For businesses that routinely ship items, having a delivery receipt form for every delivery is important, especially if it’s a larger and more expensive order. Delivery notes add an extra layer of security for the business because they act as proof that your customer got their order. We’re going to tell you how you would use them and what you’d use them for, define them, discuss a few ways to create them, and give you a step by step guide how to create on using Billdu’s easy platform.
What is a Delivery Note?
Simply put, a delivery note is a document that you send with each shipment of goods you send out to your customers. This delivery note will have a description of everything in the shipment, and the quantity in the order. Once your order makes it to your buyer or the consignee, they’ll sign a copy of your dispatch note signaling that they received the shipment and it was correct. The signed copy comes back to you to keep as proof of delivery.
When to Use Delivery Notes
Ideally, you want to use a delivery note each time you send out a shipment of goods because it’ll help your business if a customer accepts the shipment and then disputes the payment due. It helps to prevent discrepancies between you as a business owner and your customer.
If you plan to ship a large quantity of items, or if the items are more expensive, it should have a delivery note attached to the shipment. However, you should also double check any shipments you send out to ensure that everything you listed in the delivery note is in the shipment, everything is in good condition that is free of damage, and you didn’t accidentally add any additional items that you don’t have on the delivery note.
You should also plan to keep these delivery notes for at least five years from the point of delivery. You want to attach your copy to your invoice to ensure that everything stays together and organized so you can find it should you ever need proof that you held up your end of the contract with your customer.
Benefits of Delivery Notes
There are many benefits that come with creating delivery notes for your business. We’ve picked out the top benefits that come with implementing them into your daily operations, no matter how large or small your business is. They include:
- Reduces Disputes – The last thing you need is to have a dispute with your customer because they claim that they didn’t get all of the items they ordered, and you’re positive that you sent them. Since you double check your shipment when you compare it to your delivery note, you know everything is there. Additionally, your clients sign this note stating that they got everything in the shipment, and this lowers your chances of any disputes.
- Improves Accountability – Maybe something did happen in transit, and your driver noticed it but chose not to say anything. If you know everything was fine when it left your business, but it wasn’t when it reached your customer, something happened in transit. This can make your drivers more careful if they know they can get held accountable for their driving.
- Protect Your Bottom Line – Delivery notes are one way to prevent fraud and chargebacks from happening. If a customer accepts your delivery and signs for it, you’ve upheld your end of the contract. If they decide to dispute it later down the line, you have proof that everything was correct at the time of delivery, and this can help protect your company’s bottom line.
Ways to Create Delivery Notes
There are two broad categories for creating delivery notes. Both categories work well, but it’s up to you to decide which one works best for your business. You should pick one way and stick to it though to avoid confusion when you try to switch from one format to the other.
Paper is the traditional way of sending or issuing shipping notes. Either you can hand write this delivery note, or you can use a delivery note template and fill in the relevant information before you print it off and send it with your order. You usually send two copies along, and you get the copy that the customer signs while they get the second copy.
You can attach this paper copy to their invoice once you send it out, and this helps you keep everything organized and easy to find if you need to refer back to it. This delivery note should contain all of your relevant information like your business name, address, phone number, email, website, and fax in the header. You should also clearly list your customer with their information, the items, quantity, and the price.
The second form for delivery notes is electronic, and it’s quickly becoming extremely popular with large and small businesses because it’s convenient. You can build up a database with your customers and items that you can then add straight to your proof of delivery template. When you finish with your dispatch note, you can either download it as a PDF file and print it off to send with your shipment, or you can attach it to an email and send it to your customer.
If you use software to create your delivery note template, they’ll usually have a tracking system in place so you can pull it back up and review it. You can also usually enable signatures for electronic delivery notes, and your customer would sign this note upon receipt before it updated in your database.
If you’d like to create electronic delivery notes, read on to see how Billdu can help you streamline delivery note creation. Alternatively, we encourage you to try our free delivery note generator that is available online.