In this era of digital engineering, a large number of enterprises are working on a wide array of solutions for logistics. A World Economic Forum led study stated that digital transformation in logistics is a sector that is expected to be worth around $1.5 trillion by 2025. The transportation and logistics industry is rife with inefficiencies, not yet touched by digitalisation-led efficiency improvements. For example, after delivering goods, 50% of trucks will return to their original destination with empty loads, which has a negative impact on efficiency and productivity.
The continuing presence of manual tasks in the logistics industry have the largest bearing. The labour-intensive approach results in inefficiencies and productivity losses for companies, as errors borne out of manual working.
Utilising Robotic Process Automation in logistics and taking a “data first” stance will lead to an increase in operating efficiency and lower operational costs.
Here are 4 examples of how RPA can benefit logistics companies.
1. Scheduling and Tracking of Shipments
B2B portals are set up to centralise the submission of business transactions. However, such portals can handle only a handful of customers and partners. Every time a new partner or customer needs to use the system, an employee must manually enter the relevant data to onboard the customer. Transportation management systems are not necessarily connected to the same system either. Leading to hours of data needing to be copied manually into the B2B portal for onward task execution.
Robotic Process Automation is capable of extracting the relevant information and data from one system and pasting it in the other. This also includes relevant documents like the carrier invoice, the bill of lading, web forms, ERP systems and other documents.
The customer can also receive automatic updates about the progress of the job or delivery, including the location of GPS-tracked vehicles.
This can lead to time being saved, a reduction in manually scheduled shipments, or indeed checking the shipping status in the relevant portal(s).
2. Order and Inventory Processing
A problem that logistics companies are all too familiar with, is the amount of data entry required for the most basic of tasks, such as, shipping and invoicing. Manual invoice processing can also lead to late payments and lost invoices.
Digital Workers take over this task from employees, customers and partners, providing the information in one place and in real-time. They can present information, such as tracking details and invoice amounts in one place. Whilst also automatically monitoring numbers of shipments from the carrier’s website.
In the logistics industry, the importance of effective information exchanges play a crucial role in maintaining a streamlined process. However, with so many partners, customers and individual couriers, this process can quickly create a backlog, which leads to delays.
Artificial Intelligence-Powered Digital Workers help in handling unstructured information exchanges; most commonly in the form of emails. The Digital Workers can also send updates about orders to customers directly and coherently, without human involvement. This ability to send real-time updates to customers can help to build customer relationships and brand loyalty over time.
4. Procurement and Inventory
Data-driven inventory and warehouses solutions are becoming more popular in the logistics industry. However, physical operations still require a large amount of floor space and human labour to function.
By leveraging Digital Workers in logistics, a logistics company can access, update, manipulate and utilise any real-time reports and data generated to augment any inventory or warehouse management system that they may already have. This enhances their existing processes, making them more productive.
At Venturiq we aim to assist organisations within the logistics and transportation sector by helping them make the most of their manual processes by converting them into automated solutions. This leads to an increase in efficiency within your organisation and a resultant increase in revenues. If you feel that your logistics organisation would benefit from the introduction of RPA, please reach out to one of our specialists today.