Why Is Process Automation Crucial For Logistics & Transportation Players?
April 19, 2021
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The Suez Canal Crisis 2021taught us many things, but at the heart of it was process automation to prepare for any logistical contingency.
In a similar situation where your shipment is stuck in the midst of international waters, your list of worries can be never-ending. Right from customer communication to figuring out a feasible alternative, every action can seem questionable and scary. Here’s what happened across the globe with the Suez Canal blocked for about 6 days;
1. The global impact in terms of losses is quite evident but individual traders have had to suffer massive losses due to the delay in shipment. Some who deal in providing goods to end customers have lost orders, while the others have lost the product due to a narrow shelf life.
2. With the fuel & oil stuck amidst waters, global prices are likely to shoot up due to increased demand and inadequate supply. It may seem like a win-situation for the suppliers but due to the block, they have had to make provisions to meet the requirement albeit risk losing their business.
3. Insurers have been the worst hit in this case. With the pandemic in place, US winter storm, and Australian floods, insurers have had to shell out a lot more money than anticipated. This may cause a money deficit in the economy leading to a sudden inflation in the market.
While these three are only logical deductions from studying the event as is printed, there are several other inter-country issues that have cropped up which may impact global economic condition.
The recent Suez Canal crisis imposes on the importance of timely deliveries and the state of the global economy in case of any contingency. Going back to the financial crisis of 2008, the logistics industry was deeply affected with minimum hope of recovery. But with the advent of eCommerce, the logistics industry witnessed a powerful comeback with an average of 15% growth each year. And just as new technologies latched onto eCommerce to make it more viable and in sync with the changing preferences, the logistics industry has also witnessed a massive technological advancement.
From optimizing supply chain processes to digitizing them for an augmented supply chain, process automation in the logistics industry now has a stronger foothold than ever.
Process Automation For Players Within The Logistic Industry
Automation is a hypernym that amalgamates various up-and-coming technologies that aim at maximizing the role of machines. It is the key to unlocking the door to Industry 5.0 as quickly as possible.
Within the logistics & transportation industry, automation reflects itself in terms of digitizing the supply chain. The best use of digital methods is interspersing process automation to quicken small tasks to use human efforts for better tasks. But sometimes, unsupervised digitization can lead you down the path of digital spaghetti. To avoid this challenge, here’s how you can leverage the rational use of process automation.
Intelligent Transport Platforms
First came manual record-keeping then came to Transport Management Systems (TMS) to help the logistics industry keep track of their orders, execute them, and plan for inventory. Intelligent Transport Platforms are a technological one-up to the TMS that leverages machine learning algorithms to solve supply chain bottlenecks, enable real-time visibility of orders and inventory, and opens doors to various opportunities. With Intelligent transport platforms, you get three-fold benefits;
1) It helps you improve operational efficiency and enhance productivity
2) It allows you to maintain the highest level of services by taking care of the smaller tasks that have been taking away your focus from the KRAs
3) With Intelligent you can keep track of your inventory as well as your data that can help you go beyond your KPIs and carry out data-driven decisions for your non-compliant carriers.
Logistics involves a lot of data recording and processing for better planning. With the help of automation, you can carry out data-driven digitization of processes to minimize cost, improve speed, and provide better customer service. Your logistics & transportation business needs an autonomous supply chain to reflect real-time data, of every product that you’ve shipped, to you and your end customer. Here’s how that helps;
1) Allows increased shipment security by achieving a transparent supply chain
2) You can monitor your cargo quality between milestones to ensure its safety
3) Optimize your supply chain with historical & real-time data to identify your performance to minimize any bottlenecks.
Consider Contactless Logistics
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has adopted the contactless method of exchange products and services to keep themselves safe. And as a rational business person, you must immediately consider a contactless logistics platformfor your business.
Why is this important?
Given the state of the world and the rate of spread of the virus, businesses must adopt a complete contactless model wherever possible. Not only in making or receiving payments but also in terms of making deliveries. Recent examples of Fedex and Amazon making deliveries by placing the product on the porch are benchmarks for everyone functioning in the logistics & transportation department.
To manage the visibility of your supply chain, accumulate all the previous data, and make informed decisions, and boost profitability & efficiency, you mustconsider control towers for your supply chain.
Control towers help you accelerate your enterprise’s transformation by collaborating the real-time and historical data and unifying them into innumerable working applications. But sometimes, the wrong control tower can rob you off of all the applicable services and disturb your supply chain. As a rational business person, you aim to choose the right product for your business growth.
Since global trade began, the world has been trading with each other, and procuring products & services has never been easier. But when you look at it from a business person’s perspective, there is a lot more to cater to, now more than ever.
From managing an inventory to the customer database and then to grievance redressal, everything has become rather complex. This calls for a Dynamic Marketplace that integrates all elements in one place thus allowing a win-win situation for everybody.
The current state of the logistics & transportation industry commands a 10.7% growth per year and caters to customer needs with precision. The involvement of automation in many of its forms has allowed this industry to look beyond its bottlenecks and capture a wide share of the eCommerce arena.
If you’re functioning with the logistics & transportation arena and haven’t yet leveraged automation, then you’re missing out on the future!
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