How Supply Chain Automation Is Transforming the Process

It seems that logistics was another sector which found itself deeply influenced by the pandemic, as it accelerated its digital transformation processes, founding in this unexpected event the opportunity to reinvent itself based on emerging technologies.

It is true that the pandemic jeopardized companies in all sectors and their ability to respond to challenges that suddenly arose, such as forced confinement, restrictions imposed by the authorities to prevent the spread of COVID-19 cases, and the drastic increase in online operations.

Like all industries, the logistics sector had no choice but to adapt and boost its supply chain automation processes in response to the problems and challenges it faced, such as:

  • National and international border closures.
  • Travel and transfer bans.
  • Exponential increase in online trading.
  • Bottlenecks in the main commercial ports.
  • Increased costs in supply chains
  • Problems to cover the demand due to delays and logistical delays
  • Maintain and increase profitability.
  • Increase productivity.
  • Optimization of processes and delivery routes
  • Decrease in manpower.
  • Inventory visibility.
  • Entry and exit of goods

In short, the list only led to one way out: use of technology to guarantee and optimize supply chain automation.

This rethinking forced the logistics industry to leave behind its traditional operations to achieve maximum automation of tasks and procedures through emerging tools and technologies.

Robots and Artificial Intelligence: the safe way

Logistics was not the only industry that demonstrated its ability to adapt to changing circumstances, Artificial Intelligence followed this path beyond its use in cell phones and Internet browsing.

In this same scenario, the robotics industry continues to grow along with the development of applications that facilitate the automation of tasks and processes, so the reduction of errors is evident as well as the optimization of the workforce.

Warehouses and inventories, distribution centers and manufacturing facilities where these robots are now used, require companies to have a workforce that empowers and monitors advances in terms of efficiency, precision and operational consistency. In addition to this, employees must have the necessary knowledge to use these tools intelligently and assertively, thus generating cost reductions in daily operations and greater efficiency in tasks through this sort of supply chain automation.

Like other emerging technologies, Artificial Intelligence continues to amaze all sectors due to its elasticity and scalability, especially when it comes to process automation based on the intelligent study of accumulated data (Big Data).

According to a study by the North American consulting firm Accenture "Supply chain workforce of the future", intelligent machines offer a unique opportunity for the supply chain: "Technologies such as artificial intelligence, digital twins, the Internet of Things (IoT) and the cloud allow companies to predict and control the impact of almost all warehouse activities."

That is when logistics found in Artificial Intelligence the perfect ally to automate:

  • Processes

The supply chain encompasses the path of a product or service, from its creation to delivery to its final consumer.

Faced with the new commercial and regulatory regulations by the authorities, logistics adopted Artificial Intelligence to create programs that would allow them full visibility of these processes in order to make intelligent decisions and carry out regular optimization processes.

  • Routes

Given the restrictions on trade routes and, above all, due to the increase in the cost of transport and fuel fleets caused by socio-political conflicts such as Ukraine-Russia, delivery routes needed to be optimized to reduce delivery times and resources in the workforce.

The platforms dedicated to logistics saw in this need the opportunity to create technology to analyze the routes, the days of operation and their possible complications to achieve the estimated delivery and transfer times, among other factors that could be decisive for a better planning of this operation.

  • Orders

In addition to Artificial Intelligence, logistics processes received an additional helping hand: the use of robots to prepare orders, make returns and optimize inventories according to demand.

  • Inventories

Real-time inventory visibility has never been more important than it is now, and Artificial Intelligence is the key to achieving it. Solutions based on this technology and supported by robots were created to manage and control storage and inventory to guarantee product traceability.

Given these benefits, it is undeniable that supply chain automation is the best thing that could have happened to industries if we consider that it translates into a reduction in errors and guarantees the continuity of operations even with limited manpower.

McKinsey's "Autonomous supply chain planning for consumer goods companies report" shows that autonomous supply chain planning can lead to up to 4% revenue growth, up to 20% inventory reduction and cost savings of the supply chain of up to 10%.

Likewise, automation enables the option of making decisions based on the analysis of previous results to digitize warehouses, correctly manage supply chains safely and, above all, the implementation of these supply chain automation technologies that allow predicting unexpected events and anticipating to guarantee the business continuity and customer engagement.

After knowing this information, it is not difficult to imagine that new technologies will completely dominate logistics processes and supply chains in a short time. Are you ready to face this omen now?

If you still do not have software and digital platforms based on Artificial Intelligence and machines to optimize your business operations, you are running the risk of losing value in the market and reputation against your competitors.

At Icalia Labs we know that global supply chains are taking full advantage of processes such as hyper-automation, which consolidates companies as totally digital, so we want to promote this process in companies that are looking for automated solutions and programs aimed at bringing their logistics operations to the next level.

Do not stay behind, contact us and learn about the range of solutions that we have for you and leave it in the hands of the experts. We are ready to accompany you on your path towards digital transformation.

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