Robotic Process Automation (Rpa) In Supply Chain And Logistics

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ROBOTIC PROCESS AUTOMATION (RPA) IN SUPPLY CHAIN AND LOGISTICS

WHAT ROLE DOES RPA PLAY IN SUPPLY CHAIN AND LOGISTICS MANAGEMENT?

RPA increases the agility and quality of supply chain processes. The tool enables managing invoicing more efficiently by automating tasks such as sending purchase orders and downloading and uploading documents and receipts.

RPA also aids in the establishment of inventory management procedures by allowing for the creation of automatic reports with information on product supply and availability, increasing satisfaction among suppliers, employees, and customers.

Robotic process automation significantly improves efficiency in the supply chain and logistics industries. Both are critical for global markets, so the robotization case has its weight. More so, software robots significantly impact modern commodity trading and the evolution of RPA technology.

BENEFITS OF RPA IN SUPPLY CHAIN AND LOGISTICS

  • Cutting supply-chain expenses : One of the key benefits of employing the RPA is the gradual decline in the frequency of errors made during the processes, resulting in a significant reduction in rework and, consequently, in the expenses associated with this waste.
  • Flexibility and simplicity : Any professional can utilize this technology to its greatest extent because it does not require special IT knowledge, such as understanding codes or programming languages. Since assigning a robot to carry out a tedious or repetitive operation is easy, RPA solutions significantly increase the flexibility of transferring logistical activities.
  • Increased productivity : The robotic automation of processes is extending the level of performance of modern businesses by reducing resource usage in various links of the chain, enhancing workflow, and reducing response time while maintaining quality.
  • Vendor Analysis and Evaluation : Choosing vendors is a multi-stage process that is typically handled manually. RPA systems can help you with each selection step—scanning documents, preparing quotation requests, and verifying supplier credit—and leave you more time to focus on closing the deal.
  • Inventory management : Keeping track of what’s in stock becomes more difficult as your company grows and inventory diversifies. RPA can help you manage your warehouse more efficiently by monitoring the condition, location, and quantity of specific items and notifying you when they are damaged or run out.
  • Coordinating and scheduling : Even when shipping, billing, maintenance, resupplying, and other critical tasks run flawlessly, they must be coordinated to ensure the overall supply chain’s effectiveness. RPA can act as an intermediary between all of your systems and partners, retrieving information from emails, responding to messages, filling out forms, and alerting relevant stakeholders when there is a delay to ensure complete transparency.
  • Freight management : Once the stock is full, the next step is moving your shipments. RPA will assist you in matching loads, handling freight claims and charges, and picking optimal routes. After the delivery is done, analytics bots can evaluate the health of your supply chain and identify potential improvements.
  • Shipment tracking and status updates : With so many moving parts in the SCM process, visibility is critical. RPA will track the cargo throughout its journey and upload recent data to your warehouse management system.
  • ERP integration : An ERP system is an essential tool for supply chain management, and RPA can expand its capabilities even further. Automating data entry, migration, and validation eliminates the risk of error, resulting in much more accurate records for your ERP. Furthermore, information is uploaded and moved much faster, with no manual typing (or typos) involved.
  • Customer service : Handling shipment status inquiries alone can be a busy job. With the help of RPA, you can keep your customers informed by providing up-to-date delivery statuses and automated troubleshooting. Regarding returns and after-sales services, many tasks that don’t require human intervention (such as ticket processing, data entry, or claim verification) can be relayed to bots, too.

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USE CASES OF RPA IN SUPPLY CHAIN AND LOGISTICS

  • Data Entry Activities : A well-run supply chain depends on coordinated and synchronized activities, from the factory floors to warehouses to loading docks to the consumers’ doorsteps. Behind the scenes, there are even more complex processes to automate, including data entry.RPA bots speed up data collection and reconciliation. For instance, they gather and enter customers’ and order information into business applications like ERPs and CRMs. By handling this manual, time-consuming, potentially error-laden, and repetitive task, RPA minimizes risk and speeds up supply chain processes.
  • Shipping And Logistics Management : A shortage of delivery services means that companies must absorb the logistics function into their operational processes. However, shipping and logistics management is fraught with challenges, mainly due to the struggle to plan delivery routes in the most time-efficient manner. RPA automatically determines optimal routes and number of orders per courier, dramatically simplifying delivery logistics. This way, customers can get their orders within specific time slots while businesses minimize costs and maximize revenues.
  • Handling Support Requests And After-sales Service : RPA can completely automate ticket management and after-sale services. Instead of any human intervention, RPA will efficiently perform the necessary tasks. RPA technology can benefit the entire support department by minimizing ticket processing errors and saving your representatives valuable time. This will benefit the business as it will become more competitive.
  • Order Management : Knowing your inventory is one thing; understanding and replenishing it is another. An RPA system uses inventory data to initiate purchase orders based on predetermined criteria: the bot compares available vendors and prices, creates order documentation, submits the placed order for approval, and requests the necessary products—all to reduce supply chain disruptions and lost sales due to missing goods.
  • Invoice Processing : Invoice-related tasks are as necessary as they are tedious. Finding, updating, and entering vendor and customer information, requesting documents, attaching scans, processing payments, and submitting invoices can all be time-consuming and frustrating for your business. Fortunately, all these stages of invoice processing are easily automated, making this one of the best RPA use cases.
  • Supply And Demand Planning : The robots automatically examine past sales data and market indicators via a predetermined set of rules to estimate supply and demand. This method ensures the quantity of inputs required to expand the business’s operations while maintaining a sufficient safety stock.
  • Addressing Post-sales Customer Needs : Customers regularly inquire about your products or services, returns, swaps, refunds, and updates on re-stocking, shipment, and delivery, among other issues.

Before automation, sharing shipment status was an entirely manual process. Employees shifted between multiple platforms and channels to assist customers, wasting more time and lowering workers’ productivity—the same goes for the post-sales wrap-up.

RPA bots can open emails, recognize customers’ texts, log information into the shipping system, determine shipment status, and reply to customers before moving on to the following inquiry—without human intervention. If a customer places a service request from your company’s mobile app, a chatbot can interact with them, place their requests in the system, capture ticket data, and escalate any complex requests to human agents.

RPA bots can also send automatic acknowledgement emails to customers and quickly flag any issues. This reduces employee effort and time spent on back-office tasks so they can focus solely on customers’ needs.

Pinnacle’s RPA helps you automate your supply chain processes at a fraction of the cost and time, so you can realize compliance and efficiency gains. Our automation experts work with you to eliminate process complexity and get RPA implementation buy-in and support across the organization.