03 Jan Robotic Process Automation in Supply Chain – Benefits, Examples and Use Cases
The integration of advanced technologies into supply chain management has been a game changer. Innovations such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics have revolutionized various aspects of supply chain operations, increasing efficiency and reducing costs. Among these innovations, robotic process automation (RPA) has emerged as a key player in transforming traditional supply chain processes. So much, that the global RPA market is forecast to grow to more than 13 billion U.S. dollars by 2030.
Robotic process automation in the supply chain has streamlined tasks such as consumer distribution, data entry, and others, freeing up time and energy for more complex thinking and decision making. A report suggests that using RPA in the supply chain can lead to cost savings of up to 30%.
It also plays a pivotal role in simplifying the intricacies of supply chain management, ensuring that operations such as shipping schedule adjustments are handled efficiently. Its robustness ensures that businesses can operate without unexpected disruptions.
In this blog post, we delve deeper into the multifaceted advantages of RPA in the supply chain, showcasing how it is redefining operational excellence in this sector.
Robotic Process Automation in Supply Chain
RPA primarily targets repetitive, error-prone, and time-consuming tasks to enhance operational efficiency. In supply chain management, it is often employed for routine operations such as data entry, allowing workers to shift their focus from mundane tasks to more strategic activities.
RPA is adept at handling routine tasks that do not require specialized expertise, distinguishing itself from cognitive automation. Cognitive automation involves AI-powered agents that mimic human cognitive processes to learn and perform tasks, offering a more dynamic approach to automation. RPA differs from AI because rule setting and bot management require human knowledge.
Benefits of Robotic Process Automation in Supply Chain
Some of the benefits of robotic process automation in supply chain are:
- Enhances production in every area
A supply chain manager may find keeping track of various tasks a tedious ordeal. Because RPA software and tools are more efficient and reduce data workload by half, they are good for the overall business productivity.
- Saving money and decreasing spending
By eliminating human mistakes and unnecessary repetition, robotic process automation (RPA) systems execute mundane tasks accurately. Consequently, the company’s output increases, and its overhead costs decrease because fewer people are required to accomplish the same work.
- Improves the experience for both users and customers
Customers ultimately determine a business’s success or failure. Accordingly, they merit undivided attention and the best possible user experience. Businesses can reduce workloads and focus more on customer needs with RPA systems. This allows them to provide customers with an outstanding experience.
- Achieves scalability quickly while maintaining flexibility
An unexpected increase in customer orders can put pressure on the workforce for any business. Traditionally, this situation necessitates hiring more temporary workers, incurring significant costs. However, RPA offers a more flexible and cost-effective solution. It can be easily scaled up or down, adapting quickly to fluctuating workloads without the added expense and time required for temporary hires. This makes it a practical alternative for managing workload variations efficiently.
How does RPA work in the Supply Chain?
So, how does RPA work in the supply chain? Instead of focusing on the accessibility, affordability, and transportation of physical assets, contemporary supply chain management is more concerned with products, services, and data.
Accelerating your digital transformation has never been easier. Instead of spending time and energy on mundane, repetitive tasks, you can use RPA to concentrate on more strategic, human-driven endeavors.
Coordination of JIT supply chain initiatives is made easier with easy interface capabilities, which allow you to connect with systems outside of your own network. These systems may belong to vendors, suppliers, or retailers.
For example, our bots can analyze web forms and retrieve data from them or scan paper documents and read them using auxiliary technologies such as OCR (Optical Character Recognition).
Role of Robotic Process Automation in Supply Chain
The role of RPA in the supply chain can not be understated. It helps improve operational efficiency, increasing productivity and profits by decreasing the time and money needed to develop new processes and activities.
Supply chain competitiveness is inversely proportional to the degree to which logistical processes, beginning with planning, are efficient and accurate. Anticipating product demand was a complicated planning task in the past because the staff had to compute and produce estimates during endless meetings manually.
Because of RPA, you can fix these issues and implement these suggestions more quickly and efficiently. These days, data management programs can automatically collect and analyze information about consumption patterns, orders, and supplies.
Robotic Process Automation Example in Supply Chain
RPA can be applied to various supply chain processes to improve efficiency, reduce errors, and streamline operations.
Among the many potential robotic process automation example in supply chain logistics, we can mention:
- Accounts payable receive supplier payment requests.
- Each invoice payment is manually entered into the ERP system by the accounts payable team.
- Workers check data against purchase orders and delivery confirmations for accuracy.
RPA bots can retrieve invoice numbers, dates, and amounts from electronic invoices or emails. They can check invoices, purchase orders, and delivery receipts for discrepancies that require human intervention.
Once RPA bots match the data, they can start the approval workflow. Pay immediately or send the invoice to management for approval.
Robotic Process Automation Use Cases in Supply Chain
Some of the robotic process automation use cases in supply chain are:
Any business can struggle to manage purchase orders, especially when they’re part of a larger procurement project. Manually processing such purchase orders can be laborious.
Companies can automate their purchase order processes end to end with RPA, saving time and money and reducing human error.
Robotic process automation (RPA) for purchase order processing includes the following steps:
● Automated printing of purchase orders
● Circulating the purchase request to various individuals for evaluation
● Automating the data entry process
2. Managing orders
This RPA use case in the supply chain focuses on the administration and processing of orders. If you run an online store with many wholesale customers worldwide, you need a powerful cloud platform with RPA capabilities. It will automatically process the orders and save the necessary data before shipping or billing.
To handle the high volume of orders, your supply chain needs a more complex order management process if your company is B2B. In general, RPA will simplify the automation of numerous processes for any company or department involved in the supply chain.
3. Handling questions and concerns from customers
Using RPA, after-sale services and ticket management can be fully automated. RPA can do the work just as well as a person.
Using RPA technology can help your support department, in two ways: first, it can reduce human error. Second, it can make better use of your representatives’ time. This is going to be pivotal for the company’s future as competition in the market increases.
4. Strategies for both supply and demand
When you rely entirely on human labor, it might be difficult to predict and react to the process of supply and demand. Before developing a reaction to the process, reviewing company-wide reports and data is crucial. All of these tasks can be completed efficiently and precisely with the help of RPA.
5. Grant permission for data transfer
RPA also plays a crucial role in supply chain management (SCM), especially in the handling of important cargo. For the timely, safe, and efficient storage and transport of goods, stable data transfer is essential. In the absence of reliable data, businesses risk making poor decisions, potentially leading to financial losses.
RPA enhances analytics by smoothing out operational processes and providing insights that help eliminate administrative obstacles, such as improper data formatting. This improvement in data handling and analysis directly contributes to more efficient and effective supply chain operations.
How NuMantra Hyperautomation platform will help your business?
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Among the many ways which NuMantra’s Hyperautomation platform helps reduce human error and labor is by capturing accurate data from internal & external documents, providing data analysis capabilities (Human in the loop) as well as workflow optimization.
Faster and more accurate data-driven decisions are possible as the software streamlines data and transforms it into actionable insights. NuMantra’s cloud platform & user friendly interface allows for the seamless integration with existing systems as well as easy uploads of data by business users using pre-configured plug-ins.
With the ability to get a quick look at important metrics with real-time reporting and dashboards that can be customized, business users With this, you can develop solutions that meet real business outcomes. Whether for operational workflows, marketing, or sales, NuMantra Hyperautomation platform can meet your business’s specific needs.
Optimize Your Supply Chain Today!