What You Need From Your POD Software: 6 Key Considerations
Discover six key considerations for selecting the right POD software. Make sure your business needs are met with our comprehensive guide.
Want a simple, cost-effective way to capture proof of delivery while making delivery routes more efficient? Start your free trial of Circuit for Teams today.
Once a package has been delivered successfully to its destination, drivers and dispatchers should forget about it and move on to their next delivery, right?
In reality, delivery disputes can (and do) happen, with customers claiming they never got their package, their package arrived damaged, or the delivery driver didn’t leave it in the right place.
On top of being time-consuming to resolve, these disputes can cut into the margins of any last-mile supply chain due to the cost of redelivering products.
Your business might also be liable for the cost of products lost in transit, further reducing profits.
Frequent misdeliveries and disputes — without any way of proving what happened to the packages — can quickly affect your delivery company’s reputation.
This post will outline six things to consider when choosing POD software for your delivery operations.
We’ll also explain how Circuit for Teams can help you get POD while handling other key delivery management tasks.
What is proof of delivery (POD) software?
POD software is a technology solution that allows delivery drivers to establish and prove they made a delivery.
It usually involves getting an on-screen signature from the customer, or a photograph of the package in a safe place, such as the doorstep.
But customers can also get delivery confirmation through geotagging or time stamps.
POD software usually comes as an interactive app that delivery drivers can download on their phones.
You can get data from the app through real-time integrations with companion delivery software. This helps keep customers and dispatchers in the loop.
What to Look for in Your Proof of Delivery Software
1. An Easy-to-Use Mobile App for Your Delivery Drivers
When POD software comes with an accompanying mobile app, it’s easier for drivers to use it when they’re out on the road. This has the benefit of:
- Reducing mistakes when they’re capturing proof of delivery;
- Making capturing POD super simple, as drivers already know how to navigate their own device, and;
- Making POD software easier to integrate with popular mapping apps.
Some POD software will come with proprietary scanners or terminals. These are a hefty investment for a small or mid-sized company, and it makes it difficult to scale up when you need to take on extra drivers for busy periods like the holidays.
For more help choosing a mobile app for electronic POD (ePOD), take a look at our recent post: How to Choose the Best Proof of Delivery App for Your Delivery Team
How the Circuit App Makes Capturing Proof of Delivery Easy for Drivers
The Circuit for Teams driver app is available for both iOS and Android devices. It’s compatible with most smartphones that delivery drivers and couriers already use.
POD software features, like electronic signature capture and photo capture, are included — and use the in-built cameras and touchscreens of a driver’s existing smartphone or tablet. No need to invest in any new hardware whatsoever.
And the ease of use of the Circuit driver app — as well as the intuitive interface of the web application used by dispatchers and managers — makes new driver onboarding and training simpler and more straightforward.
2. Electronic Signature (E-Signature) Capture
Proof of delivery software must provide a way of capturing customer signatures electronically. When it comes to electronic signature capture, you’ll benefit from:
- Being able to capture signatures on a mobile device;
- Having signatures uploaded and stored in the cloud, and;
- Sending electronic signatures to the recipient automatically.
Electronic signature capture is particularly useful when a customer isn’t at home to receive their delivery. Drivers can then choose to leave the delivery with a neighbor, for example. When delivery drivers use Circuit for Teams for POD, they can use their own smartphone or tablet to get a time stamped e-signature.
Circuit then sends out real-time SMS and email notifications, attaching the name, address, and signature collected — giving customers the information they need to track down their package when they get home.
For a more in-depth look at why electronic proof of delivery beats traditional paper-based systems, see our article: Electronic Proof of Delivery: How You Can Obtain Secure Paperless ePOD
3. Photo Capture, So You Can Identify Where Packages Get Left
As an alternative to electronic signatures, photo capture functionality is beneficial to delivery services that need to gather POD, because:
- When a customer isn’t home, drivers can snap a photo of where the package has been left using their smartphone;
- The POD software can also let drivers send a note to the customer about where they can find the package, and;
- It gives customers everything they need to locate their package and reduces costly redeliveries.
Without a photo capture functionality, like what we built into Circuit for Teams, when drivers leave a package on the doorstep or in a porch, delivery companies have no way of proving where they left it — or even if it was delivered at all.
This feature also gives dispatchers and team managers an indisputable record that the package has been delivered correctly. And if not, it makes it easier to track down the misplaced package and forward it onto the customer.
From the driver’s point of view:
- Photo capture prevents having to return to drop off the package later, and;
- It reduces the total time spent on the delivery route — and on each stop.
And from the customer’s point of view:
- They won’t have to wait for redelivery of their package, and they can get hold of the item they ordered much sooner, plus;
- They don’t even need to be home for a delivery to be made.
4. Scalability and Cost-Efficiency for the Long-Term
Every business needs to consider the scalability of the software they choose, and it’s no different when it comes to delivery management tools and POD software.
