The promise of the paperless office has been around for many years. Many industries were able to take advantage of options that minimised hard copies and allowed them to do most of their business using digital documents. However, the road freight industry was left behind. Paperwork has remained a central medium for doing business, particularly when it comes to proof of delivery. A solution took longer to be developed that was truly fit for purpose and user friendly. With the functionality offered by GoDesta, going paperless is now a reality for the transport industry. One of GoDesta’s first clients, Metro Express, has experienced the transition to paperless operations and have shared their impressions with us.

Road freight runs on paper

Metro Express is a busy transport company operating out of Brisbane for over 35 years. They have one of the largest fleets of on-demand crane trucks in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia. Russell Queale, Group Operations Manager for Metro Express, describes the extent to which their business was reliant on hard copy documents.

“Every stage of the delivery process was recorded on paper, usually collected by the drivers. A client docket says that x is being delivered, so drivers need to get a signature proving that the client has received it. Pen and paper were used at every stage as proof of delivery is essential.

“However, this paper-reliant system had several flaws. Drivers had to keep all these important documents with them, under or on seats, or in the glovebox. Paperwork would sometimes blow out the window, have food or drink spilled on it, or be otherwise lost. At the end of the week, when all the paperwork needed to be organised, it could be chaos. We needed to photocopy the drivers’ paperwork, keep copies, and send another copy to the client attached to their invoice. This was often challenging if the documents were illegible or missing.”

Good record-keeping was made even more difficult for Metro Express when clients would require that drivers use their own branded paperwork. This meant that drivers not only had to transport and manage their Metro Express paperwork, but the client’s specific paperwork, significantly complicating matters. What’s more, during the 2011 Brisbane floods, a large percentage of archived hard-copy documents were lost.

Payments also relied on paper. Drivers were paid by cheque and clients were sent their invoices in the mail which added days to the sending and receiving of payments. This is not ideal for a road freight company which relies on cashflow. It was time to make some big changes.

GoDesta makes going paperless possible

Metro Express made the transition away from paper in three stages.

Firstly, they started scanning their paperwork to facilitate provision of proof of delivery. This made attaching a copy of the proof of delivery to an email easier, but it was extremely time-consuming.

Secondly, Metro Express instructed their drivers to take photos of the delivered item/s as proof of delivery. This worked well unless the driver forgot to take the photo as then delivery could not be proven. Metro Express then had to rely on GPS from the driver’s phone to provide proof. They hired an admin person to be responsible for the significant amount of work required to provide proof of delivery to their clients.

Thirdly, in 2021, Metro Express started using GoDesta. Immediately, Metro Express started seeing the benefits of a paperless system, as Russell explains once again.

“GoDesta was smart enough to identify what proof of delivery was needed by each client, even if they required multiple proofs of delivery. The GoDesta app will not let the driver move on to their next delivery until they have gathered the necessary proof of delivery, whether it be photos, signatures, time of delivery, or a combination of several sources of data. The app tracks a large amount of information automatically, so our office and our clients can track deliveries according to GPS, photos, time stamps, and much more. This removed the need for drivers to keep runsheets.

“Invoicing became significantly easier with GoDesta. We always did our invoicing on a Monday, but with hardcopy documents, it would often take one to two people to do it over a whole day. Now, it was done by 10am on Monday by one person. This also saved mailing invoices to clients, who would receive their invoices by the end of the week if we were lucky, which delayed payment. As a cashflow business, there was immense pressure to get the invoices in the post on Monday. Suddenly, we could send all our invoices with the press of a button. It was night and day.”

Metro Express also noticed an uptick in the satisfaction of their subcontractors. Before, drivers used to have to spend their fuel to come to the office, pick up their cheque, then drive to the bank to deposit it so they could get paid. This was especially an issue in Sydney and Melbourne where geography made these trips inconvenient. With GoDesta, everyone was paid easily, quickly, and accurately with a bank transfer. Not only were drivers getting paid faster but so was the business.

The amount of data automatically gathered by GoDesta also meant that reporting became much easier and more comprehensive. Metro Express was able to quickly create detailed reports for their clients including weight of delivery, reference numbers, and precise time of delivery. This allowed them to build better reputation with their clients. What’s more, because GoDesta can be fully customised to each client, additional fields can be added and made mandatory so a driver cannot move on to the next delivery without gathering all necessary data. All without a piece of paper in sight.

Streamline your transport operations

Paperless road freight operations are possible with GoDesta. Gather proof of delivery with ease and streamline your payments and invoicing. To find out more about how GoDesta can simplify your workflows, contact us here.

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