Robotic process automation or RPA is software technology that mimics or emulates the way humans interact with software to perform high-volume, repeatable tasks.
RPA is a productivity tool that allows the design of rules-based software scripts to execute specific business or information technology (IT) activities in an automated fashion.
What is Robotic Process Automation?
Robotic process automation continuously looks at what is happening, what is likely to happen, and what needs to happen to achieve the best result as determined by stated rules. RPA automates recurring supply chain processes that often require significant time or effort for humans to complete. Examples of where robotic process automation executes process steps:
- Data entry and manipulation.
- Predictive maintenance.
- Transferring data to different applications.
- Triggering responses.
- Executing transactions.
Robotic process automation is commonly used to complete back-office tasks of human workers.
Benefits of Robotic Process Automation
The elimination of recurring manual tasks anchors robotics process automation benefits. Deploying metaphorical software “robots” can significantly increase process time for many business activities.
- Boost productivity for humans while bots complete rote activities.
- Improve efficiency, lower costs and reduce errors by allowing technology to execute steps where staff time is spent transposing information.
- Bolster data security when information transfers occur digitally in secured networks – instead of legacy paper-based systems.
- Access, analyze, and store granular data details collected across bills of lading, freight bills, and disparate systems and assembled into consolidated reporting.
RPA vs. API: Robotic Process Automation vs. Application Programming Interface
Considering RPA vs. API, both are forms of automation that involve programming a logical series of decisions and executing those decisions dozens, hundreds, or thousands of times per day.
RPA in Transportation and Logistics
Robotic process automation in transportation and logistics is increasingly applied to gain efficiency.
How MercuryGate Implements Robotic Process Automation in Transportation Management
Automate freight shipment tracking and customer communications
Customers access their accounts to determine where goods are located. They can also see when a shipment is expected to arrive and if there are any shipping delays. The same applies in reverse.
Companies use RPA to manage inbound check calls. This saves resources and supports proactive planning for deliveries that require a signature or packages that shouldn’t be left unattended.
This technology allows companies to automate review and response to communications from customers and vendors. Businesses can then update system information to facilitate efficient and accurate freight shipments.
RPA Routing of Freight Orders to the Best Fulfillment Center
Robotic process automation helps ensure freight orders get routed to the best fulfillment centers for the quick delivery to your customers. By crawling the entire fulfillment chain, gathering data from multiple disparate systems, and linking it together, RPA allows efficiencies that can’t be attained with standalone on-premise solutions.
Automated Reporting and Feedback to Drivers
RPA improves communication with drivers and other parties in the freight management chain and helps focus their efforts on priorities. By understanding what is taking place across the network – through information gathered by RPA – everyone involved can ensure freight moves as efficiently as possible.