For organizations across industries, ensuring a seamless supply chain management experience is of utmost importance. Since the emergence of e-commerce, customers have come to anticipate smooth deliveries. What if you could improve your company's whole supply chain operation while lowering expenses, all without making a major IT investment or adding additional personnel? This result and more are promised by the constantly evolving RPA (Robotic Process Automation) technology.
According to a recent study by Gartner, 80% of firms anticipate that supply chains will enable them to make decisions more quickly and accurately.
In terms of the operations of the global supply chain, robotics and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) are no longer the "new kid in the town". Irrespective of whichever industry titan you consult, you will learn that digital transformation is completely altering supply chain management processes. Everything is changing, from the sales to the creation to the delivery.
Organizations can incorporate cutting-edge AI/ML technologies to automate business operations with the use of robotic process automation in supply chain and logistics, thereby decreasing repetitive activities and giving teams more time to focus on innovation. RPA in supply chain management is more likely to become widespread in the next 2-5 years.
RPA in Supply Chain Management
Listed below are some of the use cases of RPA in supply chain management:
Inventory is the foundation of supply chains. However, maintaining optimal inventory levels while tracking data along the way can be very challenging. RPA can assist with continuous inventory monitoring and warn you when levels are low. And when new shipments must be ordered, RPA can carry out the duties of an employee by timing the order of new shipments. RPA also aids in tracking inventory as it moves around the warehouse.
Thousands of goods must be manually tracked as they move between service zones, which takes time and is error-prone. This procedure can be made automated using RPA by using software robots to monitor inventory as it moves from receipt to shelves to production to shipment. By recording merchandise from the moment it enters, RPA makes inventory management simpler.
Purchase Order Management
A rigorous review procedure is the foundation of purchase order management. However, manually reviewing each order can be time-consuming and create delays. You can run buy orders through automated criteria in the supply chain, such as pricing, amount, and frequency of purchases.
When an approval meets the optimization criteria, it is passed through. If not, a software bot uses notifications to forward the remaining purchase orders to procurement managers for an official assessment. RPA enables you to thoroughly examine a smaller number of more significant orders by applying automated approval workflows.
Management of Invoices
Every logistics and supply chain organization must effectively manage invoicing in order to be successful. However, invoices may be overlooked if there isn't a specific system in place to manage the papers and information this entails.
The labor-intensive yet crucial process of manually recording and inputting invoice data is ideal for automation.
RPA in the supply chain can make it simpler and less error-prone to process invoice documents from vendors and suppliers. RPA expedites activities like information extraction from invoices and information validation and verification, allowing you to free up personnel while ensuring bills are handled correctly.
Your supply chain's capacity to connect systems that are vastly different from one another gives you access to more information pretty quickly for executive forecasting decisions whilst also ensuring the accuracy of your demand planning. Automation of these connections using RPA bots and AI will speed up your supply chain process and lower human error.
Supply and Demand Planning
The capacity of managers and analysts to predict inventory demands determines the efficiency of a supply chain. However, supply and demand planning typically entails looking at intricate records and data sets, including, for example, bespoke orders, market indicators, and historical sales data. Additionally, you need to locate and import this data from internal teams, clients, and vendors. This can be laborious, time-consuming, and prone to mistakes.
Through automation, RPA offers a more effective approach to consuming and evaluating this data. It accomplishes this by compiling and combining data, putting it through manual examination, and sharing it with planners. RPA may then assess subtleties and trends in sizable data sets and the buying behavior of customers in accordance with a particular set of predetermined rules. The results are then presented in a thorough report.
Thanks to RPA managers can now effectively create more accurate projections with fewer time and resources.
Returns and Refund Processing
Refund and return processing is a high-volume, high-value activity. However, organizations that exclusively rely on human intervention in their processing workflows can easily become overburdened.
Refunds and returns, fortunately, are the ideal supply chain use case for RPA. RPA can eliminate the need for human intervention by adopting rules-based task automation, freeing up labor to concentrate on processing that only makes use of human judgment. RPA speeds up the resolution and lowers the possibility of errors by automating processing and decreasing human participation.
Management of Relationships with Customers
Since firms use different systems for different company operations, client information is updated across many platforms and must be synchronized to provide successful customer care. For instance, the system mandates that ordering privileges for consumers be suspended during the supply chain process until the account manager is notified. These manual tasks, which cover several information systems, can be automated using RPA. Such automation enables businesses to make sure that their customer care staff can concentrate on duties of high quality, strengthening the client relationship.
Supply chain and logistics organizations are finding that using RPA may streamline their processes while reducing expenses. Companies that want to stay competitive should take advantage of increased productivity, efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and employee and customer happiness. Now that you have a better grasp over where you might use it in your supply chain and logistics operations, the next step is to select a service provider who can assist you in making it happen.