Tutorial

Proof of delivery software puts logic into shipping finished goods

Proof of delivery software helps manufacturers optimize the supply chain management (SCM) processes from the delivery of final products through customer payment collection.

In its simplest form, a proof of delivery system will confirm that a shipper delivered merchandise, which triggers the customer's bank to release funds for payment. But SCM delivery software can also optimize shipping routes, schedules and loads, determining, for example, products such as food and chemicals that can and can't be shipped together.

"Delivery software helps figure out what amount your truck driver should take," said Anil Gupta, principal of Applications Marketing Group. "And it uses constraints to figure out the logical way to distribute."

Proof of delivery software might take into account the locations a truck will visit, what times a warehouse might be accepting deliveries and how to load trucks so that they're full," Gupta said. "You can maximize your trip coming back and not bring an empty truck. All that scheduling and sequencing is done by delivery software."

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The software might also size shipments, enabling a manufacturer to share a truck with another manufacturer for a small shipment, or choose a smaller truck. "All that is done by delivery planning and execution," Gupta said.

Delivery software is just one part of a larger supply chain distribution solution, which could also incorporate transportation planning, show what ships on which day, schedule deliveries, select trucks and trucking vendors.

About the author: Christine Cignoli is a Boston-based freelance writer who covers IT infrastructures and storage technology. She is a regular contributor to SearchManufacturingERP. Contact her through her website.

This was first published in December 2009

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