What You Need From Your POD Software: 5 Key Considerations
In this post, we’ll outline five things you need to look for when choosing new POD software for acquiring proof of delivery from package recipients.
Once a package has been delivered successfully to its destination, delivery drivers and dispatchers should be able to forget all about it and move on to their next delivery. In reality, though, delivery disputes can (and do) arise, with recipients claiming they haven’t received their package, it arrived damaged, or wasn’t left in the right place.
These disputes, as well as being time-consuming to resolve, can cut into the margins of any courier or delivery business because of the cost of redelivering products. You might also be liable for the cost of products lost in transit, further reducing profits.
Frequent miss-deliveries and disputes, without any way of proving what actually happened to the packages, quickly affect your delivery company’s reputation.
This is where proof of delivery (POD) software comes in. It gives you everything you need to show customers where, when, or to whom a delivery was made.
There will be no more awkward back and forth messages with customers about who left what and where. The POD records quickly solve the problem, giving you time to focus on the business of making more deliveries.
In this post, we’ll outline five things you need to look for when choosing new POD software for your delivery operations. We’ll also show how Circuit for Teams helps you capture POD, while also handling other key delivery management tasks.
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, proof of delivery while making your delivery routes far more efficient, sign up for a free trial of Circuit.
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. Customer Notification Functionality
POD software should also give you the ability to automatically send out real-time SMS and/or email notifications to customers. By notifying customers of proof of delivery, you make the whole delivery process transparent for everyone — because each party has access to the same information.
With Circuit for Teams, you can send recipient notifications as soon as each delivery is completed. These messages can contain photo evidence and/or signatures, giving customers peace of mind that their item has arrived safely. This also protects the customer from fraud and delivery errors, and helps the delivery company avoid false misdelivery claims.
Using Circuit for Teams as Your Delivery Software
We’ve mentioned already the many ways that Circuit will help as your POD software. To summarize, Circuit:
- Offers a mobile app for drivers to download on their own device. 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 whenever they are available without a long term financial commitment, and;
- Keeps customers informed by sending out POD records to help them locate their package, meaning they don’t even have to be home for the package.
And the best thing is that Circuit is much more than a POD software. Our POD functionality is one part of our delivery management platform, which handles:
- Route Optimization: Circuit for Teams quickly works out the fastest and most efficient route for your deliveries. Simply upload a spreadsheet of delivery addresses, and in a few moments Circuit computes the best route to take in all your stops. Driving instructions are provided through the driver’s preferred maps app; e.g. Google Maps, Waze, or Apple Maps.
- Driver Tracking and Route Monitoring: Dispatchers and driver 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 provides accurate arrival times for each scheduled delivery stop.
- 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, not only does Circuit recalculate the route to avoid it, but it also adjusts ETAs to take any delay into account.
Notifications are also sent to customers in real-time, advising them of 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, which will be delivered ahead of other stops. So, if a customer has paid for express delivery, for example, their address will be prioritized 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, sign up for a free trial of Circuit.