Every Logistics or an eCommerce company aims to become DHL and Amazon. But ever wonder how DHL is a leader in the market of express delivery services or how Amazon prime packages get delivered within mere hours of ordering? Many such Logistic companies that are on the top of their games are making difference due to their continuous investment in breakthrough technologies. These technological advancements helps them have that cutting edge above the rest. One similar technology that is set to revolution logistics is – Robotic Process Automation. Here is an insider’s scoop from DreamOrbit, where a team of 301 members are dedicated to digitizing, connecting and transforming the world’s many Logistics and Freight companies.
Logistics organisations can apply RPA in situations to capture and interpret existing applications for processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses and communicating with other digital systems. Here are some use cases where RPA can help logistics companies automate repetitive processes with limited intervention or assistance from humans.
Automating the billing process in Trucking companies
Currently in order to raise an invoice to a shipper, trucking companies rely upon manual process of calculating the cost borne for shipping cargo in LTL or FTL. This can be automated using RPA to extract information on truck mileage from the client’s legacy systems, and compute for trucks in use or sitting idle. Using this data, the invoices can be generated on time, automatically and without any errors too.
Tracking shipments from multiple carriers
Any medium to large 3PL company can be dealing between 50,000 to 500,000 cargo every week with multiple carriers for multiple shippers. Usually, a data entry team is tasked to track each cargo from respective carrier and update in the system for the customer to view. Tracking each cargo is cumbersome and a time consuming task. There is scope for innumerable mistakes and errors too. RPA can automate the entire workflow such that the robot at a scheduled time can track container/tracking number across all the separate carriers/shippers tracking website/apps and extract the information. The robot then validates the data for duplicity or error and once validated is entered in the system or sent as updates to the required customer.
Automating Inventory management
The success of supply chain depends on how better the inventory is controlled. Manufacturers and suppliers need to be able to maintain inventory such that the future demands are ensured without overstocking the goods. Currently, the process is manual and time consuming. However, with RPA the entire process can be automatically managed. The robots can monitor inventory, generate notifications or reporting, trigger reordering when levels are below threshold.In addition, RPA can analyze previous needs to determine optimal inventory levels on day to day basis.
This level of automation can also be applied to automate delivery delay escalation, customer service bot interactions, and change requests for transport slots. At an even sophisticated level, cognitive automation can be implemented for making predictions and support decision making by combining RPA with AI ( artificial intelligence) that relies on complex algorithms and pattern recognition guided by self-learning.
A 2017 study by global technology research firm Information Services Group, reported that by 2019, 72% of companies are expected to be using robotic process automation (RPA) to minimize costs, reduce transaction times, increase productivity, and improve levels of compliance. Moreover, the ISG study shows that the automation technology is allowing for a 43% reduction in resources needed for order-to-cash processes, 34% for invoicing, and 32% for vendor and talent management processes.
In a highly demanding operation such as logistics where turn-around times at profitable price point are critical to businesses without any trade-off in quality and efficiency, RPA is favored by enterprises because it offers a rapid, low-cost way to automate basic, rules-based business processes without needing to reengineer them.