RPA, Quote, Book and Repeat: Top Best Practices For RPA in Logistics

Robotic process automation (RPA) is specially designed software that performs routine and mundane tasks, much like a human workforce does, but with greater efficiency and accuracy. Applying RPA in logistics helps streamline multiple functions throughout the network by utilizing specialized algorithms, business logic, and structured data points. As highlighted by Customer Think, “logistics and supply chain is one of the fastest-growing and most competitive sectors in the world. Over the years, businesses have invested billions of dollars in scaling up their process and infrastructure to lower the price and look for opportunities to increase efficiency. This industry heavily relies on back-office operations to undertake challenging jobs such as scheduling shipments & deliveries, cross-docking, monitoring changes, handling exceptions, and, most important, keeping customers happy.” While many logistics managers and supply chain directors have integrated new tech stacks and TMS platforms, data integration and automation remain a challenge for most transportation service providers. Logistical robotics processing automation tools and software can make a significant impact on day-to-day operations within the supply chain by following these best practices: 

1. Use RPA to Handle Email Tender Requests

Automated email organization, scanning, and response systems can free up a great deal of time for team members. Automated logistics chatbots and email bots can reply to these messages rather than humans responding to standard email requests and inquiries with copy-pasted responses. 

2. Apply RPA to Quote Rates Based on Actual Market Conditions.

RPA in logistics also makes it easier to guarantee fair and profitable rate quotes when replying to RFPs and contract negotiations.  Market conditions are constantly changing, but automated real-time data processing ensures everything is based on real and current situations.

3.Automate Shipment Status Notifications With RPA

One of the primary things customers want is to be kept in the loop about delays and shipping issues. RPA in logistics and RPA in the supply chain makes it possible to automate push notifications and status updates at any time.

4. Use Integrated Systems to Schedule Driver Appointments

RPA in logistics can also prove helpful when dealing with driver scheduling and loading/unloading timetables. Knowing immediately when delays and disruptions occur at one point can make it easier to adjust and compensate for issues down the line.

5. Automate All Notifications With RPA-Driven Workflows

RPA-based tools and platforms make it much faster and easier to manage workflows and capacity schedules within larger and more spread-out supply lines. With workflow automation, more immediate notifications to all team members keep everything moving smoothly and efficiently.

6. Use Chatbots and RPA to Auto-Update All Systems of Record

Workflow Management Systems, Transportation Management Systems, and Enterprise Resource Planning benefit from fully embracing automated systems. RPA in logistics helps automate and improve all supply chain systems with proper onboarding and training.

7. Generate and Share Digital Documents With RPA Too

RPA in logistics also helps improve collaboration opportunities by generating accurate data that can easily be shared across multiple departments and platforms. Digital processes also make the filing, recording, distributing, and managing of supply chain documents more accurate.

Apply These Best Practices by Deploying RPA Labs Software Now

These metrics and inputs aim to automate business processes to be effective, reliable, and scalable. By design, RPA tools will help reduce the burden of repetitive, simple tasks on employees to free them up for more human-centric tasks. Start streamlining multiple functions and tasks throughout the network by utilizing this innovative digital platform. Contact RPA Labs today and request a free digital platform demo to see how RPA in logistics can improve your supply chain performance quickly and easily.

What Are the RPA Logistics Use Cases?

Within any industry, but the domestic and global supply chain network specifically, robotic process automation (RPA) brings a staggering 60% overall savings across the board. For this reason, the RPA market exceeded a staggering $1.7 billion in 2019. For local and global supply chains, RPA offers an additional benefit: helping businesses improve productivity 5-10 times faster with nearly 40% fewer resources required. A report by Team International highlights the many benefits of RPA logistics use cases. Using software robots to perform redundant and labor-intensive tasks allows team members to focus on more specific and meaningful jobs. Automation and robotics help to reduce expenses and inefficiencies throughout the supply chain network. These RPA logistics use cases show how RPA can help managers get the most throughput, reduce costs, and create strong relationships with partners by focusing on the following aspects.

RPA logistics use cases often focus on tendering freight and the speed at which orders get processed, shipments loaded, and containers emptied for return.  Knowing tendering rates can help managers improve productivity and can also highlight areas of potential delays and disruptions.

Reduced Confusion Over Which Rate Is Best

Securing the best shipping rate is an ongoing struggle for shipping managers and freight brokers alike. Automated processes such as data tracking, report generation, and real-time monitoring make it easier to ensure the best rates get used with every order or contract agreement. 

Improved Throughput From End to End

The speed and productivity of the supply chain at critical points of distribution, receiving, and storage can significantly affect the network. Monitoring throughput with automation continues as a prime example of a good RPA logistics use case that directly impacts and improves network productivity. 

Managing Shipment Status Inquiries

With more managing opportunities, it becomes easier to keep track of inquiries from clients and other team members regarding the shipping status and delivery ETAs. Timely responses and real-time action can help reduce delays and improve the rate of successful freight tender and deliveries. 

Integration to Provide Automated Notifications and Push Updates to the TMS

RPA logistics use cases can also include using transportation management systems (TMS) and automated tools. Optimized notifications, automated communications, and improved integration throughout the network can help keep everyone on the same page. Proper alignment also includes assessing incoming emails, responding to such emails, gathering data from email, and sharing that information with other systems of record, such as the TMS. 

