How to Choose an Automated Document Processing Platform

Businesses across the board have evolved since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. In many cases, cramped cubicles, overstuffed file cabinets, and the company water cooler have been replaced by home offices within mere steps of the fridge or some other informal setting, such as a local coffee shop served by a favorite barista. The technology boom of the past decade accelerated to a whole new level when businesses were suddenly sent home.

As 2022 reveals a professional world that is more aware of the benefits of remote access to work, more supply chain professionals are choosing to invest in cloud-based technology and automation. One such technology taking the industry further than before is intelligent document automation. Here are six tips to consider when choosing this tech.

1. Benchmark Current Operations to Know Your Needs

Although automated document processing platforms often advertise cookie-cutter packages, it’s important for freight companies to first examine their own needs before trying to fit in the offerings of a platform. Creating a standard for current operations better equips decision-makers to choose a data-driven processing option that doesn’t limit them to their platform’s restraints. 

2. Evaluate System Vendor Features

When buying RPA for supply chain needs, freight forwarders should consider the intelligent document automation abilities it holds. Is it able to properly classify documents? Are there data extraction limitations? If data release is equally automated, what is the confidence level that the system uses to mark exceptions? These are important not only for daily business functions but also for logistics analytics.

3. Consider the User-Friendliness of the System.

In the face of a supply chain talent shortage, more companies are turning to automation to maximize the availability of team members. However, automated document processing platforms are only helpful if they are usable. If team members are having to spend months launching RPA into their business workflow, that leaves drastically less time to focus on time-sensitive needs.

4. Ensure the System Is Compatible With Your Tech Stack

As decision-makers narrow down platform options for intelligent document automation, they not only need to consider their in-house tech stack but the tech stacks of customers as well. Does this document processing platform host electronic data interchange (EDI)? Does it contain an application programming interface (API) that mediates between customer applications? An effective RPA will answer yes.

5. Choose a Software That Offers Clear ROI Like RPA

In their 16 case studies of RPA incorporation, McKinsey & Company reported that most RPA uses generated “a return on investment that varies between 30% and as much as 200% in the first year.” With multiple software options available, it’s important to scutinize who clearly advertises the ROI of robotic process automation for their customers and which ones decline to share that data. 

6. Ensure the Software Digitizes/Automates Generation, Sharing, and Notifications

When deliberating between systems, decision-makers should be sure to read the fine print. Is this system simply a well-advertised OCR, or can it actually digitize supply chain documents and utilize the data to generate new ones? A high-quality RPA software can even provide alerts when these documents are shared, signed, and opened. 

Choose a Software That Streamlines Document Processing – Choose RPA Labs

Although the supply chain has typically been mired with archaic workflows, technology’s tide can no longer hold back. Freight forwarders and shippers can value to their company by investing in an automated document processing platform that not only fits their needs today but can grow with them. Intelligent document automation should be a user-friendly, virtual partner that integrates with your tech stack to promote organization, accuracy, and communication during all stages of document processing. To see how RPA Labs can fit this bill, schedule your demo today.

Freight Document Processing: Dos and Don’ts

After two years of “unprecedented times,” companies prioritizing resiliency have seen incredible gains. Now more than ever, companies are searching for tools that maximize both their stability and flexibility when facing the future. 

When asked about this for the 2021 MHI Annual Industry Report, 53% of the supply chain professionals surveyed said they are investing in robotics and automation technologies, while 54% are investing in cloud computing and storage. It’s important to consider these ten factors when considering automated document processing technology to add value and resiliency to the freight industry.

1. Do Enable Real-Time Document Sharing Capabilities

One of the most beneficial aspects of a document management system is its ability to share documents in real time. By programming rules that guide the system, freight forwarders can automate an integral part of their business communications.

2. Don’t Waste Time By Sharing Documents Exclusively by Email

Business owners on every end of the supply chain understand how full their email box can be at the start of a new morning. Maximize the use of an RPA by sharing documents via integrated platforms instead.

3. Do Gather Data From Your Tech Stack to Create Documents

It is easy for management members to get behind on paperwork, causing them to ask, “What’s possible to automate?” just to relieve some of the workload. Integrated automated document processing technology can generate documents instantly, removing hours of manual workload.

