Supply Chain Management Automation

With automation you gain ground by decreasing errors and delays, improving compliance and credibility, and saving costs and expenses to help your business succeed.

How Do You See Your Supply Chain?

When you picture automation applied to supply chain management, what do you see? Your image will largely depend on if you work heavily in supply chain already or if you simply have assumptions about how it all works. Either way, a solution like automation can do the heavy lifting of manual processes in just about any department, including supply chain management. To shed light on all of the challenges automation can solve, first let’s define what we’re talking about.

Pain In The Chain

Delays

From the click of a mouse to the completion of a signature, each delivery is in a race to the finish. With customers and companies expecting faster service, reducing obstacles and frustrations is front of mind for any supply chain team.

Mis-communication

Was that a pound or a pallet? Often the devil can be in the details when supply chain deliveries go wrong. Just like the old game of telephone, it’s easy for important specifics of any delivery to get lost in supply chain translation.

Compliance

As orders are made across geographical boundaries and borders, the need to meet legal and local regulations becomes more complex by a mile (or more). Keeping track of every nuance in supply chain compliance is a tall order for any professional.

Errors

Even the best team members are prone to human mistakes, and when things are moving a mile a minute the errors can happen fast (and that makes customers furious).  Even having eyes combing through orders can miss something crucial to the process.

Expenses

The bottom line is always top of mind for any business or customer, and thus finding new ways to reduce costs is a constant concern. Every delay and inefficiency can add up over time and the decisions driven by money may result in loss of personnel or profits.

Credibility

When a supply chain fails to overcome any of these common challenges, the result can be a loss of confidence among the most tried and true customers. Businesses can no longer afford to make up lost ground when customer preferences can flip as easily as a light switch.

Gains in Supply Chain Automation

We’ve heard the phrase, “no pain, no gain.” If your supply chain management feels the burn of any or all of the pain points listed above, you’re ready to make some gains through automation. Here are just a handful of benefits to automating your supply chain:

  1. Gain Time. Time is quite literally money for supply chain departments, and automation introduces new efficiencies to any process. From picking and packaging to billing in your back office, taking the manual out of redundant labor and tasks can add minutes and hours to your day.
  2. Gain Clarity. By systemizing each process across people and places, communicating details across various orders, customers, and teams is greatly improved. Supply chain automation brings order to the chaos by organizing systems and creating consistency across your communication methods.
  3. Gain Compliance. Automation in supply chain management truly shines when complexity is present, and legal regulations across regions is a prime example. As orders are made from and to different zip codes, compliance rules and requirements can be implemented automatically.
  4. Gain Accuracy. Your supply chain automation can detect currency denominations as well as different delivery units based on your inventory. From order entry to fulfillment, you have a supercharged set of eyes on every detail to prevent costly errors.
  5. Gain Savings. By saving time and reducing errors, your business automatically saves money with the help of automation.
  6. Gain Reputation. As increased efficiency and effectiveness is introduced to your supply chain processes with automation, your business will be better known and respected. Customers care a great deal about a company that cares enough to make necessary improvements to service.

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Where Can You Automate
Supply Chain Management?

If you consider your supply chain department right now, you can come up with areas where tasks and processes are always running on repeat. Where there is repetition, there is an opportunity to automate that action. Here is a list of areas where supply chain automation can be activated:

Back-Office

    • Payments
    • Invoicing
    • Customer Service
    • Forecasting
    • Multichannel Sales
    • Data Interchange and Analysis

Warehouse

    • Picking
    • Packing
    • Inventory management
    • Returns management

Transportation

    • Routing
    • Cross-docking
    • Loading

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