Where Are My Supply Chain Documents? Managing Critical Documents with Automation

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Staying on top of the ever-changing omnichannel service options and keeping track of supply chain documents and freight documents remains vital for continued growth and success within competitive markets. Supplies big and small and all logistical teams and supply chain management teams can suffer from poor document management. As highlighted by 6 River Systems contributor Emily Murphy, “many areas of the supply chain might not feel as if they are affected by this omnichannel revolution, but it disturbs every part of the supply chain. These changing buyer habits then require complete cohesivity within your organization. Therefore, better network design, planning and operations are all needed, and all of which might not be completely satisfactory.” This requires supply chain managers and logistic directors to embrace automation, digitization, flexibility, and AI throughout the process of document management within the modern supply chain network. The power of RPA in the shipping industry waits to be fully tapped into!

Why Missing Documents Are a Major Problem in Supply Chain Management

The importance of adequately managing supply chain documents is easy to see when the sheer volume and types of papers the average company generates come into focus. 

From, bill of lading (BOL), proof of delivery (POD), customs clearance authorizations, invoices, inspection documentation, and other vital documents, every shipment can have a huge paper trail attached to it. As a result, missing papers and poorly recorded or erroneous paperwork can present the following challenges to supply chain managers:

  • Delays at ports and loading/unloading areas
  • Issues with customs and border crossings
  • Missed pricing errors and overcharges
  • Additional fees due to non-compliance
  • Surcharges stemming from delays and disruptions
  • Wasted resources and man-hours
  • Lack of thorough logistics process automation
  • Missed opportunities due to filing errors
  • Legal and contract expenses from claims

Automation Offers a Way to Digitize All Documents

Using robotic processing automation or RPA can make it easier for shippers and managers alike to aggregate documents and apply the data more effectively. Proper recording of documents means more accessible access to the information contained within them through the supply chain tech stack. Managing critical paperwork is easier with automation of supply chain documents. Finances Online reports the following as some of the most commonly reported document management challenges of the past few years:

  • 83% of employees end up recreating documents they cannot locate, thus wasting time and resources.
  • 46% of supply chain management find it time-consuming and challenging to find documents on demand.
  • 42% of documents cannot easily be found due to poor or improper labeling, organizing, and filing.
  • 41% of the information needed for vital supply chain operations ends up getting saved in the wrong place.

Keeping track of supply chain documents digitally with RPA in the supply chain network makes every aspect of record-keeping and data management much easier.

How to Manage Critical Documents With RPA-Based Technology

Every piece of paper generated by orders and shipments within the supply chain network could potentially impact profits and delivery and therefore must remain accessible. Traditionally, supply chains have not focused on making a move to digital documentation and recording. Managing critical supply chain documents is easier with RPA in supply chain innovation and brings benefits including, but not limited to:

  • Integrate various supply chain systems under one TMS platform.
  • Teach the RPA algorithm what key terms to look for in documents.
  • Ensure documents are viewable, usable, whether obtained via email or within a TMS, and easily accessible on demand.
  • Think about integration with an email to gather documents from there too.
  • Choose a world-class logistics RPA solution that’s prebuilt and ready to roll.
  • Remember to think about the customer service side of interactions.
  • Train RPA bots to review documents and send that information to customers.

Gain Control Over Supply Chain Documents With Automation and RPA Labs

Consumer demands and market trends constantly change, whether that entails the demand for faster order fulfillment, rising pressure from e-commerce shipping, growing need for last-mile delivery services, or the continued struggle to meet customer demands.  Master the process of digital documentation management, logistics automation, and adequate supply chain documents upkeep with innovative technology from RPA Labs. Schedule your free demo today.

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