Courier ‘Network’ Invoicing

Here we go again.

An invoice sent by email is as valid as an invoice sent by any other means. If you publish your email address, or fax number for that matter, then people are perfectly entitled to use it to send documents to you. If you choose to ignore those documents then you’re liable for the consequences. I think it’s reasonable to assume that a company that lists a ‘Finance Email’ in its ‘Network’ Directory entry is willing to accept email invoices.

And if it’s so important that you receive the ORIGINAL POD rather than a copy then what happens when it goes missing in the post? Is a scanned copy suddenly acceptable or do you not bother charging your customer for the job?

Posted under Courier and Freight Exchanges, Courier Basics

Posted by Alec at 8:02 am, August 2, 2007

8 Comments so far

  1. Alec added on  August 2nd, 2007 at 08:51

    Was that aimed at me Chris? I’m hurt.

    It’s fine insisting that you receive invoices & PODs in a certain way as long as you inform your suppliers BEFORE they carry out work for you. There’s not much point posting a message on Chat, which hardly anybody reads apparently, and then ignoring perfectly valid invoices that are sent to you by other than your preferred means.

    What if I start insisting that all invoices are delivered by Special Delivery with consequential loss insurance in case the original POD goes missing? I’ll just ignore every invoice that arrives by other than my preferred means and if people don’t like it then that’s tough on them, I’m the customer. I’ve told you all on Chat that that’s my new system so don’t start complaining if you ignore me and don’t get paid.

  2. Alec added on  August 2nd, 0007 at 10:14

    I agree with you totally. This topic comes up time and time again because everyone has a different way of doing things and a different opinion of how things should be done.

    If the customer informs their supplier that they require a hard copy invoice accompanied by a POD before they’ll pay them then that’s fine. If they don’t inform them of their specific requirements and just ignore an emailed invoice then they’re laying themselves open to a late payment charge.

    I’ve suggested to ‘Network’ in the past that it would be useful to have space in our Directory entries to record our specific invoicing requirements and for these requirements to be included on our Job Confirmations.

    It would be nice to automate the whole process so that if (for example) Apollo don’t want to receive invoices through the ‘Network’ system they could deselect that option and it would be impossible for other members to send them invoices that way. Maybe our specific requirements could be automatically printed onto the suppliers invoice as a checklist.

    Personally I prefer to receive an emailed or ‘Network’ invoice and a faxed or scanned/emailed POD and no hard copy of anything in the post. I particularly don’t want to receive a copy of the ‘Network’ invoice that I paid before you posted it, a copy of the ‘Network’ Job Confirmation or a copy of the printed ‘Network’ non-POD.

  3. Alec added on  August 2nd, 2007 at 10:18

    You’re not keeping me happy Paul. Save yourself the stamp and don’t send in the hard copies, as long as you’ve emailed the POD and invoice that’s all we need.

  4. Alec added on  August 2nd, 2007 at 10:44

    The POD most certainly isn’t the customer’s property unless they’ve supplied their own delivery note.

    There I go arguing again.

  5. Alec added on  August 2nd, 2007 at 13:03

    While we’re on the subject, we’ve had no post delivered since Monday, so anyone that’s not invoiced us electronically hasn’t been paid this week.

  6. Alec added on  August 2nd, 2007 at 21:43

    I’ve not been asked for an ‘original hard-copy POD’ in 17 years (or whatever it is now). Very few end-user customers have ever requested a hard-copy POD of any description and out of those few not a single one has complained about receiving a photocopy, a faxed copy or a scanned copy. In fact a quickly faxed or emailed POD is invariably what’s called for to answer their customer’s query.

    Please cite an actual case where a photocopied/scanned/faxed/digitised POD hasn’t been accepted in court when an ‘original hard copy POD’ would have been. Then explain why a photocopied POD would have stood up in court because the original had been lost in the post but it wouldn’t have stood up in court under any other circumstances.

    You’re inventing hoops for your suppliers to jump through just because ‘that’s the way we do it’. There’s no logic whatsoever to your requirements.

    That said, it’s entirely up to you what hoops you require your suppliers to jump through just to get paid. As long as you make this irrational obsession with paper clear to your suppliers before you enter into a contract with them then it’s entirely a matter of your and their personal choice.

    Long live diversity.

  7. Alec added on  August 2nd, 2007 at 22:27

    Maybe it’s down to the difference between ‘sameday courier’ and ‘express light haulage’? Most traditional ‘sameday courier’ deliveries aren’t deliveries of goods but more delivery of a service; as Gordon says, the customer is screaming for a POD before the goods are even on the van – by the next day they’ve already acknowledged that the delivery’s been made and sent an email thanking you for the service.

    Maybe ‘goods’ that are delivered as part of the more routine manufacture-deliver-receive cycle are more likely to request a hard copy POD.

    Even carrying out routine work for breweries, computer suppliers, mobile phone manufacturers, jewellers, the MOD, some other Government departments I can’t mention, banks, airlines, etc, etc, I’ve never come across any company (except for Parceline now I come to think of it, back in the mid 90s when they introduced their POD scanning system – they needed the originals, signed in black ink because their scanning system couldn’t read anything else) that have required ‘original hard copy PODs’.

  8. Alec added on  August 2nd, 2007 at 22:36

    Happy Birthday Mark. 59 again is it?

    Gerrard, there’s no high horse – I said if that’s what you need then agree it with your suppliers beforehand. I had one of those rare jobs the other day that I needed a hard copy POD back ASAP; I advised Mark in advance and he faxed it over to me within 2 hours of it being delivered 90 miles away from him. The customer received his emailed copy 2 minutes later and was able to invoice his customer for £20K the same day and so receive payment in August rather than September. My customer jumped through a hoop to get paid a month earlier, I jumped through a hoop to facilitate it, Mark jumped through a hoop to allow me to do so. We all knew what was expected from us in advance and we all did what was expected. No problems.

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