Everything You Need to Know About Supply Chain Automation

February 8, 2024

Everything You Need to Know About Supply Chain Automation

Hey, Tech Savvy!

Do you think you are all updated about the new technologies? Then you are highly mistaken because there comes a new member in the world of technology, i.e., supply chain automation management

Many of you might be familiar with this new technology, and if not, then don’t worry because here we’ll tell you about all supply chain automation, which includes its benefits, limitations, tools, etc. 

Additionally, you will come across some studies that show that the global intelligent process of automation market value will reach $65.1 billion by 2030 with a projected CAGR of 8.50% from 2022 to 2023.  

Key Takeaways on Supply Chain Automation

  1. Definition of Supply Chain Automation: Supply chain automation involves the use of digital technology, including artificial intelligence and robotic process automation, to streamline processes, improve efficiency, and reduce manual intervention within the supply chain.
  2. Error Reduction: Automation minimises human errors in tasks such as data entry, client details, and file management, enhancing accuracy and preventing costly mistakes.
  3. Elimination of Manual Labor: By automating time-consuming tasks, businesses can allocate human resources to more strategic activities, boosting productivity and efficiency.
  4. Enhanced Customer Experience: Automation tools ensure accurate order fulfilment and provide real-time information to customers, leading to higher satisfaction levels and increased loyalty.
  5. Improved Supply Chain Transparency: Automated systems record real-time data, facilitating efficient communication between clients and businesses, identifying mistakes and delays, and enhancing overall supply chain efficiency.
  6. Limitations of Automation: Not all supply chain functions can be automated, particularly complex decision-making tasks that require human judgement. Additionally, the initial investment in automation technology can be substantial, posing challenges for smaller businesses.
  7. Considerations for Implementation: While supply chain automation offers numerous benefits, businesses must carefully evaluate its suitability and weigh the costs against the potential returns before implementation.
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What is Supply Chain Automation?

The digital technology used to improve efficiency, streamline processes, and connect applications within the supply chain is called supply chain automation. Additionally, it incorporates intelligent technologies like robotic process automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and digital process automation. The manual work required to perform specific tasks is reduced, speeding up the workflow and making your supply chain more efficient. 

Benefits 

Reducing the Human Errors

You know that as humans, you all make common mistakes when tasks are performed incorrectly, so removing the human from the process or equation of supply chain automation decreases the chances of error and prevents following mistakes.

Entering the incorrect data from project details

You often make mistakes in business by entering incorrect information and data about client projects or tasks. With the help of an automation application chain, you can decrease the chances of minor mistakes. 

Entering the wrong details of clients 

You often need to correct the details of the client and company, which can cause errors in future projects. At that time, automation supply chains helped you collect the correct information on clients and businesses. 

Misplacing the essential files.

It is the most common error that anyone can do. With correct supply chain automation management, you no longer have to worry about misplacing essential documents or files, which can cost you losing credibility and customers' trust. 

  • Eliminating Manual Labor: Supply chain automation management enables your business to shift human time and effort away from time-consuming tasks and use that time and effort towards tasks that need human perspective. For example, tasks such as generating important documents and assigning tasks can be time-consuming. Automation can help complete these tasks more efficiently and make humans do the work that needs to be done. Additionally, you are using your employee's time effectively. 
  • Better Customer Experience: With the help of supply chain automation tools, your customers will benefit, too. A large automated supply chain gets accurate details and client orders that can be fulfilled completely. It helps you satisfy the customers and increase the loyalty rate. 
  • Increase Supply Chain Transparency: As a business owner, you know the importance of transparency between the client and the company. Also, you need a lot of communication, labor, and commitment.  At that time, automated supply chain management helped you record real-time information, which enables the client to access important information, track the project or task, and communicate efficiently through the supply chain. Additionally, an increased supply chain helps you to identify mistakes and delays and enhance overall efficiency. 

Supply chain management Limitation

  • Limited to certain tasks: You should remember that not all supply chain management functions can be automated. Small tasks, like administrative tasks, ordering processes, etc., are the right choices for automation. The primary supply chain still needs human involvement. For instance, your files, documents, and essential information can be managed by automation, but AI supply chain automation still can’t decide based on different situations.
  • Cost: You should know that new technology always requires a significant investment, and the same is true regarding supply chain automation. Automation can cost you thousands of dollars. 

So, this type of investment must be done by something other than smaller e-commerce companies and DTC businesses. So, companies need to consider costs before investing in supply chain automation. 

Conclusion

Now you know that supply chain automation presents a promising future for businesses seeking to enhance efficiency, reduce errors, and elevate customer satisfaction. By using technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics, companies can streamline processes, minimise manual labour, and improve transparency throughout the supply chain. 

However, it's essential to recognize that automation isn't a one-size-fits-all solution and may not be suitable for every aspect of supply chain management. Moreover, the upfront costs associated with implementation can pose challenges for smaller enterprises. 

Ultimately, embracing supply chain automation requires careful consideration of its benefits and limitations within each unique business environment.

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