Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in supply chain and logistics is revolutionizing the way companies are streamlining the flow of products and gaining a competitive advantage with customers. For an industry that is largely driven by accuracy, speed, and precision, it acts as a hiring hand to automate repetitive processes and increase efficiency as well as turnaround times. With RPA in the supply chain management industry, the scope of errors is reduced to none, allowing humans to focus on processes that require more strategic decision making.

Major Challenges in the Supply Chain Management Industry

  • Heavily dependent on legacy systems
  • Highly prone to error-prone
  • Plagued with time-consuming manual processes
  • Expensive logistical operations
  • Lack of insights for better decision making

What is RPA?

Robotic process automation is a software bot that allows companies to automate mundane and highly repetitive operational processes. These bots are programmed to perform specific tasks to streamline operations as well as reduce overhead and manual errors. It enables supply chains to quickly scale up to meet requirements as the demand increases.

Some of the use cases of RPA in the supply chain include:

Automate Administrative Tasks
RPA eliminates several administrative tasks, including the process of manually entering purchase orders. Requesting, replying to, and processing purchase orders can be major administrative tasks for retailers, suppliers, and manufacturers. Replacing it with a bot can help human workforce to identify optimal inventory levels and match it against the existing stock to request purchase orders.

Respond to RFPs, Quotes, and Questions
RPA bots allows stakeholders and suppliers to analyze and respond to quotes and proposals sent. This results in faster turnaround and more accurate replies to common questions asked by organizations of suppliers.

Boost Supply Chain Efficiencies
RPA gives valuable insights into highly repetitive processes to further enhance efficiency, better utilize resources, resulting in fewer delays and higher quality. It can become a part of a continuous process improvement plan that streamlines the supply chain without adding pressure on the existing systems.

Integrate with other systems
One of the reasons for RPA’s growing popularity is its ability to integrate with and work across several systems and software used throughout the supply chain. This seamless integration reduces duplication of efforts and alleviates speed and quality for organizations, suppliers, manufacturers, and even retailers.

Read how bots are changing the way retailers are working today

Benefits of RPA in the Supply Chain

Some of the benefits of RPA in the supply chain include:

  • Better adaptability to demand as operations can be scaled up quickly
  • Reduce administrative overhead that lowers staffing costs
  • Focus on value-added tasks to generate more revenue and drive improvements
  • Eliminate manual errors, resulting in higher quality outputs
  • More streamlined processes and earlier identification of inventory demand

Common Errors While Implementing RPA in the Supply Chain

Some of the most common errors that result in the ineffective implementation of RPA include:

  • Not capturing and managing data correctly, making it difficult for  bots to use the information for automation
  • Hastily implementing bots and ineffectively integrating with existing business processes that can potentially create operational overheads that are financially challenging
  • Poor RPA or design can lead to erroneous outputs

Learn how Nuummite Consulting can help companies start their robotic process automation journey and transform their supply chain visibility and operations.