9 minute read

Electronic Proof of Delivery: How it Works, and 6 Options for Your Business

Tap into cutting edge delivery verification with Electronic Proof of Delivery (ePOD) for better efficiency and customer satisfaction.

How to get secure and paperless electronic proof of delivery: Illustration of a camera photographing some packages left at the door.

Discover how Circuit for Teams revolutionizes deliveries with live tracking and an easy-to-use app, making your business more efficient and customer-friendly.

Ever misplaced an important paper or had someone say they never got a package when you know they did? It's frustrating, right? In the fast-paced world of deliveries, especially with the boom in eCommerce, things can get messy. 

That’s why I'm here to chat with you about electronic proof of delivery, or ePOD. It's the simple, digital answer to all those delivery headaches. 

In this article, you'll discover why those old paper methods are going out of style and how ePOD can give your business a big boost. I’ll explain the challenges with traditional methods, the magic of ePOD, and how tools like Circuit for Teams can be a game-changer for businesses like yours. 

So, ready to make your delivery process smoother and keep your customers happier? Let's dive in!

Key takeaways

  • Old-school paper slips for proving a delivery just don't cut it anymore.
  • With ePOD, you get updates in real-time, fewer mix-ups, and happier customers.
  • There are a bunch of ePOD tools out there, each with its own cool features.
  • Picking the right ePOD tool for your business needs can make your deliveries smoother and keep your customers coming back.
Circuit for Teams is a simple software for optimizing routes with multiple drivers. Click here to start your free 14-day trial.

What’s proof of delivery (POD) in the first place?

Let's break it down. Proof of delivery, or POD as it's often called, is a way to show that a package was delivered and received. Think of it like a receipt when you buy something from a store. 

Now, you might be wondering: What’s the difference between POD and a bill of lading? A bill of lading is another document used in deliveries, but it's a bit more complicated than a POD, filled with legal jargon and details. You don’t always need all that.

In the past, a POD was usually a paper slip that someone signed when they got their package. But now, with all the tech we have, it's going digital. And trust me, that's a good thing for you and your business.

Why paper slips just don't cut it anymore

Paper slips for deliveries might have been the go-to in the past, but they come with a bunch of problems:

  • Risk of getting lost. Ever had that moment where you're searching high and low for a paper slip, convinced it's vanished into thin air? It's not just you. Paper slips can easily get misplaced, and when they do, it's a nightmare trying to prove a delivery was made.
  • Storage woes. Storing stacks of paper takes up space in your office, and presents a challenge for your delivery team. They need to lug around these slips, make sure they don't get wet, torn, or crumpled, and then there's the task of sorting them out at the end of the day.
  • Time-consuming data entry. Manually entering data from paper slips is tedious and prone to errors. Let's be honest — there are a hundred other things you should be doing.
  • The waiting game. With paper slips, you're always playing catch-up. You don't get real-time updates. Instead, you're waiting for the courier to return to get any info. Imagine a customer calls about their package, and all you can say is, "I'll know when the driver gets back." Not ideal, right?
  • Environmental concerns. Even if you don’t care about the planet, your customers do (at least most of them). So, wasting heaps of paper every day isn't doing you or the environment any favors. Switching to digital makes your life easier, gives Mother Earth a little breather, and shows customers you care.

If you’re still using paper slips for proof of delivery, it's time to think about a change — don't you think?

The solution: Electronic proof of delivery (ePOD)

Enter ePOD. It's like the digital version of your old paper slips. Instead of scribbling on paper, you get a digital signature or photo. Simple, right? And with the rise of online shopping and eCommerce, ePOD is becoming the new normal. 

In short, ePOD is the future. It's quick, efficient, and perfect for the fast-paced world of eCommerce.

How ePOD is changing the game

Proof of delivery: Delivered to third party signature, Delivered to next door neighbor, Left in safe place

ePOD is making waves in the delivery world, helping businesses and customers alike. In this section, we’ll explore why it's such a game-changer, and why you’ll want to get on board.

Real-time updates. Gone are the days of waiting and wondering. With ePOD, both businesses and customers get instant updates. It's like having a direct line to your delivery driver.

Fewer shipping disputes. We've all been there. A customer says they didn't get a package, but the driver is sure they delivered it. With ePOD, there's clear proof. No more back and forth.

Enhanced customer experience. Customers love having the peace of mind of knowing exactly when their package arrives. The world is full of porch pirates, after all! 

Transparency is the name of the game with ePOD. Customers aren't left guessing. They see real-time updates and have solid proof of delivery. It's all about building trust.

An ePOD success story 

Speaking of trust, let's talk about Sanjhi Rasoi, a restaurant in Ontario, Canada that was facing major delivery challenges. As their delivery service grew, they had more and more missed deliveries. Customers would call, frustrated, saying they hadn't received their food. 

But then, Sanjhi Rasoi started using Circuit for Teams’ ePOD feature and capturing proof of delivery via photo. As a result, those missed and disputed deliveries dropped dramatically, saving them a ton of money and rebuilding trust with their customers. 

The moral of the story: ePOD can improve your bottom line and keep your customers happy.

Choosing the right ePOD tool: 6 options for your business

So, you're sold on the idea of ePOD and now you're wondering which tool to go with? I get it. There are plenty of options out there, each with its own set of features, so I'll walk you through some of the top choices. The right proof of delivery app or POD software for you hinges on what you need and how much you're willing to spend. 

1. Circuit for Teams

Circuit for Teams is a simple software for optimizing routes with multiple drivers. Click here to start your free 14-day trial.

