Podfather is set to transform proof of delivery for the haulage industry

01 Nov 2007
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A radical shake-up in the way logistics are handled within the haulage industry is being offered by a new concept in the fast-expanding proof of delivery world. Podfather is the UK’s first pay-as-you-go tariff and the most integrated Proof of Delivery (POD) system on the market, seamlessly capturing time-critical data, enabling job details to be instantly sent to a driver via a handheld PDA device.

Alastair Broom, Managing Director of Podfather, explains why the haulage industry will see enormous benefits from the concept: “We were looking at ways of using technology to improve logistics and wanted to come up with a product that would be of benefit to even the smallest haulage firms. Using an electronic, on-line system has so many advantages, but small haulage businesses often don’t have the budget to make the change. In designing Podfather, we created something that everyone can afford to invest in and benefit from, whether you are one man with a van or a multinational haulage company with over 2000 trucks – in essence, we prioritised cost and simplicity.”

Jobs can be entered into Podfather manually or uploaded from an existing system via an XML interface, and can then be viewed immediately, both in the office and on the road. Allocating them to a team member is easy with a drag and drop system. Once a delivery is complete the signature is captured immediately using a 3G or GPRS-equipped handheld, and PODs can also be sent to customers via fax or email. An online customer portal lets customers search for and retrieve their own PODs, which reduces administration and improves customer service.

Broom continued, “The transparency of the system, whereby everyone can view job information at every stage of the process, is what makes it so efficient. We’ve had a really positive response from our customers so far and are confident we will continue to build on this.”

One of these customers is NWH Group, a Midlothian-based construction services company that provides a host of services, from haulage and plant hire to recycling and road sweeping. It has piloted and subsequently rolled out Podfather over the past few months.

Mark Williams, Managing Director, NWH Group commented, “We were attracted to Podfather because it’s such an integrated system and it has really helped us streamline processes throughout the business. The transition was easier than I expected and we’re very pleased with how things are now running. The difference it has made is largely due to the speed at which information is exchanged – we can track job progress much more effectively than before, and don’t have to worry about delays in invoicing due to chasing drivers for delivery paperwork.”

Podfather is an easy to install product requiring only a handheld PDA and an office-based computer system with an Internet connection.