Benefits of automation
Before talking about the benefits of automation, we need to ask a question, Does automation really needed?
Let’s look at some factors.
- The need for a Transport Management System or a 3pl provider clearly depend on number of moves, volume and complexity involved in your business.
- Manual processes may lead to poor customer services and this will result in customer loss. This can be solved by integrating automation.
- If you are working with a 3pl then your process must fit well into the technology they are offering, otherwise shifting to an inhouse automation will be more sensible.
If you are a small scale operator with very less moves and complexities, then automation may not be suitable for you. But if otherwise, the automation can help you to get better coordination, insights and improved customer satisfaction.
Now let’s move on to the benefits
- Reduced freight cost
- Improved productivity of daily operations
- Improved customer service
- Real time reporting and visibility
One of the important benefits of automation is that you can do more with less, and achieve greater visibility which can be passed to your customers. With automation a customer will not have to call you and ask about the shipments, as they will be notified proactively so that all the activities on their side can be done accordingly.
Some operators don’t look at the factors like fuel, Demurrage charge etc. which are real differentiators. Linking these factors to your GL ledger is very important and can be done seamlessly through automation.
The important steps for Implementing automation
- Data collection – For studying current situation
- Design – Figuring out where we really are, how much volume are we shipping, how we can create synergies and how we can set that up in the system.
- Construction – Running models to find out the return on investment, your saving vs your cost.
- Implementation – How we put it into technology, whether to use 3pl technology or other common technologies like mercury gate etc.
- Continuous improvement – Testing of integrated technology and optimising it for better output
Moving to an automation brings lot of uncertainties but by following proper steps and implementing it flawlessly can bring lot of leverages for you business. It will help in better coordination and to provide better services. It is also a catalyst for customer retention in the long run.