Twenty-first-century freight management parties have more opportunities than ever to maximize efficiency. The incorporation of technology into daily living has provided massive opportunities for workflow automation. Companies automate workflow by streamlining routine tasks into an efficient, connected system. Yet, just as the Jetsons predicted, that’s not all that can happen in the twenty-first century. Today, companies can use all sorts of technological tools to create more data-driven processing that puts time back in the pockets of freight moving America.
What Is Optical Character Recognition, Robotics Process Automation, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning?
- Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is a technology that extracts text from image-based documents and changes it into editable text. For example, it’s possible to pull dates, prices and other data from scanned invoices to be easily copied and pasted into a system with an OCR. This tech is limited strictly by the guides and rules that must be user-written to add meaning and context to this data.
- Robotics Process Automation (RPA) takes the technology a step further to allow for computer-based, rule-driven automation. The differences between RPA vs. OCR involve RPA’s ability to work through varying tasks integrated between multiple systems. Therefore RPA in the shipping industry expands past a document managing system into 24/7 monitoring of shipments, payment integration, and even collecting carrier data from the carrier’s own websites. With the right RPA, companies can remove routine, tedious tasks from human employees to give them more time margin for important judgment involving duties.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a technology composed of created machines that simulate human thinking, capability, or intelligence. AI can power other forms of technology, giving the latter system the human-like ability to understand the context and make judgments. For example, quality AI-powered chatbots can help problem solve and interact with customers in real-time.
- Machine Learning (ML) is a subset of AI where machines can automatically learn from data without strict programming requirements. This technology utilizes algorithms and other statistics to search for unique and actionable data patterns. ML is another tech form companies primarily use to power automations of workflow that can accomplish things such as monitoring overall business productivity.
Why Comprehensive Automation Is Essential to Successful Use of Any One Technology
Although the four technologies described above are different in intended purpose and nature, businesses rely heavily on all of them for their ability to process information in real-time. In many circumstances, one technology can’t be separated from another to act accordingly. An OCR may contain some ML to better filter through context. A thorough RPA may incorporate a high-functioning AI that can engage, provide accuracy in workflow, and pursue solutions when logistics reveal a problem. RPA vs. OCR can be differentiated out clearly at their core functions, but their functions can overlap when additional technology is added as the backbone.
Regardless, modern logistics operations require more automation. Logistics at its core is simply the management of sharing information. Without comprehensive automation, all technologies listed above are even more limited than their coding. With automation across the board, the logistics process of managing shared information can observe actionable data. This actionable data can range from flagging repeated avoidable fees to improving order shipment and inventory accuracy to even reducing global booking confusion.
Put the Power of Complete Automated Processes to Work With RPA Labs
McKinsey and Company reported ROI data on businesses who use RPA “that varies between 30 and as much as 200 percent in the first year.” However, the value of a capable RPA is even beyond monetary gain. RPA value also manifests in the hours of repetitive workload that companies can remove from their employees’ day to free them up for human reason-driven tasks. To see the power of workflow automation in action, schedule a demo with RPA Labs today.