The Benefits of Employing RPA in the Supply Chain

Logistics Tech Outlook | Tuesday, September 01, 2020

When combined with predictive or prescriptive analytics, RPA creates a continuous improvement process that streamlines the supply chain.

FREMONT, CA: Deployment of smart bots to automate redundant manual processes is ubiquitous across the businesses. Robotic process automation (RPA) is one such software version that automates high volume, simple manual tasks. More commonly, it is used to automate an end-to-end process that involves the use of several systems, portals, and internal and external websites. But technologies like RPA will play a key role in supply chain management too.

Many logistics service providers have started utilizing RPA to cut down on the labor associated with creating transportation plans. They are using RPA to automate manual tasks involved with their legacy transportation management system (TMS).

Here are some of the significant benefits of incorporating RPA in the supply chain:

Elimination of Manual Input in Purchase

Purchase orders and their processing is a significant overhead for suppliers, retailers, and manufacturers. RPA can be used to identify the required inventory levels and to match them against the actual stock. Then RPA will generate a purchase order that goes up to the supply chain without the need for human intervention.

Analyzing the Redundant Tasks

RPA generates massive data. The accumulated data is analyzed to understand how the processes can be enhanced further, enabling greater efficiencies, time, and cost-cutting. RPA combined with predictive or prescriptive analytics, creates a continuous improvement process that streamlines the supply chain.

Integration with Other Supply Chain Tools

An ideal RPA use case is not limited to one organization or platform. It will allow seamless integration across multiple software, systems, and tools used by the players throughout the supply chain. The integration not only reduces duplication but also enhances quality and speed for all manufacturers, suppliers, retailers, and other organizations.

With numerous advantages, there are a few challenges too that accompany the incorporation of RPA in the supply chain such as the quick implementation of RPA agents or improper integration with the business processes can create operational overheads that are financially challenging.

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