Automation endures and reshapes the foundation of supply chain management. As automation matures, advanced technology makes switching from manual to automated supply chain communications easier. With software, such as robotics process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI), as well as leveraging the might of an advanced transportation management system (TMS), more efficient and streamlined management is simpler and more accessible than ever.
There are many issues with manual supply chain communications. Some challenges are due to the human error associated with manual practices. Manual supply chain communications often result in higher labor costs or discrepancies that lead to customer dissatisfaction. Such errors can also result in inconsistencies within the logistics process, such as route planning discrepancies or trucks arriving well beyond planned times. These lead to profit loss, but they also put a dent in the company’s reputation. Not being able to provide excellent, fast service will kill a business in this industry. While the outlook with traditional communications seems bleak, automated supply chain communication can ultimately lead to the reduction of costs that are associated with manual operations.
As technology becomes more powerful and useful by the day, it is a massive opportunity for supply chain management teams. Technology applications using RPA and AI create a whole new way of streamlining everyday tasks. Transitioning to an automated supply chain communications platform will enable logistics to consolidate tasks, keep an eye on data in real-time, and use that data to prevent errors. And trends revealed within leading industry surveys indicate support for RPA is on the rise. According to Supply Chain Dive, “These are benefits companies are apparently buying into. A study from the Information Services Group found 72% of enterprises would be using RPA by this year. And a report from EY found material requirement planning, order management, and procurement are some of the top tasks that could be aided by RPA. Tanja Küppers, the VP and global head of finance transformation at DHL Supply Chain, spoke with Deloitte about how the company is using RPA and said technology can increase the quality and consistency of a process.” In other words, as this technology becomes more visible and available, the more automated supply chain communications become. Keeping up with the competition is increasingly critical, and that is one opportunity businesses should not pass up. Simultaneously, RPA and AI also redefine the fundamental way customers interact with the supply chain—such as relying on chatbots and interactive resources to find out key details surrounding shipment status, ETA, and more.
Some of the ways to successfully operate automated supply chain communications are:
Supply chain leaders can reap the many benefits of using an RPA or AI for automated supply chain communications. These include reduced labor costs, increased revenue, predictive maintenance opportunities to avoid out-of-service (OOS) designation, consolidation of tasks, automatic replenishment, and real-time monitoring of sales and distribution. When you think about the possibilities for automating communications in the supply chain, there is no limit. And the streamlined benefits of transitioning to a more sophisticated freight management program will create less stress and assist all logistics levels. At least, your team can unlock the secrets of centralized and automated communications by implementing a robust TMS with the right partner today.
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