Supply Chain Automation
Reducing complexity, improving efficiency
Supply chain automation refers to systematizing part or all of a retailers workflow to streamline, eliminate, and offload a number of processes traditionally run by individuals.
Table of Contents
The supply chain-related tools and technology emerging today allow businesses to centrally manage a complex web of working parts more quickly and cost-effectively—and with less manual investment, overall.
Supply chain automation is more efficient, accurate, and cost-effective than manual labor. catch.com.au, for example, reduced their number of pickers from 60 to 4 by automating their storage and retrieval processes cutting their order cycle time in half.
Reducing the time between order creation and fulfillments by automating communications and order status updates, directly impacts customer satisfaction for the better. Automation keeps customers updated on order statuses in real time, and enables businesses to better serve customers.
Automated supply chain processes lead to be better inventory and order tracking, decreased stock discrepancies and improved demand forecasting. With tools such as TradeGecko Intelligence, you can make informed decisions about where to invest and improve your business.
Transparency lays the foundation for trust with customers. An automated online ordering system produces more than just an electronic invoice – it is a point of communication that businesses can use to provide updates to customers during the entire order management and fulfillment process
According to a report from Capgemini, 42% of supply chain teams see order management complexity as a top challenge for their business.
In diving a bit deeper, respondents pointed to three areas of order management that lend to this overall complexity:
Here, automation technology can be implemented to:
Adding to the complexity of the modern supply chain is the fact that they often operate globally at least to some degree.
On one side of the process, companies often rely on international manufacturers for different parts and materials. On the other side, modern companies often strive to reach as wide an audience as possible—potentially doing business with customers located in every corner of the world.
It’s inherently more complicated to keep track of inventory-related information as it comes and goes from various sources. Automation technology simplifies these processes, ensuring your supply chain team always has access to the information they need, right when they need it.
Additionally, automation can ensure all supply chain processes go through “without a hitch,” no matter where in the world they’re being taken care of. This goes back to optimizing workflows and ensuring as little friction as possible when fulfilling a given customer’s needs.
Some examples of how automation allows companies to effectively serve a global audience include allowing for the processing of multiple currencies and providing multiple, dynamic delivery options to customers.
As customers increasingly expect a higher level of service at every touchpoint, businesses face pressure to provide faster and more personalized order fulfillment to maintain a competitive edge.
Automation can help companies meet the fulfillment-related needs of their customers in a number of ways—the two most important being:
It’s also worth mentioning that, because automation takes care of the more menial tasks associated with supply chain processes, teams will have more available resources to invest into more essential, hands-on initiatives.
In turn, these organizations can focus on enhancing their customers’ overall experience with their brand.
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