There is a growing consensus that traditional supply chain management is transforming to meet the demand of today’s challenging market. The future of supply chain is automated.
In fact, supply chain automation is capable of handling needs that go well beyond what experts believe possible for artificial intelligence and the host of new technologies.
“Many companies have already automated their front-line transactional purchasing activities. Automation has eliminated a number of blue-collar supply chain jobs in warehouses and distribution centers, and driverless trucks stand to transform the logistics field, eliminating the need for millions of truck drivers,” reports Supply Chain Game Changer.
So, supply chain professionals need to know what the trend means for their future supply chains and how it solves the challenges they face.
Future Supply Chain Problems With Failure to Automate
The supply chain continues to suffer from a shortage of talent for many different jobs. The need to do more with less transcends all industry boundaries.
In the supply chain, shortage of available drivers, capacity, and myths and misconceptions about the supply chain as a dirty or outdated industry create more work than can be accomplished. Moreover, the demands on the supply chain only grow, especially as e-commerce swells and multimodal shipping becomes the new standard for reaping efficiencies.
In other words, a failure to ensure that the supply chain is automated properly leaves your company struggling to meet basic needs.
The Supply Chain Future Is more Automated Daily
Increasing the ways in which the supply chain is automated shows no signs of being a passing trend.
Opportunities for automation continue to become evident as companies look for redundancy and create new software capable of replicating a process in a virtual environment. The trend toward more automation within supply chain processes continues to swell.
As explained by Supply Chain Digital, “it is estimated that by 2030, most operations could be automated as AI takes over the more simple and repetitive tasks that humans previously performed. McKinsey anticipates fully automated high-rack warehouses that see autonomous vehicles patrolling the aisles. By equipping managers with augmented reality (AR)-glasses, companies will enable full visibility over the entire operation and the coordination of people and robots together.”
Additional Future Benefits of Automated Supply Chains
Enabling automation within the supply chain carries significant benefits and opportunities to realize greater efficiency. The future of the supply chain is automated and reliant on data.
Instead of making decisions based on assumptions, supply chain executives can look to the data and determine how an action will create opportunities for supply chain professionals to focus on what really matters.
Thus, additional benefits exist, including:
- Lower labor costs that derive from fewer manual processes and tasks that eat away at time management, such as instant quoting capabilities and automated booking functions for logistics service providers.
- Increased customer service levels resulting from faster processing, fewer errors in order fulfillment, and accurate delivery to ensure customers receive what they ordered without exception or delay.
- Less manual work in managing basic supply chain processes and transactions.
- A decreased prevalence of errors within supply chain systems and data.
- Lower safety risks to employees through deployments of automation that involve robotics.
- Increased appeal of supply chain jobs due to their tech-driven nature, helping to alleviate the talent shortage.
- More transparency within future supply chain processes that help keep customers and stakeholders informed.
- Integrated, automated functions that share data between supply chain partners and enhance collaboration.
Become More Strategic With Automated Processes Now
The future of supply chain management depends on your ability to streamline operations in the meantime and overcome barriers to collaboration.
Automation naturally lends itself to strategic positioning and helps with disruption management as well. The benefits are too great to ignore. Create a laser-focused strategy for supply chain automation.