Invoice Processing and Payment Management Becomes Easier

A surprising amount of time and resources get wasted by supply chain managers chasing down payments and dealing with invoicing issues. RPA systems can improve communications, make digital documentation more manageable, and help streamline payment process automation

Inventory Management Improves Across the Board

RPA logistics use cases can include inventory and warehousing processes as well. Managing stock levels and inventory availability in real-time keeps the supply chain running as efficiently as possible. Shipments can go out on time, orders can be fulfilled, and delivery ETAs can be honored.

Sharing Digital Documents and Gathering Data From Such Documents

Record keeping exemplifies another prime area where the benefits of RPA logistics use cases can arise. Digital paperwork makes it easier to secure signatures and update records with new information. It also streamlines the recordkeeping process and improves security significantly as well.

Collaborate With the RPA Experts Today to Take Advantage of the Latest Technology and Innovations

 Maximize profits and improve supply chain flow from end to end with the latest technology and innovations in RPA logistics. With proper RPA systems and use cases in place, the entire supply chain network can operate efficiently even during market instability and volatility. Contact RPA Labs today to schedule a free demo and get started.

Logistics Process Workflows Automation: How to Improve Order, Shipment, and Inventory Accuracy

For many shipping industry pros and transportation companies, balancing efficient delivery services and ensuring the highest level of perfection possible is an ongoing struggle. Improving the management and accuracy of orders, shipments, and inventory can impact the entire supply chain and therefore must be a top priority. Sometimes the ultimate goal should be delivery perfection, while other times incremental improvement and overall success are enough. No matter where the focus ends up, digital order management solutions and robotic process automation (RPA) can help shippers manage their value chains and improve customer satisfaction without sacrificing profits. This concept lies at the heart of the logistics process in any modern supply chain network. 

Challenges of Managing the Growing Complexity and Scale of Shipments and Inventory

Striving for perfect orders naturally represents a praise-worthy objective for any company. It can help to increase customer satisfaction and reduce costs by keeping high-end well-paying customers satisfied. Maintaining that balance between speed and accuracy can be a challenge for many shippers and logistics managers, for the following reasons:

  • The extensive time drain that comes from manually managing emails and phone calls.
  • High error rate due to outdated information and decisions based on inaccurate data.
  • Poor data processing time leads to delays and backlogs, and scheduling conflicts.
  • Lack of solid communication lines between team members and customers alike.
  • Ineffective tracking updates and communications about delivery ETAs.
  • Limited end-to-end visibility hampers scalability and flexibility.
  • Less-than-ideal collaboration between shippers and carriers to manage capacity needs.
  • Poor utilization and onboarding of homegrown RPA systems and automated tools and systems.

Ensuring optimized logistics process management depends heavily on managing the complexity and scalability of the current transportation market. Addressing these and other significant challenges helps administrators maintain control and enable better management from start to finish. 

Logistics Process Workflow Automation Saves Back-Office Resources and Streamlines Replenishment

By adopting digital services such as pre-built RPA platforms and tools and deploying automated solutions efficiently, supply chain managers and directors can come closer to realizing the perfect order and ensuring accuracy of essential logistics processes. According to Cognizant, “companies with the best supply chains greatly outperform the S&P 500, and those with perfect order rates of 80% or higher are more profitable than peers with lower rates. These companies also have higher earnings per share and a better return on assets. By applying the perfect order rate to manufacturing output or distribution center operations, managers can better understand the value of delivering a perfect order. And by quantifying the costs and risks of failure, organizations will better understand whether and where to invest in order management improvements.” 

All of this growth and expansion becomes easier and more efficient with proper tools and technology. Embracing RPA, machine learning, AI, and automation can help to increase perfect order rates and reduce instances of errors and disruptions with every order and every customer serviced.

Added Uses of RPA to Improve Workflows

Embracing automation, chatbots, AI technology, automation, and digital logistics processes can help improve supply chain workflows. Utilizing RPA in supply chain operations can boost supply chain efficiency in many ways: 

  • Fewer overlooked customer inquiries and better customer satisfaction rates.
  • Improved email response processes, dervived from analyzing RPA aggregate data from email.
  • Seamless data sharing between systems, team members, management teams, and third-party service providers.
  • Analyzing data to understand actual reordering needs and shifts in the supply and demand balance.
  • Tracking inventory and using push notifications that interact with the tech stack to prevent stockouts.
  • Using RPA to validate shipment details in packaging and labeling.
  • Scheduling pick-up based on RPA-integrated workflows.
  • Leveraging RPA to track shipments and identify areas for efficiency improvements.
  • Automating the quoting and follow-up process to obtain customer feedback that will help drive continuous improvement.

Enhance Logistics Process Workflows With RPA Labs

These supply chain workflow solutions also help increase collaboration and accountability throughout the supply chain. Logistics technology such as RPA tools and systems can provide a better experience for everyone involved, from customers to managers to shippers and third-party service providers. Digital order management solutions and RPA platforms and tools can make it easier for managers and directors to monitor vital value chain operations and improve customer satisfaction while protecting profits at the same time. Get in touch with RPA Labs today for a free demo to see how to quickly enhance the accuracy of orders, shipments, and inventory in your network. 

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.