May 08, 2019

Cut costs by getting rid of paper waybills!

Regardless of size and structure, businesses all around the world are constantly looking for ways to cut overhead costs and increase their profit margins while doing so. This has forced many to innovate and embrace new and smarter ways of doing old things to help them achieve this.

From restructuring the members of a team according to their strengths, to using technology to automate certain manual processes to improve the speed at which certain tasks gets done and how many people are needed to complete it. But in all this, businesses often forget about cutting cost by looking for a smarter alternative to most office supplies needed and used daily by everyone in the organisation. A good example is paper.

Waybills, forms, envelopes, documents, receipts, files e.t.c are all still staples in organisations of all sizes all over the world, even though paper waste makes up roughly 26% of solid municipal solid waste in landfill sites.

Paper-based processes waste time and money, increase security risks and raise employee turnover rates. So in the banking sector for instance, it makes sense to try to cut down costs by either optimising the usage of paper like Citigroup who implemented employee education programs encouraging double-sided printing and copying and saved an estimated $98,000 in 5 weeks! Or explore more efficient ways of doing things with less paper like Wema Bank did by creating a digital product called Alat which made opening an account with them instant, paper and hassle free. This strategy has succeeded in attracting and retaining new customers, who otherwise wouldn’t be interested because of long wait times and excessive paper forms. By automating the opening process of certain account types via the app, they also saved money that would have been spent hiring a team to reach out to and convert these new customers.

Similarly, companies who are in the supply chain space are familiar with the process involved from getting orders to getting paid after delivery, most of which involves manually entering in large amounts of data sets on paper forms and transferring same from person to person , often having to add and change the information according to the situation, till the transaction is complete. This method works but here’s what’s wrong with it;

  1. Lost, damaged or misplaced documents result in lost data, privacy violations or lost customers. Paper also requires manual entry, increasing the risk of human error.
  2. Frustrating employees with needing to fill out long, tedious forms, keeping them organised and secure, filing them correctly and retrieving them when needed.
  3. It slows things down and is a waste of time and money resulting in lost productivity, wasted space(to store old and new files) and increasingly higher operating costs.

Without a digital process in place, data collected in the field on a paper form must be mailed or carried back to an office before it can be processed and used. And just like paperless office solutions such as

  • Google’s , which allows you create and share and collaborate on any office document with members of your team, eliminating the need to print documents and physically pass it around your team to get any work done.
  • Invoice which allows you generate and send professional electronic invoices on the go, easily and quickly share with clients to get paid on time.

were created to help solve some of these issues, there has been a need for such innovation in the transportation and logistics sector.

Several companies have risen to the challenge in providing a digital solution that will help transport and logistic companies combat the paper problem and also give them a clearer view of what’s going on in the field. These software aim to radically improve information flow and management regardless of your industry or application. It’s easy to see that any system that puts data into your organisation’s hands faster will result in saved time, improved employee productivity and reduced costs.

For example, imagine how more efficiently you would run if you could close orders and get paid faster all while getting increased customer satisfaction and cutting operational costs. Imagine you could plan and assign all your deliveries ahead because you had easy access to accurate information at the right time.

A solution like Electronic Proof-of-Delivery which companies like DHL and Amazon use, is a smarter, easier and more organised way to handle distribution operations of any size on the field. Not only does it eliminate the need for a physical paper waybill, it also allows you enjoy the following benefits:

  1. Instant access to data: With an electronic proof of delivery system, data from the field is transferred in real-time. This allows office-based teams to immediately complete follow up actions such as reviewing POD data, invoicing or resolving any issues with the customer. In addition, your drivers can use the mobile application to access order and customer details, including any special instructions, without the need to call the office.
  2. Fewer customer disputes: Equipping your mobile workers with an electronic proof of delivery app facilitates the capture of advanced data such as photos and GPS timestamps creating a richer data set for each order and reducing the likelihood of customer disputes.
  3. Automated processes: The real-time transmission of data from the field reduces manual data entry for your office-based teams while integration with other systems can further increase productivity. An advanced electronic proof of delivery system can also automate key processes such as pre-delivery customer notifications or real-time customer delivery tracking, reduce inbound call volumes and free up additional administrative resource.
  4. Improved on-site offering: Removing paperwork from your on-site delivery offering creates a more professional image and increases the efficiency of data collection. An electronic proof of delivery app also guides your drivers through consistent on-site processes and can prompt them to complete added-value services such as installation or packaging removal.
  5. Increased productivity of mobile staff: Streamlined electronic processes using a familiar smartphone format allow your mobile workers to progress through delivery steps quickly, usually without the need to call the office. This increased on-site efficiency can lead to the completion of more jobs per day or can free up time for the introduction of new customer service initiatives, such as collecting customer surveys on-site or offering added-value services.

Knowing there is an easier and more efficient way to manage your operations is one thing, taking the necessary steps to integrate that with your current workflow and make it it work for your business is another.

Looking for a local solution you can try?

Click here to explore Fieldinsight.