The process of logistics and shipping has always been a slave to extensive manual processes. The responsible parties are almost always being pressed for low costs by their clients while they themselves are charged high for their own freighting needs. On top of that, most of the companies manage logistics by hiring employees to conduct copy-paste tasks all day long and manage their data on excel sheets and non-scalable and regressive software models.
What these logistics and shipping process needs is the automation of repetitive and mundane tasks, so that their employees get a chance to work on increasing productivity and ensuring higher profits with no compromise on the quality. Matter of fact, automation itself ensures that the process is streamlined and delivers faster and in a more cost-efficient manner.
Employing RPA in shipping and logistics department help overcome a number of challenges, even those that have been haunting the business since ages. More importantly, RPA will never go out of style, since it updates and learn and maneuver around the changing interface and makes sure the operational cost doesn’t get affected by it. From managing the storage to tracking the orders, RPA takes over it all and makes a real impact in the process. When the Robotic Process Automation takes over, they work side by side with the employees as a digital workforce and changes the future of a business.
The benefits are endless and every day more and more businesses are accelerating digitalization. Let’s see how RPA is reshaping the shipping and logistics process:
Faster Order Processing and Continuous Order Tracking
Involvement of humans in order processing leads to various erroneous circumstances and disgruntled clients. On the contrary, automation eliminates the possibility of such misfortunes by conducting efficient order processing.
Another way in which robotic automation makes the process extremely convenient for the clients, as well as the business, is order tracking. This feature allows the distributors to answer clients’ queries quicker by updating them on the order. It even ticks off delivery status as proof of timely delivery and updates the system.
In a manual process, a customer service representative will take the query, access the system to attain PRO number, and then trace the shipment by making relevant calls, and then re-key the data into the company’s system and also on the other end so that the client can see it too.
RPA, on the other hand, is provided access to the logistics’ data from where it can access PRO number without any human employee getting involved, the robotic process then uses that information to trace and track further data on shipment. All this time, the data keeps on getting updated on all ends including the clients’.
Crete Carrier Corporation revolutionized when it employed RPA after facing a certain challenge. The company was having difficulty maintaining an excessive amount of work that goes into scheduling deliveries. They were missing all the appointments they were receiving on the weekends because order scheduling staff only sits Monday through Friday.
The logistics company ended up searching for a solution and landed on Kofax Kapow – an RPA platform. Today, the company has a huge digital workforce, according to Matt Schnake, Website Integration Administrator at Crete Carrier Corporation, “We’ve been using Kofax Kapow for almost four years now and are currently running 467 robots running more than 1 million robot executions yearly with a runtime of more than 13,000 robot hours. 24 additional robots are currently in our design queue. We have just three people looking after the Kofax solutions—the robots are very easy to configure, and once we’ve deployed one, it pretty much manages itself.”
Speedy Invoices and Quicker Payments
Anyone who is familiar with supplying, distributing and logistics business knows that one of the most challenging parts about being a B2B entity is getting paid, once the job is done. Since the amounts are usually huge, businesses like to take their sweet time in paying back. On top of that, manual invoicing itself is so slow that clients get even lazier. The usual route to getting the payments is having one employee make follow-up calls, send emails, etc. This makes the process slower and further delays the payments.
RPA on the other hand, not only streamlines order tracking but also hones the credit collection process. RPA automates and manages the entire process from the order placement to delivery. It also keeps the clients in the loop at all times by ensuring constant and clear communication.
When such an interface is maintained, it eliminates tasks required to perform during the delivery process and after the delivery has been made. Tasks such as a collection of invoices, supporting documentation, bill-of-lading and then copy-pasting all this information into the internal system to create invoices and them passing it on to the clients.
The digital workforce eliminates tedious tasks such as cutting and pasting, reentries, extracting data, calculating, and updating B2B portals, etc. RPA creates invoices that are 100% error-free. Additionally, RPA also takes care of reminders, notifications, emails, and links to the payment procedure and delays the delay in payments. The automation of all these functions allows the carrier companies to keep an eye on the payment delays more closely.
Throughout the delivery process, it is crucial that the supplier and the client stay in touch. This communication not only ensures good service but also serves a proof in many cases.
That said, this contact doesn’t strictly have to be active communication unless the situation demands it. All it requires is maintaining steady communication via emails that first informs the client about order confirmation, then updates on the status via email at every stage, the emails after the delivery of the goods should ask for feedbacks, and the emails containing invoices, then reminder emails and once that is done, emails that will ensure further dealing in the future.
All this steady flow of emails can take lots of employees and their time, RPA can handle it all by itself by leveraging B2B portals with RPA. Instead of an employee managing and keying in the data in both portals and manually entering date of order placement, date of expected delivery, and other order shipment and scheduling details, RPA automates it all. This will leave the employee to deal with any sort of discrepancy or exceptional cases with attention and liberty.
Fortunately, the logistics business has always stayed on their toes with the help of advanced technologies, and this time around, it is RPA that is guaranteeing streamlined operations even in the long run. Robotic Process Automation increases proficiency in logistics by automating tasks, eliminating the chances of errors, preventing delays, reducing cost, and ensuring proper storage. All in all, RPA allows the logistics business to increase their productivity with competency.
Omnisys Solutions has a well-developed practice in RPA, which supports both data analytics initiatives as well as carry out automation driven initiatives. With a focus on business value, Omnisys leverages RPA to deliver tangible dollar benefits to its customers.