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Regular Industry Development Updates, Opinions and Talking Points relating to Manufacturing, the Supply Chain and Logistics.

Enhance real-time visibility across your operation with a proof of delivery system

05-Sep-2018
Enhance real-time visibility across your operation with a proof of delivery system
Using a paper-based system to manage data capture processes in your mobile workforce operation means that receiving updates from the field is slow and costly. Firstly, you need to wait for your drivers to return to base with the paperwork and then office-based staff need to input or file this data manually, meaning it can be days before the information is freely available to use throughout your business.

Consequences of this can vary from business to business, but common examples include:
  • Lack of real-time visibility of issues in the field – this can include operational problems as well as customer service-based issues 
  • Absence of relevant job information when customers contact customer services 
  • Delays to processes such as invoicing and stock management

Implementing a proof of delivery system can remove these problems by replacing delivery paperwork with streamlined electronic processes.

How does a proof of delivery system provide real-time visibility?
With an electronic proof of delivery system, your drivers collect data on a user friendly mobile application that can be installed on your choice of Android device. Everything they input, including operational information and proof of delivery data, is accessible in real-time via a browser based central management portal. To further streamline processes, the data can also be fed into your other business systems to provide visibility to all necessary teams.

Data that can be transmitted to office-based staff includes:
  • Job outcome – successful, partially successful or failed including the reason for any failure 
  • Delivery window - adherence to delivery window for completed jobs and estimated time of arrival for outstanding jobs 
  • Proof of delivery – signatures, photos, notes and form answers 
  • Operational – specific to your business requirements such as vehicle checklists, risk assessments or installation reports 
  • Driver break – duration, start and end time 
  • Device – location, battery, signal strength and last login

The central management portal provides ‘at a glance’ overview screens so that office-based staff are able to see progress out in the field as it happens, and have the ability to view more in-depth details if required. For more important events, alerts can be created for immediate notification of high priority issues.

How can real-time data visibility from a proof of delivery system help my business?
Real-time visibility of data from the field can be valuable across your organisation for multiple purposes. Here are three of the most common ways real-time visibility can help your business:

Enhance customer service
Increased visibility of daily progress means that your customer service teams are better equipped to deal with inbound customer queries. For example, they can provide estimated time of arrival information as well as confirming delivery outcomes. Or, if a problem has occurred, customer service teams can proactively contact the customer armed with all the necessary details, rather than waiting for the driver or the customer to get in touch to explain the issue.

Using this real-time data, it may even be possible for office-based staff to prevent issues before they affect the customer. For example, if a driver has been delayed earlier in the day, office-based staff will have immediate visibility of the impact on the schedule enabling them to re-allocate jobs as necessary to prevent late deliveries.

Streamline operational processes
With real-time updates of each driver’s location and their progress through the daily task list, a proof of delivery system streamlines real-time mobile workforce management. For example, for operations with flexible schedules, or a large number of emergency jobs to add throughout the day, this data means office-based staff can quickly allocate incoming jobs to the most appropriate driver.

By integrating a proof of delivery system with your other business systems, real-time data visibility can optimise processes for teams throughout your business. For example, real-time notification of job completions can speed up billing procedures and visibility of returns can streamline warehouse and stock management processes.

Improve regulatory or compliance procedures
The enhanced visibility available with a proof of delivery system means that office-based staff can take the appropriate actions immediately when a regulatory or compliance issue arises, rather than waiting for the driver to return with the paperwork. Examples of where this is useful can range from a vehicle checklist at the beginning of the day to specific questions presented to the driver when delivering controlled substances.

In addition, providing immediate visibility to office-based staff means that your drivers are not solely responsible for making compliance decisions. For example, if a driver flags a problem when completing an on-site risk assessment, office-based staff can review the data, including any photos or notes, make a decision and get back to the driver with instructions - all within a matter of minutes.

Implementing an electronic proof of delivery system provides your business with real-time data visibility enabling you to streamline processes and improve your customer service offering. By choosing an advanced system, you can configure the data capture processes your drivers follow to ensure you are receiving all the data you require.

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