If you're looking for a tool that's more than just an ePOD solution, Circuit for Teams is your best bet. It's a complete delivery management system that offers live tracking and route management, making sure your drivers are always on the best route. 

The app is super easy to use, and you can even send automatic customer notifications to keep them in the loop. You can also automatically import delivery data, which is a huge time-saver. 

And if you're into customizations, Circuit lets you optimize routes with custom stops. Real-time delivery tracking? Check. Live routes? Check. And for those of you running online stores, you'll love the Shopify and Zapier integrations.

But let's talk about ePOD. With Circuit, you get proof of delivery with in-app photos and signatures. Plus, their delivery analytics give you insights to improve your operations. Did I mention it's easy to use?

2. Dropoff

dropoff

With a focus on same-day delivery, Dropoff makes sure that your packages get where they need to go, when they need to be there, using real-time tracking. They handle everything from pick-up to delivery, letting you focus on what you do best. 

While Dropoff doesn’t tell you their pricing unless you request a quote, they claim to have competitive rates on solutions that are both efficient and cost-effective, giving you the best bang for your buck.

In a nutshell, if you're looking for a comprehensive suite of features to make sure your deliveries go off without a hitch, Dropoff might be worth a look. But if same-day deliveries aren’t in the cards for you, neither is this service — that’s their thing, and while some shoppers expect lightning-fast shipping (thanks, Amazon), it usually comes with a hefty price tag. 

3. Podfather

podfather

Podfather's driver app works on both Android and iOS. It sends job details straight to drivers' phones. So, no more paper tickets. When a delivery is done, drivers can snap a photo and get a signature right on their phone. 

All that info goes straight to your main system in real time. They also give you a bunch of reporting options and live dashboards. Plus, you can download and share reports with a CSV or PDF. Handy, right?

But their long list of features might not be worth figuring out how to use if you don’t need them all. There’s sure to be a learning curve, so weigh that against the cost. Speaking of pricing, Podfather doesn't provide a straightforward answer on their website — you’ll have to ask them for a quote based on your needs.

4. Track-POD

track-pod

Track-POD’s platform spans the US, UK, and Australia. They boast features like route optimization and real-time tracking, so you and your customers always know where a package is. 

Their ePOD feature lets drivers capture signatures, photos, and notes on-the-go. Plus, if you're juggling other business tools, Track-POD integrates smoothly. And if you're curious about their service, they offer a free trial to test the waters.

The Standard plan at $29 per driver per month works for businesses just beginning to explore the benefits of ePOD. For more features, the Advanced plan ($49 per driver per month) can help you optimize your delivery operations. And for extensive delivery needs, there’s the Advanced Plus plan ($69 per month). 

You can also talk to them about a customized plan to fit your needs. Luckily, ePOD is available across the board, but for certain perks — like smartphone apps, customer notifications, and user support — you’ll have to pay for more than the Standard plan.

5. eLogii

elogii

eLogii brands itself as a delivery management platform. They promise to help you route, plan, and optimize your delivery fleet with their powerful cloud-based solution.

They give you real-time tracking, so you always know where your packages are. If you've got a bunch of deliveries, their route optimization can make sure your drivers take the best paths. Plus, their system can handle last-minute changes, which is a lifesaver when things get hectic. 

You can choose from a few pricing options, but they won’t tell you the cost of any of them unless you book a demo. What I can tell you is that they have three tiers: Starter, Premium, and Professional, which let you do 2,500-40,000 “tasks” per month. The upside is there’s no limit to the number of vehicles, drivers, or users who can use its features, and all plans come with ePOD via signature or photo capture.

6. OptimoRoute

optimoroute

OptimoRoute has this cool feature called workload balancing. It's perfect if you've got multiple drivers. Instead of some being swamped and others twiddling their thumbs, OptimoRoute makes sure everyone's got a fair share of the work.

They also help with real-time order tracking, so you always know where your packages are. And if you're worried about last-minute changes, they've got you covered. You can make adjustments on-the-fly, even if your drivers are already on the road. 

When it comes to pricing, they've got a few options. For starters, there's the Lite plan at $39 per driver per month — that has the basics, like a mobile app for drivers, route history, exporting data, and live tracking, and ETAs, all for up to 700 orders. If you need a bit more, the Pro plan is $49 per driver each month for detailed analytics that gives you a peek into how things are going, helping you make better decisions in the future. Or, you can get in touch with them for a customized plan.

Unfortunately, you’ll have to shell out for the Pro plan if you want POD, so this might only be a good option if you can afford a higher cost and need the other Pro features like planning services and collecting customer feedback.

Final thoughts: ePOD changes the game

It’s past time to step away from paper POD and into the light of ePOD. Remember the perks, like real-time updates, fewer disputes, and a top-notch customer experience? Those are super important these days — the way you handle deliveries can have a major impact on your brand’s reputation. 

Among the sea of ePOD solutions, Circuit for Teams genuinely stands out. 

Besides features like live tracking, the intuitive app design makes it user-friendly for everyone on your team. Automatic notifications keep your customers informed, while route optimization, real-time tracking, and integrations with platforms like Shopify and Zapier make it a perfect fit for business owners looking to streamline their delivery processes and enhance customer satisfaction.

And of course, the added assurance of proof of delivery through photos and signatures is invaluable.

Ready to enhance your delivery process and offer an experience your customers will love? This is your cue: Sign up for Circuit for Teams today and feel the difference firsthand.

About the author

Matt GooldingContributor

Matt Goolding is a writer and content strategist, based in the Netherlands. He writes with leaders and teams in a variety of industries. You can find him on LinkedIn or via mattgoolding.com.

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