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Using your delivery slips to speed up payment from customers

It goes without saying that your company’s goal is to provide your customers with quality services or products. But to do so, you need money coming in. What if you could maximize your cash flow with delivery slips?

Delivery slips play a key role in billing

Delivery slips are an important link in your company’s cash flow chain. They are part of the three-way matching process, which involves matching the purchase order, the delivery slip and the invoice.

If one link in this chain is missing or defective, billing will be inaccurate or simply non-existent. So proper delivery slip handling has a direct impact on your billing and your cash flow. The faster the proof of delivery comes in, the faster the invoice can be sent out to the customer. An illegible or missing delivery slip will delay billing: without proof that your customer received the delivery, you can’t send out the invoice.

And when you consider the example of an office supplies company that generates between 300 and 600 delivery slips per month, you can see what a time-consuming job it can be! So it would be a good idea to give the process some serious thought and optimize it.

The shipping industry is growing fast

Companies receive large numbers of deliveries every day. If we look into the companies that specializes in shipping, UPS makes more than 19 million deliveries of packages and documents around the world every day (2016 figures). Its competitor Fedex delivers 12 million parcels daily (2017 figures).

The reason there are so many deliveries is, not surprisingly, the boom in e-commerce. While the boom has mainly affected the B2C sector, B2B has not been left behind. According to Forrester, in 2015, 74% of B2B buyers did some of their searches for goods for their businesses online. Thirty percent of them made purchases online in 2015, and that proportion has doubled in 2017 (56%).

This may seem like a minuscule number, but Forrester expects B2B e-commerce to grow by 15% between now and 2020, with sales totalling $1 trillion in the United States and more than $6 trillion worldwide. That’s more than double the total value of B2C e-commerce!

The problems with having huge numbers of delivery slips

With all these figures in mind, the growth of online purchasing in the B2B sector suggests that the number of deliveries to companies will also increase substantially. And with it, the quantity of delivery slips signed and recorded.

Looking at the big picture, imagine the volume of paper that a company will have to process and store. On top of that there’s the verification process (three-way matching), whatever corrections have to be made, and calls to the customer for confirmation. Things take even longer if the document is lost, misfiled or illegible. Did you know that an employee spends 3.5 hours a week looking for lost documents and three hours recreating them (IDC)? According to Docuware, every misfiled document costs the company $125. And since big companies lose a document every 12 seconds, according to the same source, the cost isn’t trivial!

Speeding up payment with digital delivery slips

To avoid adding to the time between making a delivery and receiving payment, why not digitize your delivery slips?

That way, the proof of delivery will be on the delivery person’s tablet or telephone. There’s no need to print the document before delivery; the customer just has to sign directly on the tablet.

Besides cutting down on paper use, digital delivery slips also save a lot of time. Once signed, the document is uploaded directly to the company’s computer system, so there’s no waiting for the delivery person to return. This also means less risk of losing the document. It can then be archived automatically, with no manual processing. No more legibility, storage or retrieval problems. Once the delivery slip is in the company’s computer system, it can even be printed if necessary.

As long as your company keeps making sales, delivery slips are unlikely to disappear. And if optimizing them will help you improve your cash flow, why not do it?

At Objectif Lune, we offer customized solutions to digitize your company’s delivery slips without completely changing your existing systems. Contact one of our consultants today and find out how we can help you.