these features. It can be easily installed in the mobile devices of drivers and sales representatives for them to monitor and update everything within the delivery system. 

With Upper, you can plan a perfect route for the drivers to ensure timely delivery and customer satisfaction. The customers will be sent an automated notification on the whereabouts of their packages. 

And on delivery completion, the drivers will use the same application for collecting the ePOD from the customer, which will be automatically uploaded to the business database.

Who Requires Electronic Proof of Delivery (ePOD)?

A delivery business needs electronic proof of delivery or ePOD to prove the completion of package or goods transportation. 

The delivery drivers are asked to capture proof of delivery on priority, as it is part of their job role. It is a legal document that serves three primary evident functions:

  1. As cargo receipt
  2. As a title to products or goods
  3. As evidence of contractual transportation

Things to Keep in Mind While Recording Proof of Delivery

Here are some of the major things that one should keep in mind while collecting proof of delivery from the customers:

  • Record the entire delivery process by making a video or taking photographs. It will be helpful for both the drivers and customers. 
  • Request the customer to check the shipment properly before signing the proof of delivery. The driver and customer should check the shipment together for any stains, holes, tears, or other damage.
  • Drivers should take responsibility for delivering damaged packages to customers and take necessary action to return/replace the product.

Collect Paperless POD Using Upper Route Planner

Upper Route Planner is the most professional and organized route planning software that has helped delivery companies boom with seamless operations. 

Obtaining paperless POD is just one of the many features that Upper has to offer its users. The software has a dedicated section for collecting signatures for delivery confirmation. 

After the customer accepts the delivery and gives the signature, the “delivered” status is updated on the system.

Reduces the Manual Data Entry Efforts

The data collection for ePOD is done mostly by capturing photos or collecting the signature of customers. There is no need to enter any customer data manually over the portal. Some of the potential benefits of such a feature of Upper are:

  • Provides real-time data on completion of a delivery. 
  • Improves reporting efficiency of driver.
  • Pictures prove the exact spot of delivery around the property.
  • Admins and dispatchers can altogether view the updated delivery documents. 
  • Enhances customer experience.

Options available over Upper with its ePOD

The ePOD by Upper allows you to choose a delivery option from the list that seems fit at the moment. The options here demand you to tick the one that is applicable for a particular delivery, and it includes:

  1. Delivered to specified customer.
  2. Package left at a mailbox.
  3. Delivered to other person or neighbor.
  4. Delivered by following instructions.

Just like that, the unsuccessful deliveries can also be marked over the software by selecting the relevant option from the list which includes:

  1. No one available to receive delivery.
  2. Can’t locate the address
  3. Bad weather
  4. Not sufficient time
  5. Other (Please specify)

Collecting paperless POD is the final service feature of our route planner software upon delivery confirmation. But there is a lot that Upper can help you with right from the beginning of a delivery transit. 

It will help you prepare a route, add multiple stops, send automated notifications to customers, collect real-time data, support GPS tracking, and optimize last-mile delivery routes. 

You will learn more about it when you take the . It will help you analyze the service perks you will get with our software. You can also connect with our team of experts to get better insight on Upper Route Planner. 

Collect Effortless POD with Upper

Looking for a solution to create multi-stop routes and collect proof of delivery? Upper route planner does all this and much more

FAQ

The advantages of paperless POD include:

  • Faster invoicing
  • Reduced paperwork
  • Faster exit from a customer’s doorstep after delivery
  • More deliveries in a day
  • Enhanced customer satisfaction

Yes, paperless POD is highly secured, depending on the reputation of the software you are using. Upper Route Planner is highly secure as it doesn’t compromise or share the collected data of your customers with anyone.

The ePOD solution works well for industries such as:

  • Distribution or manufacturing industry
  • Retail industry
  • Food processors and distributors
  • Logistics industry

Summing Up

The best part about preferring electronic mode over a paper form of POD is that both customers and the company will have digital proof that the intended recipient has received the order. 

You will be free from the tedious task of handling and storing paper proofs. With digital measures, you will share a better rapport with your customers. Hence, the quality of service will improve over time. 

Upper Route Planner has the right set of features to help you digitize not one but many tasks of your firm. So, get a glimpse of its features over the website or take the trial to learn more about it. 

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel is the founder and CEO of Upper Route Planner. A subject matter expert in building simple solutions for day-to-day problems, Rakesh has been involved in technology for 30+ years. Looking to help delivery businesses eliminate on-field delivery challenges, Rakesh started Upper Route Planner with the ultimate goal of simplistic operations in mind.

https://www.upperinc.com/

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