Contactless POD Tracking With a Proof of Delivery App
There's a famous quote that goes, "There are only two guarantees in life: death and taxes." In reality, if you're in logistics or trucking, you know there are three guarantees in life: death, taxes, and proofs of delivery (PODs).
You might be asking yourself, "Great Scott! Why PODs but not bills of lading (BOLs) on the list?" Yes, BOLs and PODs are both documents of critical importance, and they are essential pieces of paperwork for your shipment. But they have one major difference:
- A BOL is a receipt from a carrier for the transportation of goods.
- A POD is a receipt signed by the party receiving the goods.
In other words, the PODs make the top three guarantees in life because you need that POD in order to get paid!
What's a POD? (Hint: It's Not That Long-Form Interview Streaming in Your Earbuds)
Along with helping ensure you get paid, PODs ensure that the initial BOL agreement was upheld. And either party can legally rely on a POD if required, just like a BOL. Shippers and carriers also like PODs because they shift legal responsibility for the freight to the consignee. (Freedom!)
Consignees like PODs too because a POD allows them to refuse delivery based on discrepancies, missing freight, or poor condition of goods. It also allows consignees to note damaged freight on a delivery they accept. (Wait a second, pal!)
That said, if you're reading this you're probably looking to download a POD app, or at least get info about the best POD app available. You've come to the right place. Consider this article a guidebook for everything pertaining to:
- Proofs of delivery
- Logistics apps and the digitization of traditional documents
- How you can better accomplish your goals with the Vector app
We've already established why PODs are one of life's big three guarantees. But in reality, contactless POD apps—and the digitization of logistics documents—are a huge step in the technological evolution of business. Put another way, proof of delivery apps are really carrying their weight for companies in the logistics industry right now. We'll get into all that below. Everybody ready? Climb in, and let's go...back to the future!
A Time Before Contactless Proof of Delivery Apps? Great Scott!
First of all, let's start by traveling back in time. Remember when only paper documents and paper proofs of delivery existed? I know—the memories are fading faster than Marty McFly's family.
In the paper days, PODs were still the critical requirement of getting paid. In general, the same information has always applied to PODs. The information we're talking about is basic. That info is also critical for avoiding any contention between shipper, carrier, and consignee. It includes...
- the shipper's information
- the consignee's information
- proper dates and/or time stamps
- the contents of the shipment or delivery
- Description or quantity of freight
- the delivery address of the consignee or jobsite
- a signature from the consignee's representative
- a countersignature from the driver or carrier
So what's the major difference between then and now? Time!
Back then, trucking companies had to wait for drivers to return to the office with the physical POD. Say, for instance, a driver had to deliver a shipment of puffy orange vests from the east coast to Hill Valley, California. It could take weeks for that driver to get back to the office.
Once the driver got home, the back office still had to process all the paperwork and send snail mail PODs back to the sender with an invoice. Then the office would wait for snail mail to deliver a paper check (all the while hoping there were no complaints about the delivery). Talk about a cash flow nightmare! No wonder people kept searching for a better, faster, cleaner, easier way to do business.
Back To the Future of PODs
If we travel back to the future, we trace a history of technological advancements that made huge impacts on the bottom line of logistics companies. For example—and I can hardly type this, but—the fax machine was revolutionary technology! The next big game changer was certainly email. Email was sort of like a fax machine without the terrible screeching sounds and image quality.
Now, the future of the logistics industry is in imaging software, document digitization, and contactless POD apps. Other tech companies have logistics apps, but Vector's is widely considered the best.
What Makes Vector's Contactless Electronic PODs Best in Class?
For starters, Vector's all-in-one solution for contactless and paperless electronic PODs streamlines everything. Some apps require a third-party piece of hardware. In contrast, you don't need any extra hardware for Vector because it's a cloud-based app. Just download the Vector proof of delivery app onto your driver's and consignee's phone or device.
The Vector app is designed to make deliveries safer. Contact-free deliveries minimize the potential threat of businesses (including shippers, carriers, and consignees) getting disrupted due to illness. Traditional signature-on-device and paper-based POD processes aren't in line with safe social distancing.
In addition, Vector software can use electronic recording systems, such as bar codes and GPS. You can include supporting documents and pictures along with the POD. And you can instantly transmit all the data back to your company's transport management system safely.
Electronic PODs can help streamline invoicing—and get you paid faster! When you synchronize Vector's imaging software with your TMS, your company can set up your customers for automated billing. It might not quite be 1.21 gigawatts, but faster is always better when it comes to getting paid!
Vector Offers Added Benefit of Streamlined Workflows for Your Drivers and Back Office
The benefits of Vector don't stop at invoicing speed. The billing process previously took weeks, but Vector's proof of delivery app can reduce the billing process to minutes. With Vector's electronic proof of delivery app, each delivery involves:
- safer distancing
- faster processing times at shippers and consignees
- easier data entry
- drivers spending less time at each delivery
- fewer missed appointments
- getting more done in a day, every day
In your back office, Vector's automatic synchronization with your transportation management system requires less data entry and manual checking. In other words, your staff can track PODs better and spend more time on value-added activities, such as customer service. Managers can access data, review reports, and analyze numbers in real time. This allows them to make nimble adjustments. Also, it lets them address small problems before they become big problems.
Overall, Vector helps improve productivity and effectiveness throughout your entire organization.
Vector streamlines workflows. Traditional signature-on-device and paper-based options are slow and eat productivity. Clean digital files have replaced the mountain of grainy paperwork and the screech of the fax machine. Tracking your contactless proofs of delivery can now easily harmonize along with eBOLs, trip sheets, and pictures, into your company's TMS and holistic tech stack.
What's in a Title? and What If There's Damaged Freight?
As noted, BOLs and PODs each act as a document of title. They track the ownership of the shipment. If your driver pops open the hatch and the freight is in less-than-excellent condition, this is the moment when Vector truly shines.
First of all, always remember the three golden rules of damaged freight:
- and document
It's essential to note damaged and/or missing pieces on the proof of delivery—which both parties sign. In addition, you must specify what that damage is, even if it appears to be something minor, like a tear in the packaging material.
The best way to document freight damage is with pictures. The best, cleanest, easiest way to organize your damaged freight pictures and documentation is within the Vector contactless proof of delivery app. Read more about everything Vector can do for you here.
Death, Taxes, and Proofs of Delivery?
To summarize, we took a look at the short list of life's guarantees today: death, taxes, and PODs. What Vector is doing can help us navigate all three. When it comes to death, anything that helps me get my job done faster and more efficiently gives me more quality of life back. In regard to taxes, anything that helps keep my documents organized and data accessible makes taxes less of a burden. And finally, for all the reasons noted above, when it comes to PODs, Vector's contactless proof of delivery app makes deliveries a snap.
Don't be a chicken, McFly, check out Vector today!
This post was written by Brian Deines. Brian believes that every day is a referendum on a brand’s relevance, and he’s excited to bring that kind of thinking to the world of modern manufacturing and logistics. He deploys a full-stack of business development, sales, and marketing tools built through years of work in the logistics, packaging, and tier-1 part supply industries serving a customer base comprised of Fortune 1000 OEMs.