Losing delivery paperwork, or worse still using it an excuse for non-payment of invoices, is damaging for both supplier and customer. So when Scotland’s longest established plant and tool hire organisation began piloting The PODFather, the UK’s first pay-as-you-go, proof-of-delivery system in two of its busiest depots, its quest to adopt a ‘paperless’ approach to its hire contract and delivery transactions moved a step closer.
For nearly 30 years, Martin Plant Hire has provided a wide range of tools & equipment to both the professional trade and the weekend DIY enthusiast across the country. Currently, the company operates from 16 strategically located depots across Scotland from Inverness to Ayr and is rightfully considered to be Scotland’s leading plant and tool hire specialists. The company has a continual programme of expansion and improvement in the range of plant and services it provides.
Douglas Smeaton, Regional Manager for Martin Plant Hire in the east of Scotland takes up the story. ‘For the past two months, our depots at South Gyle, Edinburgh and Leith have been trialling The PODFather. Given the nature of our business, we are very paper-dependent and there comes a time when we have to weigh up the advantages of electronic or web enabled solutions which could help us greatly decrease our reliance on our paper-based administrative procedures.’
‘We found out about The PODFather through a presentation given by Colin McCreadie, Business Development Manager for The PODFather to Craig Lenathen, our Finance Director. The PODFather is for use by any company that requires signed paperwork to complete their invoicing process, so, on his recommendation, we started pilot trials of the system.’
‘It’s a terrific system. Robust enough to not only cope with the increasing throughput of business through our hire centres, where customers electronically sign for goods collected at the hire desk, but it also enables our field sales reps and delivery drivers to capture signatures from customer’s irrespective of their location. This, in turn, helps us to process invoicing quickly and effectively’, he added.
The system can handle a variety of job types including deliveries, collections, and exchanges, making it ideal for any company that needs to move a physical item from A to B.
Martin Plant Hire staff can send its hire contracts via The PODFather to its delivery driver and when the goods are signed for on a PDA, the proof of delivery information can then be sent via The PODFather website back to Martin Plant Hire’s head office in Motherwell, for invoice processing.
Douglas Smeaton sums up the future plans for The PODFather within Martin Plant Hire. ‘The pilot has been a tremendous success for us and we are now rolling The PODFather out across our other fourteen hire centres. The PODFather really does give us an edge in real-time access to proof of delivery, providing the kind of service that has only been available to much larger national and multi-national operators. We had to ensure that all our traditional paperwork processes were assimilated though The PODFather and this has been achieved.’
‘Our goal is to make paperwork a thing of the past and The PODFather is helping to speed up this process.’