Manufacturing can be a high-risk business – you take on all the risk up front with the promise of being paid after delivery. Proof of Delivery (POD) is the golden ticket. Without it, no manufacturer gets paid. But what if your POD goes AWOL? Are you SOL? It’s possible. At first, you balk at that possibility and spend even more time and money trying to find it, but all too often you just have wait over 90 days to get paid.

All that investment and nothing to show for it. Even if the missing document is later found or an alternative form of proof is negotiated, you have still accrued extra expense in time, labor and frustration just having to track it down or replace it.

For businesses that are still in the business of actually manufacturing and delivering products, and not just pushing virtual data around the internet, dependence on paper processes is still often the norm. A complete bill of lading as proof that an order has been delivered is one such area. For manufacturers, distributors and transportation companies, the bill of lading is critical. The signatures on this document show when the shipment left the facility, when it was delivered and who signed for what – every step of the way. In other cases, another form of POD may be used but whatever it is, this documentation is key to the process of getting paid after delivery of the goods. It is often the only legal evidence that the order was completed.

Preventing Payment Delays and Losses Due to Lost POD

What happens when this proof of delivery exists only in paper form and then it’s lost, misplaced or damaged? When the usual process for confirming delivery is disrupted, even if the documentation is later found, missing PODs still can lead to missed payments, payment delays, increased processing costs, and in some cases, even lawsuits.

Investing in the software and hardware necessary to scan those documents can save time, money and headaches for years to come.

The Advantages of Managing Your PODs Electronically

The advantages of managing your PODs electronically include:

  • easily locating and retrieving documents

  • reducing storage needs and facilities costs

  • reducing the risk of losing vital business information due to fire, flood and other natural disasters

  • reducing risk of damage to or deterioration of paper documents

  • reducing labor costs required to locate, copy, deliver and re-file paper documents

  • reducing risk of lost documents

  • speeding up payment

Organizing Your Scanned Documents

Once your delivery documents have been scanned, you need to make sure that your delivery records are fully searchable so anyone who needs to retrieve them can do so with ease. Like every filing system, whether physical or electronic, the key to making the system work is a good organizational or indexing plan. Without it, your electronic records are simply a jumble of data with no rhyme or reason. You need to create business processes that allow your employees to search for agreed upon criteria such as the client name, client number,, serial number, invoice number and other data you have selected in advance. You may also want to consider a system that employs Optical Character Recognition (OCR). OCR lets you scan documents in such a way that the entire document becomes searchable by keyword. These steps will make for searching and finding the right PODs easier than ever before.

Protecting your investments with an efficient system of verifying proof of delivery is just one of the advantages to converting to electronic records management. While manufacturing is still a paper intensive industry in many ways, the manufacturing sector also relies heavily on electronic communication to run. Integrating paper and electronic record management can be the key to operating efficiently and profitably. Thinking about taking this step? Call Advantage today for more information.