4. Don’t Print Documents Unnecessarily

As mentioned above, supply chain professionals are rapidly looking into cloud computing and storage. By moving all document processing to the cloud, businesses reduce operational costs starting with minimal printing costs and expanding into much more. 

5. Do Use Automated Checklists to Ensure All Documents Are Accurate

With automated document processing technology, freight forwarders can add an internal checklist to the system that pre-checks all documents for accuracy. By automatically sending an exception alert in cases of inaccuracy, the associated people make corrections before sharing. 

6. Don’t Assume IT-Only Solutions Work the Same as RPA

Although IT-only solutions have been around longer than RPA, the functions vary. It’s important to note that many IT-only solutions take longer to implement and have a longer window to see a return on investment. 

7. Do Use AI to Manage and Organize Documents

Freight document management is sped up dramatically by incorporating AI into the process. Companies that maximize on full automation see an increase in the analytics utilized to manage documents simply to search through records for more than the first title.

8. Don’t Forget to Stay Apprised of Changing Document Requirements

Despite the hopes of completely handing over managing critical documents to automation, the system still requires human oversight. By maintaining awareness of local and federal document requirement changes, freight forwarders can then re-train their RPA system to generate documents that satisfy requirements. 

9. Do Integrate Document Management With Invoicing and Payment Processes

Documents related to the freight bill process are undoubtedly one of the largest sources of paperwork a freight forwarding business must manage. By integrating automated document processing technology, companies are better prepared to handle new and returning customers.

10. Don’t Forget to Follow Through on Outstanding Invoices

Although many might not consider outstanding invoice notifications as part of customer service best practices, others might debate otherwise. Automating document processing equips forwarders to clearly communicate at every step, leaving fewer customers in the dark.

Create a Better Freight Document Processing Strategy With RPA Labs

By incorporating an automated document processing technology, freight forwarders can drastically minimize manual workload and have remote access at any location. To learn how these document processing tips and more can add value to your business, schedule a demo with RPA Labs today

How to Use Artificial Intelligence (AI)  for Shipping Document Automation

Freight costs are rising faster than experts expected. Transport Topics reported, “While we had been projecting spot rates to increase 4% year-over-year in 2022, our lead economist has adjusted his forecast to 6% growth.” As domestic truck rates increase, international trade freight costs will most likely escalate too. Shippers and freight forwarders are turning to AI for shipping document automation to stay competitive in price and efficiency. 

What Is Shipping Document Automation?

Shipping document automation uses robotics processing automation (RPA) to extract data and appropriately sync it with an internal business system. AI can process both paper freight documents and submit digitized documents within seconds, compared to the hours it takes manually. Freight managers maximize efficiency and minimize inaccurate output by moving toward complete automation workflow.

1. Automatically Classify All Documents

While optical character recognition has been a traditional form of digitizing data, AI-powered document management can take the extracted text and properly classify it. AI can separate freight documents properly by type by interpreting patterns and information on documents. Although a simple task, this alone relieves manual labor, creating a smooth document management system for shipping.

2. Give Your Team the Ability to Capture and Share POD Images Live

When buying an RPA for supply chain companies, it’s important to consider the areas this system can streamline. By utilizing AI in document automation, freight management parties have the opportunity to streamline their team and carrier interactions by digitizing proof of delivery (POD) documents in real-time. 

3. Upload and Share Documents in Real-Time

Because the supply chain of 2022 is turbulent, it’s essential to have access to business documents in real-time. AI proves its value in this area alone by removing the possibility for document processing to be delayed due to employee sickness or leave. This access gives shippers and freight forwarders the ability to pass on live visibility to customers. 

3. Analyze Documents to Ensure Accuracy and Completeness

As freight costs rise, it’s crucial for freight management parties to minimize mistakes that can quickly deter customers. Shipping document automation is taken two steps further with AI through its ability to provide accuracy and completeness. Regardless of the time of day or amount of submitted data, AI is ready to process with minimal inaccuracy. 

4. Enable Email Management and Response Bots to Capture a Bigger “Picture” of All Documents

Baseline RPA is limited to extracting data with rules set for each session or document type. However, AI can utilize complete data collected from extracted documents for more data-driven processing, such as email management and response bots. Creating a big picture from all documentsprovides more information to maximize efficiency and logistics. 

5. Consolidate Order Data to Begin Fulfillment

International shippers know that orders can come in at all times of day, and AIs are ready for them. By consolidating order data from the same or multiple customers, AI can initiate and predict shipping timelines. Doing this maximizes efficiency by providing manual workers the opportunity to start their shift with all data necessary for fulfillment.

6. Follow Through With AI-Generated Notifications for Exceptions

Shipping document automation with AI vastly improves the ability to handle exceptions. By utilizing a set confidence score, AIs will add documents that don’t meet the minimum confidence score, also called exceptions, for human review on the TMS or other company-wide logistics systems. 

7. Track Everything and Repeat.

With an AI-enabled workflow process established, data comes streaming in. Patterns in freight documents that the natural eye might are quickly made clear, often with actionable solutions. Human review of exceptions offers opportunities to more efficiently and correctly quote, bookm and repeat without dragging down employees with tedious tasks.

Boost Shipping Document Automation With RPA Labs

Freight forwarders and shippers receive thousands of documents a year; it could even amount to that in a month for some companies. Deploying an AI solution offers a logistical solution while freeing employees for human-facing interactions and decisions that build a business. To see how your freight documents and data integration can be optimized, schedule a demo with RPA Labs today.

Document Management System for Shipping: Using Robotic Process Automation and Chatbots

Logistics managers and experts should budget for automation so that they can improve their current document management system for shipping. As businesses and organizations in logistics drift from the more traditional supply chain processes, embracing automation across all activities, from customer service requests through managing the ever-growing list of emails, will put them on the path to greater productivity, growth and scalability. A traditional document management system for shipping uses too many manual hours that increase the likelihood for error, and that doesn’t even consider the lost time spent sorting through emails to find details.  The integration of this platform can transform using robotic process automation and chatbots to complete rule-based computer functions and automate repetitive tasks in less time. Disorganization in document management can cause many issues, so automating this information is the best avenue. 

Traditional Document Management Uses Too Many Manual Hours and Increases Error

Another way RPA is transforming transportation and logistics is by automating document management, according to Deloitte.com. Traditional methods of documentation are made easier with new systems becoming more readily available in the industry. Older processes continue to become obsolete with the implementation of RPA to manage back-office workflows, email or chatbot-guided interactions. This increases efficiency helps alleviate the impact of the growing talent shortage and creates an ecosystem that is far more sustainable. However, there is little room for error, especially for smaller logistics companies. Boosting the document management system for shipping means investing in this technology so companies remain competitive in an already competitive market. 

RPA Enables Automation and Efficiency in Document Management System for Shipping

The entire idea behind combining RPA with a document management system for shipping is that it encourages efficiency and automation within all systems. It grants shippers the ability to process shipments faster. It also assists with document procurement and better access to information. Automatically processing many transactions simultaneously saves so much valuable time. RPA bots deliver information and tracking on command, combing email to find data and compile responses comparable to a human interaction. This sets the stage for increased profit potential by freeing up work hours spent on those time-consuming document management tasks. 

Ways RPA and Chatbots Enable Actionability of Documents 

Additional ways RPA and chatbots assist with a document management system for shipping is by enabling actionability. Documentation can be automated and with this system boost, they are sorted and sent immediately. Other ways RPA and chatbots help enable actionability to include: 

  • RPA sharing of POD and BOL. Proof of delivery (POD) and a bill of lading (BOL) both essentially mean customers absolutely received their packages. RPA streamlines the process of this documentation by uploading the information automatically. 
  • Updating systems of record based on documents and vice versa. RPA and chatbots update systems automatically without any need for human confirmation. They also store the information for when it is needed. 
  • Trigger additional workflows when an exception is noted in documentation. If an issue arises that needs to be addressed, software bots spontaneously upload documents and enable the next step before teams intervene. 
  • Auto-invoicing and notifying partners of details. Bots send off the information automatically, notifying all stakeholders before they ask or before an issue arises. 
  • Processing payments and auto-reconciliation. Automated payments are possible with RPA and chatbots, and if consumers have an issue that needs to be resolved, that can be done without the use of manual hours. 
  • Reconciliation of inventory logs. Consolidation of inventory logs and automating this process keeps logistics managers in the loop so they can keep inventory stocked and ready to go regardless of how suppliers communicate, whether by email, integrated platforms, or digital document sharing. 

Combat Disorganized Document Management by Using Robotic Process Automation and Chatbots Today

With all of the benefits RPA has for a document management system for shipping, it also boosts automations for freight forwarders and other logistics experts. Combat disorganization today and implement RPA and chatbots. Schedule a demo with RPA Labs to get started.

Document Management System for Shipping: Using Robotic Process Automation and Chatbots

Logistics managers and experts should budget for automation so that they can improve their current document management system for shipping. As businesses and organizations in logistics drift from the more traditional supply chain processes, embracing automation across all activities, from customer service requests through managing the ever-growing list of emails, will put them on the path to greater productivity, growth and scalability. A traditional document management system for shipping uses too many manual hours that increase the likelihood for error, and that doesn’t even consider the lost time spent sorting through emails to find details.  The integration of this platform can transform using RPA and chatbots to complete rule-based computer functions and automate repetitive tasks in less time. Disorganization in document management can cause many issues, so automating this information is the best avenue. 

Traditional Document Management Uses Too Many Manual Hours and Increases Error

Another way RPA is transforming transportation and logistics is by automating document management, according to Deloitte.com. Traditional methods of documentation are made easier with new systems becoming more readily available in the industry. Older processes continue to become obsolete with the implementation of RPA to manage back-office workflows, email or chatbot-guided interactions. This increases efficiency, helps alleviate the impact of the growing talent shortage, and creates an ecosystem that is far more sustainable. However, there is little room for error, especially for smaller logistics companies. Boosting the document management system for shipping means investing in this technology so companies remain competitive in an already competitive market. 

RPA Enables Automation and Efficiency in Document Management System for Shipping

The entire idea behind combining RPA with a document management system for shipping is that it encourages efficiency and automation within all systems. It grants shippers the ability to process shipments faster. It also assists with document procurement and better access to information. Automatically processing many transactions simultaneously saves so much valuable time. RPA bots deliver information and tracking on command, combing email to find data and compile responses comparable to a human interaction. This sets the stage for increased profit potential by freeing up work hours spent on those time-consuming document management tasks. 

Ways RPA and Chatbots Enable Actionability of Documents 

Additional ways RPA and chatbots assist with a document management system for shipping is by enabling actionability. Documentation can be automated and with this system boost, they are sorted and sent immediately. Other ways RPA and chatbots help enable actionability include: 

  • RPA sharing of POD and BOL. Proof of delivery (POD) and a bill of lading (BOL) both essentially mean customers absolutely received their packages. RPA streamlines the process of this documentation by uploading the information automatically. 
  • Updating systems of record based on documents and vice versa. RPA and chatbots update systems automatically without any need for human confirmation. They also store the information for when it is needed. 
  • Trigger additional workflows when an exception is noted in documentation. If an issue arises that needs to be addressed, software bots spontaneously upload documents and enable the next step before teams intervene. 
  • Auto-invoicing and notifying partners of details. Bots send off the information automatically, notifying all stakeholders before they ask or before an issue arises. 
  • Processing payments and auto-reconciliation. Automated payments are possible with robotic process automation and chatbots, and if consumers have an issue that needs to be resolved, that can be done without the use of manual hours. 
  • Reconciliation of inventory logs. Consolidation of inventory logs and automating this process keeps logistics managers in the loop so they can keep inventory stocked and ready to go regardless of how suppliers communicate, whether by email, integrated platforms, or digital document sharing. 

Combat Disorganized Document Management by Using Robotic Process Automation and Chatbots Today

With all of the benefits RPA has for a document management system for shipping, it also boosts automations for freight forwarders and other logistics experts. Combat disorganization today and implement RPA and chatbots. Schedule a demo with RPA Labs to get started.

Freight Document Management: Using RPA with BOLs, Pre-Alert, Arrival, & Invoice Documents

Robotic automation, chatbots, and AI technology are more than just the latest fads. These advancements in technology help streamline countless functions and tasks within global supply chain operations and management systems. Everything from freight document management to shipment tracking to payment tracking can benefit from automation and robotic processes. Robotic process automation (RPA) can improve operations with BOLs, delivery alerts, freight document recording, real-time monitoring, drop-off confirmation, and payment verifications. 

How RPA Enables Freight Document Management and Improves Data Collection, Analysis, and Application

Companies that work to implement RPA often achieve a strong competitive advantage through flexibility and adaptability. Automating complicated tasks and reducing both time and man-hours involved can help improve profits across the entire supply chain. According to Supply Chain Digital, the average international transactions require 35 separate freight documents with more than two dozen different parties getting involved. 

Imagine all those interactions occurring digitally, and half of those interactions result in a manual email. However, RPA could power email response bots to compile data from emails, respond to emails when they arrive, and share relevant points or data with connected systems. It all adds up to increased efficiency within the management of all activities. 

Additionally, compliance needed for domestic and international shipments can run into the hundreds for regulations and into the hundreds for additional trade agreements that also have to be considered when making any shipment across international borders. This serves as a striking example of how freight document management systems and improved data collection, analysis, and application can improve every step of domestic and international shipments.

The Value of RPA in BOLs and Pre-Alerts Along with Other Innovations Can Improve Freight Document Management and Streamline Routine Processes

When systems are outdated and processes stagnate, it causes many devastating disruptions: poor collaboration, communication issues, lost capacity, lost records, poor logistics management, additional fees, poor order completions, and poor customer service. Deploying a cloud-based supply chain platform designed to assimilate data and utilize machine learning tools and automated software systems can generate more long-lasting ROI and business benefits. Automating paperwork makes it easier to manage Bill of Lading (BOL) paperwork, invoices, payment records, claims reports, and other freight documents. The benefits of RPA can usually fall into three primary areas within the supply chain:

    • Collaboration – Provides improved networking and team-building opportunities. 
    • Analytics – Faster collection and processing of data to easily send to team members.
    • Utilization – Ensures proper use of tools, data, and resources to boost overall profits. 

Utilize and Apply RPA Effectively to Keep Everyone Informed and to Bolster Collaborative Efforts Within the Supply Chain

Advanced automation and robotic software have come a long way in recent years and have improved supply chain services. RPA systems, including chatbots, documentation bots, workflow bots, and other innovations make it easier to collaborate with other parties and team members within the supply chain. Add to that the power and versatility of machine learning, intelligent data analytics, and prebuilt and preprogrammed automated services, and it is easy to see how utilizing these tools becomes vital for continued growth.

  • Implement technological upgrades to reduce manual processing of orders and other administrative tasks. 
  • Run AI-based bots and software to automate processes and eliminate human error and mistakes almost entirely.
  • RPA empowers management with the ability to respond quickly to proposals, quotes, and questions, thanks to smart logistics automation.
  • Integrate innovative technology to streamline back-office processes such as recordkeeping and freight document management.
  • Train staff members and complete thorough onboarding processes to ultimately increase productivity and profits. 
  • Operate customer service automatically with chatbots that provide 24/7, 365, engagement on any digital platform.
  • Upgrade data collection and analytic systems to boost RPA functions and bolster current inefficiencies within the network.

Utilize the Power of RPA and automation to Improve Freight Document Management and Overall Organizational Practices

While most supply chain managers, logistics providers, shippers, transporters, and retailers have adopted automated processes, many businesses still lack full integration in their automation attempts. To truly grow and succeed in these times of market disruption and volatility, it is vital for shippers and freight forwarders to embrace the power of RPA and all the various automation and tech-driven innovations that are available. RPA can transform the entire inner workings of the supply chain, from shipment tracking to document management to overall investment returns. Book a demo with RPA Labs to learn more about how your team can start leveraging chatbots in freight interactions today.