The supply chain is all about collaborative operations and involved various internal as well as external parties working together to achieve a common goal. There is a lot of manual interventions involved in the process and many a time one can notice that the tasks conducted by users are common and repetitive in nature.
In such a scenario what if we have a neutral entity in the form of robots who can learn the tasks over a period of time and start implementing such repetitive tasks without any operations flaws. This will be of great value addition for many logistics and shipping company to perform and produce much better services to their customers.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) allows an organization to deploy smart software bots that are created to learn the tasks and automate common operational processes throughout the business. Hence Robotic process automation is a software that is used to automate high volumes and repeatable tasks that will help users to do a better and more effective job.
RPA’s today are more commonly used to automate and end to end process that is required to put in place multiple systems as well as websites and portals. These bots are intelligent agents that are made capable to learn on how certain tasks are performed in the daily environment and in turn repeat those tasks thereby avoiding human errors and also helping in reducing overheads.
Robotic processes rely completely on basically 3 aspects that being machine learning, artificial intelligence, and natural language processing to better understand many different contexts and thereby automate processes correctly. RPA’s today allow the supply chain to scale up faster to help meet supply chain requirements to keep up with the growing demands.
Some of the many advantages that robotics can provide to the supply chain management operations would be as follows:
Quick responses to enquiries and quotes :
Bots and many other RPA’s, as well as NLP, can be used to better understand and respond to queries as well as help in providing quotes and proposals to customers. This in effect reduces the repetitive tasks of humans and moreover facilities in faster turnaround and more accurate responses.
Increase efficiency by learning repetitive tasks:
Logistics is one such industry that generates a lot of data and hence it is impossible to be handled by humans. This is where robotics come into the scene as Robotics can help in collecting as well as generating lots of valuable data. With the help of the data collected Robotic Process Automation can analyze and identify how well process can be better enhanced which results in providing greater efficiencies with a higher quality of deliverance and reduce the wastage of resources. This can also be combined with predictive analysis that can help in providing continual improvements to streamline the entire supply chain process.
Decrease manual inputs of data:
One of the many important tasks in the supply chain is to respond and create purchase orders and that contribute significantly to the administrative overheads. RPA’s can be of great advantage here as it already will have all the data required to maintain the exact inventory levels that can be matched with the stock. Once this is matched and the availability accessed RPA’s can then raise accurate purchase orders without any errors and with very less human intervention.
Integration that can be done with other supply chain tools:
As logistics is a complex process and requires integration with many operational platforms. It is not possible for manual implementations that will help in integrating different platforms with minimal or no errors. The robotic process is not confined to just one single platform but has the ability to bring in many platforms and create an inclusive collaborative environment to facilitate better operational workflow. Data which is captured thereby can be shared across different stakeholders throughout the supply chain with the help of both implementations. This not only reduces duplication but can also increase in the speed and efficiency as well as quality of suppliers, manufacturers, retailers as well as organizations.
Let us not forget that businesses have now shifted from the conventional means of carrying out a trade to a more global and inclusive environment which facilitates the collaboration of many entities. Hence it is more of a global approach that needs to be focused on thanks to technological growth and capabilities of many systems that help in data capture and cross-platform sharing. Robotics is the best way forward to help in carrying out repetitive tasks with minimal human intervention helping in lesser and lesser chances of errors and providing accurate information.