Digitizing The Last Mile with Electronic Proof of Delivery (ePoD)
As an application often bundled with other features on a handheld mobile device, ePoD (electronic proof of delivery) provides real-time electronic delivery confirmation and freight or package delivery tracking. It can include enabling features, such as electronic signature capture, GPS coordinates, and photos to improve documentation and to increase the timeliness and number of accurate deliveries. The solution enables technicians and those responsible for deliveries to provide accurate and timely information where and when it’s needed.
For our customers, we’ve found that a common misperception of ePoD adoption is that it requires extensive internal changes. Instead, adoption can simplify that communication link between driver and delivery mobilization and in-house delivery tracking processes. From an efficiency standpoint, our customers that digitize the “last mile” with ePoD achieve key benefits. These include:
- Reduced Billing Cycles – Near instant proof of delivery records lead to prompt processing and quicker invoicing to improve overall company cash-flow. In the past, manual processes such as filling out paperwork resulted in substantial time lags for invoicing (30-45 days) and receivables (net 30 days). With an electronic format offered by ePoD, that process can turn into less than 24 hours.
- Track and Trace – For many of our customers, having product oversight is critical, especially in sectors such as food distribution and pharmaceuticals. Software such as ePoD makes it possible to confirm the entity responsible for handling each product at every point of the delivery process. Moreover, ePoD solutions enable organizations to track items from point of origin to warehouse through delivery to better meet regulations and adhere to increased federal and state standards. In cases of food-borne illness, agencies like the FDA demand the most accurate transportation data to trace the origin of outbreaks. Similar requirements can also be applied to the pharmaceutical industry.
- Eliminate Paper-based Processes – In our experience as a company working with organizations that are transitioning to full mobility, the process of eliminating paper-based processing can have a domino effect. Full digitalization better aligns with the capabilities of technicians or transportation workers in the field, and produces successful outcomes. For example, these include reduced administration costs and greater invoicing efficiency due to elimination of manual errors, such as filling out forms illegibly or incorrectly. In addition, invoices can be electronically sent and approved in a fraction of the time that paper-based processes require.
From an efficiency standpoint, the benefits listed above are important enablers for the back office. As another key Panasonic service, we offer our customers planning guidance, deployment support and solution tweaking to best align our mobile devices and the applications to meet their needs. Our kitting service consists of configuring a device with software and imaging to the exact specifications of our customers. Another area customers look for support is accessory kits that can consists of the vehicle mount, wiring harness, and a carrying case that can all be shipped in a single box or kit to the customer.
Additionally, in our experience, most companies lack the in-house IT support to deploy and service mobile solutions to their fleet of vehicles and the users. Engaging an experienced strategic rugged mobile hardware vendor for immediate-use deployment can ensure that a fleet is ready to perform and perhaps most importantly, meets safety standards. For example, our onsite installation team ensures that the mount on a dashboard inside a vehicle is properly wired to avoid possible fire hazards and provide customers with a turn-key solution.
We can quickly scale within a very small window of time, which most other mobile device and services companies don’t have the resources for. Our engineers can also be made available for end-user training as needed or to be accessible if there’s an on-site issue.
We at Panasonic have a full understanding of the entire mobile services process—pre-sale guidance to installations and post-sale maintenance, and offer the ability to meet the mobility needs of a whole generation of both new and established companies as they move toward enhanced digital and mobile enablement. Panasonic Toughbook and Toughpad devices are purpose built to meet the environmental, workflow and security needs of enterprise mobility customers. For more information, visit the Panasonic website or email us: