Automation in Logistics: Benefits and Tips for Deploying Automation

Automation in logistics processes deploys robot technology to complete redundant tasks.

The value of automation in logistics is rapidly becoming synonymous with supply chain efficiency. To help you create more value within your supply chain, let’s explore how the evolution of transportation processes supports new avenues to deploy automation.

In this blog, we’ll discuss common misconceptions about autonomous logistics and opportunities a path forward with automation in logistics can improve your transportation management. Keep reading for tips to help you implement more automated activities across your processes.

Misconceptions About Automated Technologies in Logistics

Automation in logistics does possess somewhat of a negative connotation. When people think “autonomous logistics” they might first think about the Hollywood-made an entire archetype out of the idea of an upcoming “Robot Apocalypse.” At the same time, today’s employees worry about what automation in logistics could mean for their future in the workplace.

The reality of automation in logistics is a different story. To achieve proper optimization, combine technology with human intelligence. In fact, the demand is high for those capable of functioning in an autonomous-rich environment.

Likewise, the evolution of automation is not as exciting as its big-screen identity suggests. Logistics automation began with printing presses capable of copying documents, and it continued as digital technologies made it easier to share information in other ways. Remember the fax machine? Then email. Now, EDI makes sharing information seamless, and it is possible to share information in real time.

For today’s supply chain, automation of transportation management execution based on a series of predefined rulesets can trigger a series of subsequent events.

Automation plays a critical role in your ability to manage:

Automation in logistics is more mundane than robots taking over the world, but it can have a big impact in real-life.

Process automation in your logistics operations supports faster, smoother data sharing and freight shipment execution.

Opportunities to Deploy Automation in Logistics

Automation technology can be applied across nearly any redundant process. What is more repetitive or redundant than some of the supply chain activities? 

Opportunities to deploy automation can range from end-to-end across your transportation management: order processing, tendering, dispatching, settlement, auditing, report distribution – even event notification of exceptions.

According to Supply Chain Digital, technology applications include multi-shuttle systems for put-away and picking, analytics tools, optical recognition, 3D printing, innovative storage, and virtually any management system.

Even with all the innovations expanding automation within the transportation management system (TMS), organizations continue to rely on manual supply chain activities.

Does your organization lack technology adoption? That’s the best place to begin implementing automation.

Tips to Apply Automation in Your Logistics Activities

Once an organization commits to deploying automation, it helps to have a few tips for taking the next steps.
  1. Start small with retrofits and self-reporting devices.
  2. Avoid building whole automation systems in-house.
  3. Connect your legacy systems to new platforms via API or EDI.
  4. Invest in a TMS that offers scalability via the cloud.
  5. Consult with one of our expert partners for additional help.

Calculate your potential Saving While Using an enterprise TMS

Reap Rewards From Automation in Logistics With the Right Partner

Among those tips are important caveats when launching automation in your transportation operation.
You don’t have to build it yourself. You don’t have to go it alone. And you certainly don’t want to get trapped trying to implement it overnight.

Automation takes time. Failure to consider all other implications across your other software, services, or systems could disrupt your entire network. That’s why more organizations turn to true experts like MercuryGate and our reseller partners. We can help you understand what to automate and where and when to take those steps.

Download our ebook for a deeper look at how you can maximize your TMS efficiency with automation.

Learn how to deploy automation in your transportation management.


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