Incorporating a new method to your existing business’s supply chain can be challenging sometimes and one might tend to stick to the old method. If the business has been in the market for quite a while, there is a good probability that one is still doing it using the conventional way, meaning, carrying out inventory counts, packaging, picking, and other related responsibilities manually.
Moreover, these traditional supply chain methods are not only out of date, but ineffective and therefore disadvantageous to the businesses. Furthermore, businesses have identified several pain points in their supply chain process post the Covid-19 pandemic. Supply chain processes are predominant with repeatedly, process-centric, and prone to errors, varying from manually documentation process errors to collecting and stocking, shipping and receiving and so on. Supply chain businesses are developing and working towards eliminating these pain points in their processes and hence increasing the rate of efficiency in their operations.
With the introduction of new technologies, businesses can now exploit the potential of automation in their supply chain processes. When utilized in the right manner, a supply chain with automation can avoid wastage of valuable time and money, enhance the productivity of the business, and develop it for the upcoming advancements. Let us first understand the how to improve supply chain with automation.
What is a supply chain with automation?
A supply chain with automation can be described as incorporating technological solutions to accomplish or restructure supply chain methods without the involvement of human efforts and attention. By using automation technologies like digital process automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning in the supply chain, a business cuts the human tasks needed to perform certain business operations. Therefore, making the workflow fast and efficiently. Let us find out the best ways to improve the supply chain with automation in 2022.
Best Ways to Improve the Supply Chain With Automation
1. Automating warehouse
Mckinsey stated that although the distribution centres are enhancing warehouse job desirability, retaining and employing warehouse labourers is still a tough task. Reports also suggested that covid-19 pandemic has significantly affected the worker supply in the warehouse industry and also suggested that the shortage will continue during 2022. Automating the warehouses can aid supply chain merchants to overcome this shortage issue. Moreover, in 2022, warehouses in the supply chain with automation would be a prominent movement in the logistics and supply chain industry, hence, the merchants should consider it as a necessary factor for a sustainable warehouse future. Some of the examples of supply chain with automation in warehouses are as follows:
- Tracking of supply chain
- Inventory automation and demand/supply management
- Autonomous mobile robots (AMR)/Automated guided vehicles (AGVs)
2. Transport Automation
In logistics industry, the most used mode of transportation is road transportation. At the moment, the road transportation sector is concerned with the unavailability of truck drivers, and predictions shows that the shortage will even worsen in the near future. Businesses are streamlining the solution as supply chain with automation by investing in transport automation solutions. Following are the examples of transport automation:
- Use of drone technology
- Autonomous driver-less truck systems
3. Automating manual work
The supply chain with automation in 2022 enables the businesses to restructure human energy and considers the value of time, eradicating the tedious, time-consuming tasks, and utilizing that energy and time for the tasks that particularly involve a human touch. Tasks such as paying out invoices, assignment of picking slots, processing the orders, and generating requires documents can be extensively time-consuming.
4. Reducing human errors
Human tasks tend to have few inaccuracies and when these tasks are done manually, there is a high probability that some processes might take a wrong turn. Eradicating manual error from the equation, supply chain with automation lowers the risk of error and can help the businesses avoid faults like:
- Picking and packing the incorrect item
- Miscalculation of the number of orders
- Incorrect entries of order details or data from the inventory
- Incorrect entry of customer information (shipping address, contact number, email, etc.)
5. Improved Supply Chain Visibility
Upholding the supply chain visibility needs a whole lot of connectivity, communication, labour, and commitment from service providers, suppliers, and merchants. With the facilitation of the supply chain with automation, all the data is stored automatically and updated in the near real-time. This ensures the access of necessary information to the relevant parties when required, tracking of inventory, and quick communication throughout the supply chain workflow.
Consequently, increased supply chain visibility will aid the businesses to identify errors instantaneously and offer solutions to the pain points to avoid further disruptions and delays, hence enhancing the total efficiency.
6. Enhanced Customer Experience
A supply chain with automation will streamline the workflow, therefore customers will also enjoy the benefits. The supply chain with automation gets errorless orders completed and shipped to correct customers’ addresses instantly, helping the businesses maintain and retain their loyalty rates and customer satisfaction.
To conclude, implementing a supply chain with automation can bring the best results to the businesses, improving their overall performance, and enhancing customer experience by reducing the errors involved in manual work. Therefore, merchants should focus on utilizing automation in their supply chain processes to reduce the pain points and sustain in the competitive market.
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What are the pros and cons of the supply chain with automation?
A supply chain with automation increases the efficiency of the workflow, improved customer experience, and enhances visibility. It facilitates streamlining the process, reducing human errors. Although the biggest disadvantage of supply chain with automation is that only certain tasks can be implemented automatically and the cost of implementation of automated equipment.
Where can automation be used in the supply chain?
Automation can be used in various sectors such as stock management, warehousing, transportation,, administrative works, etc.