Proof of Delivery – what is it?
The humble Proof of Delivery, the simple P.O.D. (let’s get this straight before we go any further – it’s P.O.D. and never POD as in iPOD), so often overlooked and rarely credited with being as crucial to the delivery cycle as it is.
Viewed by many as just a receipt for goods as delivered from one location or organisation to another. “Get something signed, anything will do” is often the case. But really, is it a case of “anything will do”?
Proof of Delivery – why does it matter?
Now imagine for a minute or two that you’re a business sending a same day consignment via your local courier – we’ll call him John Dank, despite his name he’s a jolly chap. You’re using John because you’ve used him for years, he’s good with your customers, has all the correct insurances and he’s never let you down. John collects the shipment from you – in this case it’s a highly valuable floor covering for a new customer – and, as is the usual practice, he signs your despatch book to confirm he has the £3500.00 Indo Persian Keshan rug ready to deliver. All is good in the world.
A month or two later your customer informs that he will not pay your invoice as he never received the goods. Oh dear, that’ll never do. You know it’s been delivered as John never lets you down; he’s so reliable in fact that you’ve never had cause to request a P.O.D. from him until now. You’re going to get that Proof of Delivery from John, prove to Mr Customer that he has had the delivery and get your £3500.00 payment. Quick as a flash.
Then John gives you his Proof of Delivery. There’s no mention of your business name or address, no mention of the business he delivered to – not even an address! It doesn’t prove anything let alone that a collection was made from one address and the goods were delivered to another. John’s always done his P.O.D.’s this way because nobody has ever questioned it…
Mr Customer isn’t going to cough up unless we can show he has had the item and so just where do we go now? Will John’s transit insurance cover the £3500 – not a chance really as the goods are not lost or damaged. We could pursue the matter through the courts as we have a signed proof of delivery don’t we? Actually no, we can’t, as our P.O.D. has less substance than jelly.
Proof of Delivery – so what can you do?
Okay Jolly John is a bit of silliness, but the principal is very much a reality (unfortunately the POD is real too – collected on our many journeys in Courier Land…). In fact the point behind this little scenario is being played out across the UK in businesses and organisations of all sizes and leaves not only shippers liable to loss but also couriers when their customers refuse to pay for delivery services they cannot validate with a suitable proof of delivery.
Consider for a moment how you would recover costs from your largest customer if they refused to pay and you couldn’t adequately demonstrate that you had supplied goods to them in the first place? Not easy?
Okay, we can get around the Jolly John situation by either checking (right away) what the format of your carriers standard P.O.D. is, or simply by providing them with printed delivery notes that contain all the relevant and necessary details to “prove the delivery”. But we can also go a step further and make improvements to the system by the use of Electronic Proof of Delivery or E-P.O.D.
Electronic Proof of Delivery – same day courier solutions
Exceed’s same day courier E-P.O.D. solution ensures that all the necessary details are captured to prove beyond doubt that a successful delivery has been made; even going so far as to capture the geo-location data via the GPS function of the driver’s PDA hand held devices.
Our solution enables the signatory details, signature image and any customer comments to be fed back immediately and in real-time to our clients which is ideal where their billing takes place only once delivery has been made to their customers – no more waiting weeks for paper P.O.D.s to be returned! The signature capture information can be sent to any recipient a customer may chose, or multiple recipients if preferred; in the case of “Jolly John” an email to the customer advising the rug had been delivered would have allowed them to go and secure the goods perhaps?
It goes further too. Real time image capture at the point of receipt of your goods, to validate condition for example or to show exactly where they were left within a customer premises, or even to evidence a repair completed by one of our technical courier team and real time capture of arrival times at collection and delivery points that enable customers to monitor carrier waiting times.
If this sounds like a proof of delivery solution that would benefit your organisation, then give our friendly team a call on 0330 221 0519. So you know….we’ve elected to leave the E-P.O.D. sample below in a low resolution format simply to protect the data contained; if you’d like a demonstration of the power of this technology or some full resolution sample documents for analysis then head on over to our contact page and drop us a line.
Journease mobile proof of delivery solution images courtesy of Journease Software Limited