Robotic Process Automation, or RPA, has helped make industries much more efficient in their processes. With the help of special programs and robots, repetitive processes that would consume time and resources can now be automated. This creates a faster and more accurate network where robots take over tasks otherwise executed by humans, essentially eliminating human error and unnecessary delays.
RPA is especially useful in the logistics and supply chain industries. Functions that do not require specialized knowledge are well suited for RPA. Implementing RPA can help free up resources and labor that can be utilized for other value-added tasks.
Business Analysts in the logistics industry help companies analyze their data and processes to find cost-effective, timely, efficient, and high-quality solutions to improve their operations. In addition, they can identify processes that would benefit from RPA optimization.
Creating strategies for implementing the RPA into specific operations that Business Analysts want to optimize involve preparing an analysis report outlining the costs and benefits of the RPA solutions. This report should then be presented to higher management for implementation.
Scalability, cost-effectiveness, and efficiency of the RPA must be considered when implementing. Although there are numerous ways you can integrate RPA into any industry, the information below outlines common methods in the logistics industry.
How Can a Business Analyst Use RPA in Logistics
Although RPA has been in use for quite some time, it is rapidly gaining traction in logistics. The use of RPA in this area results in innovative solutions for everyday problems that have plagued logistics for years. The following are some methods Business Analysts can use RPA in logistics.
The Problem: Data entry errors and delays cause extensive lags during crunch time, where entire processes may be halted due to improper or incomplete data.
The Solution: Automation Of Data Entry
Data entry automation has revolutionized the industry. Logistics managers can now use RPA to complete mundane clerical tasks without fear of mistakes or delays. In addition, RPA automation can remember vast amounts of data.
The Problem: There is a lag in data transmission and integration due to human delay and/or error. This often causes issues in complaint management and delay in processes.
The Solution: Integrated Transmission of Data
Data analytics is an important function of companies. By integrating data from different sources and analyzing it, a logistics Business Analyst can gain critical insights into various issues. An example of this is temperature regulation and monitoring.
When temperature-sensitive goods are placed under RPA supervision in temperature-controlled trucks, they are monitored through consistent channels, and reports of their condition are generated frequently.
Any changes in temperature regulation will alert the Robotic Process, then relay the information via alerts and automated messages to relevant stakeholders and initiate necessary actions. All of this is possible because of the automated transmission and analysis of data from sensors in the storage units.
The same function can be applied to numerous scenarios that rely on fast data transmission and response. When such operations are under human control, there are greater chances of delays and errors occurring.
Furthermore, human errors such as improper formatting that can lead to delayed actions are also eliminated.
The Problem: The process of order management is labor-intensive, time-consuming, and at times complex. Customers have many data entry points, and manufacturers to the supply chain manager must take customer demands into account.
Therefore, speed of delivery is one of the critical aspects of the order management process. Everything from inbound logistics to outbound logistics must flow efficiently and efficiently.
Storing customer data, retrieving, and evaluating it manually is a complex task that is prone to numerous mistakes due to the sheer volume of the data received, analyzed, and then relayed.
The Solution: Management of Orders Through RPA
Order management is one of the core functions of logistics. However, by streamlining this task by outsourcing it to RPA, companies can utilize their skilled employees for various other tasks that add value. If a need for an amendment or a temporary change is required, an employee can halt or override that part of the process and deliver the custom order.
This allows for better customer service, a more efficient ordering and delivery service, and potential revenue growth as well.
The Problem: Handling returns and catering to after-sales services take up a lot of valuable employee time and halts company progress. Although these tasks are critical, they do not generate revenue or add value to company operations.
The Solution: Handling Returns and After-Sales Service
Just like order management, returns and after-sales services also directly rely upon data provided by customers. You can fully automate the return of goods provided clearly defined outlines.
However, after-sales service may require some employee intervention. In which case, trying to automate or streamline the process as much as possible is the best solution. For example, using chatbots to engage with customers, find out their query or complaint, and redirect the customer to the relevant department can be a great way to save valuable employee time that they can redirect towards customer care.
Although handling disgruntled customers may not be automated yet, the rest of the processes are, which means that employees can give more attention to individual customer complaints.
The Problem: Routine maintenance procedures are vital for the continued optimal performance of operations and machinery. However, assessing situations, relaying information, and gathering the necessary teams to initiate the process requires employee effort and valuable time.
The Solution: Maintenance Predictions
Automating this process will eliminate delays that would normally be attributed to manual labor. For example, when information about parameters and timelines set for maintenance is given to an RPA engine, the process is automated, and routine maintenance check-ups are carried out on time.
This helps save employee effort, improves response time, measures the frequency of maintenance complaints, and effectively resolves the issue while storing data for review and analyses later.
The Problem: In routine stock maintenance, the stock is often manually calculated, and if need be, the vendors are contacted, and orders are placed. This entire process is monitored and carried out automatically, leaving room for numerous mistakes and delays. If the vendors are not prompted on time and the required items are not procured in time, this could lead to unnecessary delays and a possible loss of revenue.
The Solution: Initiation of Order
Another process that a logistics Business Analyst can help streamline is the initiation of orders. Automating this process using RPA bots to monitor inventory levels and place automatic orders when there is a dip below a specified level will lead to a smoother and more efficient process.
Automation can help keep the supply chain process as efficient as possible and avoid lost sales due to missing inventory. Furthermore, appropriate barrier processes for approvals can also be placed to ensure the system does not over or under order the required stock.
How To Implement RPA As A Logistics Business Analyst
Now that you have a fair idea of some of the systems that you can improve through RPA, you must also have an action plan for its implementation—introducing RPA to a company that is resistant to technological innovations is a challenge.
First, however, you must outline the benefits of RPA from a logistics point of view and delineate all the potential that it carries. Here is a short guide on how you can implement the RPA system in your place of work:
Have Well-Defined Goals And Strategies
You must define which processes you want to automate and what you hope to achieve through RPA. These goals must be measurable and reasonable.
Ensure Everyone Is On Board
You must ensure everyone, from the higher management to the lowest, is on board with the implementation of RPA and are compliant as well.
Monitor Progress and Implement Change Where Needed
Monitor progress every week and make changes where needed to ensure the smooth running of the RPA.
Build And Maintain RPA Team And Systems
Continue to monitor and improve the RPA system by dedicating a team and procedures to ensure smooth running.
RPA is the future when it comes to industry supply chain and logistics. It is a simple and cost-effective solution to some of the most frustrating problems companies face. However, not all companies can come up with or implement simple IT solutions for such complex problems. At Integratz, we’re dedicated to helping make technology easier for you. If you would like to improve your company’s operations, make your processes more efficient and save valuable employee time and effort, then schedule a meeting with our representative now!