We use a local courier firm to have them delivered all across the country. The invoices themselves reside in digital format, and we use a software to print them out to paper, stuff them into letters. Have the courier company come in the evening and pick them up and give us a receipt for it.
Presumably the courier company will take them to the collection center in Karachi, where these invoices will be sorted out, bagged with other letters / parcels and each bag will find its way on the conveyor belt destined for the cargo hold of the evening flight.
After a few hours (assuming no delays, etc), the flight would land at its destination, the bag collected, and de-sorted. Next morning, courier riders would collect their deliveries and hopefully if all goes well, my invoice is delivered to the customer by mid-day.
Now I could have saved myself the trouble of sending this invoice physically in the first place – by simply emailing it. However, customers who have to pay bills are very clever. They will cite mysterious reasons, email not received, the spam filter ate it, etc. etc.
They will receive all my other emails, except the one that carries the invoice.
So – novel times – call for a novel approach.
What if I simply were to email (or upload) the PDF file (which represents the invoice) to the Courier company’s server. Let us assume I have to send an invoice to a client in Islamabad. I email the invoice before say 1400 Hours, and the office in Islamabad will print it out. Print the delivery label. Stuff it into an envelope and deliver it the same day! And I get what I want – no – not convenience (that much is given), but what I want is the proof of delivery receipt; so now my customer cannot complain that he/she does not have a copy of the invoice.
If this service were to be launched, I am sure, there exists a great market for it. People may cite ‘confidentiality’. Strictly speaking, for our case, there is nothing confidential in the invoice that the courier company or its employees can ‘steal’. For non-confidential correspondence that needs to be delivered ASAP, I think this represents an excellent medium of choice for those who would like to reduce the carbon footprint of their letter (ideally we should just be emailing, but something don’t change).
Sure there are kinks and ifs and buts in this scenario – but nothing that cannot easily be solved if one were to put their mind to it.