The supply chain and logistics industry has forever been dependent on manual processes, with automation limited to just a few areas of operations. With evolving times, keeping up with the rapid digital transformation has become a serious challenge, and the industry is desperately looking for ways to stay on top of the new advances in business processes. With growing business complexities, rising customer expectations, and plummeting margins, the only way forward for logistics businesses is Robotic Process Automation (RPA). RPA is already a massive success in other industries, including manufacturing, education, healthcare, and can deliver equally exciting advantages to the logistics businesses as well.
Although carriers may use a web portal to provide customers with inventory and shipping data, the lack of integration of the portal with the transportation management systems remains the pain point. This necessitates manual rekeying of data into systems, which is a tedious process and involves high chances of errors.
Considering the fact that RPA is a new concept for most logistics firms, it is advisable to start the automation journey with relatively simpler and high-volume processes that are also rule-based and involve low exceptions. Hence, shipment pick-up requests, shipment status monitoring, delivery notifications, and the like stand as ideal candidates for RPA.
Third-party carriers have to access multiple freight portals to reconcile invoices. The executives have to look at invoices, identify relevant data, and feed it to the relevant system to complete payments and system records. For invoice irregularities, the team has to contact the supplier or the ordering team to resolve the issues, which delays the payment.
Implementing RPA can help make the invoice process efficient and streamlined by minimizing the need for human intervention and cutting down on the required time.
Order processing involves heaps of data entry tasks and paperwork, making it resource-hungry. Moreover, the repetitive tasks are highly error-prone, resulting in inefficiencies and revenue loss. Another crucial aspect of the logistics and supply chain ecosystem is inventory management, which, too, is dominated by manual processes.
RPA can be used for receiving and processing orders to inject efficiency into the workflow. Automation can also help monitor inventory levels in real-time, eliminating the chances of order delays and cancellations.
Despite sincere attempts by carriers to optimize their route planning, there still exists multiple discrepancies in the outcomes that the planners produce. This causes delayed deliveries, unhappy customers, and high transportation costs. Logistics companies are constantly worried about inconveniences stemming from the unavailability of vehicles or drivers to meet the short notice requirements of customers.
RPA can be used to cut short the overall route planning cycle and reduce the required planning resource. Bots can streamline the planning process to reduce planning latency, making logistics operations more responsive and agile. RPA integrated with GPS software can be used to track the exact location of vehicles, thus enabling precise estimation of delivery time.
At Nalashaa, we have the right mix of RPA and logistics experts who work in tandem to plan and execute the digital transformation of our logistics clients. Over the years, we have crafted a unique technology framework that enables us to streamline even the most complex supply chains to turn them profitable while cutting down on human involvement. Connect with us for a quick chat on how we can turn around things for your business.
Anjan Barman is a technology enthusiast with primary interests in the applications and possibilities of Cloud, RPA, AI, CRM, and the like in modern businesses. He loves exploring how innovations help organizations improve their efficiency while reducing operating costs and presents the same in an atypical way.