Will the functionality grow with your business? Will the pricing model allow you to increase the number of deliveries you make? What about scaling up during busy times and down when things get quiet?
These are important questions.
By choosing Circuit for Teams, you can scale up or down as you need. You can add extra drivers on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. And there’s no limit on the number of POD captures. This means your delivery operations can expand or shrink along with demand, without you having to make risky commitments.
And when your POD software works on any iPhone or Android smartphone, you don’t need to buy expensive hardware. This makes your operation more instantly scalable, and cuts down on the overheads of buying (and maintaining) technology.
5. Improve customer service
POD software should also allow you to improve customer service by automatically sending real-time SMS and email notifications to customers.
By notifying customers of proof of delivery, you streamline the delivery process for everyone because each party has access to the same information.
With Circuit for Teams, you can send customer notifications when your drivers make each delivery.
You can also share the customer service details on tracking links to improve the customer experience.
This makes it easy for customers to get in touch quickly if they have any issues with the delivery.
These messages can have photo evidence and/or signatures, giving customers peace of mind that their items arrived safely.
This also protects the customer from fraud and delivery errors and helps your delivery company avoid false misdelivery claims.
We also offer the ability to copy, view, and share proof of delivery (POD) documents, making document management hassle-free.
6. Affordable pricing
POD software can be a standalone offering or part of a multiservice package. The second option usually includes route planning, live tracking, or other related solutions.
Because of this, the pricing for POD software can differ quite a bit.
Affordability is usually a key factor when picking the POD software right for your needs. There are several pricing structures you can choose from, including:
- Free add-on. Some companies offer POD software as a free add-on to their route optimization and driver management systems.
- Monthly fee. This involves paying a monthly fee for POD software. It’s usually a pay-as-you-go model.
- Per-driver/vehicle rate. This pricing structure is tied to the number of drivers or vehicles you have. You’ll have to pay extra for each driver or vehicle you add to your business.
- Tiered pricing. This pricing model is based on the number or quality of services, features, or benefits you want. It can be a great option for startups and businesses starting to scale.
Consider your specific needs and goals when comparing price points of different POD software. Choose one that gives you the most benefits per dollar spent.
Circuit for Teams is worth considering if you’re looking for an affordable POD software solution.
Our pricing is on a per-driver, per-month model, with a starting price of $100 for your first two drivers with our Essentials plan.
If you want to include proof of delivery, we recommend our Standard plan — starting at $200 per month with the first three drivers included.
Depending on your plan, you can add drivers for as low as $40 per driver per month.
This makes Circuit for Teams a cost-effective option for midsize businesses with more than ten delivery drivers.
Plus, Circuit for Teams offers a free trial to test its features before committing to a premium plan today (without needing to speak to a sales rep first.).
Using Circuit for Teams as your delivery software
We’ve mentioned the many ways that Circuit can help as your POD software. To summarize, Circuit for Teams:
- Offers a mobile app for drivers to download on their own devices. This makes it easy to use, affordable, and instantly scalable.
- Includes electronic signature and photo capture to reduce redeliveries by giving customers accurate information about where their package is.
- Can be instantly scaled up or down when times get busy or quiet, allowing you to take on more deliveries when they’re available without a long-term financial commitment.
- Keeps customers informed by sending POD records to help them find their package, meaning they don’t have to be home for your package
- Allows you to copy, view, and share POD photos and signature captures, streamlining dispatch management.
The best thing is that Circuit for Teams is much more than POD software.
Our POD functionality is part of our delivery management platform, which handles:
Circuit for Teams quickly works out the fastest and most efficient route for your deliveries. Upload a spreadsheet of delivery addresses, and in a few moments, Circuit optimizes the best route to take in all your stops.
Driving instructions come through the driver’s preferred navigation app, such as Google Maps, Waze, or Apple Maps.
Driver tracking and route monitoring
Dispatchers and team managers can use the Circuit for Teams web app to track drivers and monitor their progress along the delivery route in real time.
This prevents interruptions to drivers along their routes and gives accurate arrival times for each scheduled delivery stop or pickup.
Real-time ETAs and customer notifications
Circuit for Teams adjusts the estimated time of arrival (ETA) based on real-time progress along each delivery route. If a courier hits traffic, Circuit recalculates the route to avoid it and adjusts ETAs to take any delay into account.
Notifications are also sent to customers in real time, letting them know the latest ETA and when they can expect their package to arrive.
Time windows and priority delivery
Circuit for Teams allows dispatchers and drivers to establish priority deliveries — delivered ahead of other stops.
So, if a customer pays for express delivery, for example, Circuit prioritizes their address on the delivery route.
If you manage a team of drivers and want a simple, cost-effective way to capture proof of delivery while making your delivery routes far more efficient, Start your free trial of Circuit for Teams today.