As global trade and supply chains continue to be disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, organisations across industries are looking for ways to build resilience and agility into their systems. A good starting point for improving efficiency and optimising supply chain operations is by the adoption of digital automation technology.
Today, the power of advanced technology such as artificial intelligence or machine learning has indelibly altered the supply chain landscape and their adoption is only set to increase.
Here are some of the key ways automative technology can help you improve your supply chain management:
Best deals at the best price
In a typical scenario, your team manually negotiates freight rates with a limited pool of vendors via calls and emails. However, today there is a smarter and cost-efficient way to do this. Through automation, you can benefit from compounded negotiation, a system where your vendors compete with each other on a digital platform to offer you the best deals.
A Logistics Resource Management (LRM) platform allows you to create and share RFQs with your vendors and on submitting their quotations shows them their rank in the bidding process. The system nudges your vendors to keep squeezing their rates in order to secure the first rank and win your business, which in turn allows you to benefit from their best deals each and every time.
Improved visibility with live shipment tracking
An integral part of efficient supply chain management is knowing exactly where your shipment is despite uncertainties. The traditional approach of manually visiting countless websites of shipping companies to track shipments is not only time consuming but exhausting.
However, adopting an automated solution for tracking transforms this process completely. By giving live, automatic updates on the movement of your shipments on a unified dashboard, technology helps you massively reduce the time and effort needed.
Seamless invoice reconciliation
Advanced systems are now available in the market that combines proven Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, contextual language processing and algorithmic programming to automatically process and approve your invoices.
These systems immediately highlight any inconsistencies to your vendor, saving you the time and effort to follow up with them in person every time there is an error. This not only makes the process foolproof but also significantly reduces the cost involved in invoice processing whilst vastly accelerating your payment cycles
Instant actionable insights
If you are looking to reduce costs, the importance of effectively leveraging your data cannot be overstressed. Traditional supply chain management offers limited scope to systematically maintain and process data with the result that valuable, actionable insights are often missed.
However, digital automation enables you to capture every interaction that happens while managing your logistics. Data on everything from vendor and carrier service to volumes and country-wise logistics performance is now just a click away. Systems can now be designed to provide instant insights which in return help you make well-informed decisions irrespective of the circumstances.
Reduced carbon footprint
By making processes in your supply chain management paperless, automation positively impacts the environment. In an age where clients are proactively seeking to buy from organisations that are mindful of their carbon footprint and adopt sustainable practices, automation enables you to achieve a competitive edge.
Improved relations with stakeholders
Automation allows you to increase your operational efficiency and strengthen your relationship with both your vendors and customers. For instance, digitising freight negotiation enables you to engage with a greater number of vendors to improve competitive pricing, automated invoice processing results in better payment cycles, and the ability to share tracking data with customers allows an ‘Amazon-like’ level of transparency and service.
Evolve to survive and thrive
In the past, investing in automation technology might have seemed unnecessary, but with the challenges faced by the industry today, evolving and adopting these technologies has become key to success.
For more information on how we can provide you with a cost-efficient, resilient and robust supply chain, reach us here.