The Covid-19 pandemic has greatly helped corporations in identifying the loopholes in their SCM strategy. SCM operations are often error-prone, including everything from manual documentation errors, storage problems, shipping and receiving errors, and so forth. This certainly necessitates the need for automation in supply chain management! Industry leaders are putting extra efforts into addressing the flaws and strengthening their supply chain operations with the help of automated processes in the post-pandemic scenario.
This blog will cover what exactly automation in supply chain management means, how digitization transforms SCM and the potential benefits of incorporating automated processes into your distribution-network. Read further to know more!
What is supply chain automation?
Supply chain automation is all about the use of technological solutions to execute or streamline SCM operations without human interference, effort, or engagement. Automation technologies have surely transformed the world of SCM, making it all the more efficient. A corporation can reduce the amount of manual effort required to complete specific business operations by adding smart technologies into the logistics system, such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and robotics. As a result, workflows will be faster, and your supply chain will be more efficient.
Automation is indeed a powerful way of improving existing SCM operations, and implementing new ones. The supply chain automation market grew 10.3 percent annually from 2015 to 2019, with this growth expected to double by 2026 as industry leaders recognised the benefits of automated processes. As a result, organizations must place a greater emphasis on automating their processes in order to eliminate bottlenecks in their SCM strategy and maintain a competitive edge.
Enlisted below are three areas of SCM automation that can help firms achieve supply chain resiliency, robustness, flexibility, and autonomy.
Digitization in the Warehouse
Even though distribution centres are making warehouse tasks more appealing and convenient, finding and keeping warehouse workers is still problematic. According to reports, the pandemic had a severe influence on labour supply in the warehousing sector, and this shortage is expected to endure throughout 2022.
As a result, warehouse automation can indeed help supply chain managers in overcoming the shortage problem. Warehouse operations also involve performing repetitive tasks like inventory management, inventory tracking, picking and packing, and high-risk duties like operating heavy equipment. By automating such operations, organizations can gain more productivity, efficiency, worker safety, sustainability, and reduced costs.
Warehouse automation will be a major trend in the supply chain and logistics industry in 2022, and leaders must consider it a vital component of a long-term and successful warehousing future.
Some of your logistics and transportation operations can potentially benefit from automation. Route-optimization systems can significantly minimize transit time and reduce shipping costs by determining the optimal routes and assigning cargo to the most appropriate carrier. Automated-tools provide enhanced supply chain visibility. This allows you to keep a track of where your trucks are, which items are there in transit, and whether any disruptions or delays are there.
This insight can then be used to optimise the movement of your items, lowering operational expenses and transit times.
Back-end office tasks
Administrative activities and routine business operations are significantly easier to manage with automation in supply chain. Automation benefits SCM analytics as well, since it allows a business owner to keep track of crucial performance measures without having to spend hours gathering data and analyzing the statistics manually. Technological systems can offer more precise information and insights for your business, allowing you to optimize existing processes and plan for the future. For example, artificial intelligence-based predictive analytics examines previous inventory and sales data to optimize demand forecasting.
Benefits of Automation in Supply Chain
Enlisted below are the potential benefits of incorporating automated processes and systems into SCM:
Automate Manual Tasks
Employees can be relieved from monotonous, time-consuming, and manual tasks, thanks to a well-connected supply chain backed by automation technologies. By automating certain operations, you delegate them to software systems that can accomplish them much more quickly, freeing up human workers to focus on tasks that require human input.
Greater Transparency and Visibility
To maintain transparency and visibility into SCM operations, retailers, manufacturers, and service providers put in a lot of effort, communication, and dedication. Data is automatically collected, recorded, and updated in real-time thanks to technological automated systems. This allows all stakeholders involved in the supply chain to get vital information when they need it, track inventories, and communicate promptly.
a result of increased visibility, you can immediately identify and address bottlenecks to avoid further delays and interruptions, as well as improve overall efficiency.
Enhanced Customer Experience
A largely automated supply chain ensures that correct orders are processed and dispatched to consumers as quickly as possible, allowing you to retain high levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty.
The future of supply chain automation is surely bright! Technological advancements have enabled a greater focus on warehouse and logistics automation. Automated systems, digital processes, and artificial intelligence (AI) are ready to revolutionize the way organizations work in a variety of industries.