Blog

Unlocking Potential of RPA in Logistics: Use Cases, Benefits, and Tips to Avoid RPA Implementation Failure

RPA in logistics
Digital Transformation

Unlocking Potential of RPA in Logistics: Use Cases, Benefits, and Tips to Avoid RPA Implementation Failure

Logistics involves complex, tedious and time-consuming backend processes like customer data updates, order and inventory processing, scheduling and tracking delivery, etc. And, the industry focuses heavily on performing these tasks manually which reduces efficiency and produces a negative effect. 

Manual backend processes are repetitive and cumbersome. As humans are always prone to errors, creating unwanted or unexpected errors while performing their tasks is highly possible, which potentially impacts a logistics company’s bottom line. 

By automating the labor-intensive manual processes through RPA the industry can overcome the delays, productivity loss, and inefficient process challenges.

Also, using RPA (Robotic Process Automation) in supply chain and Logistics will streamline processes, accelerate performance and reduce operational costs substantially. 

According to MRFR, The Robotic Process Automation Market is expected to grow at approximately USD 2,700 Million by 2023, at 29% of CAGR between 2017 and 2023 and logistics is one of the industries that has been included in the segmentation list. 

According to MRFR

What is the difference between RPA and other automation solutions?

RPA is best suited for accelerating the below repetitive, mundane and high volume tasks that are difficult to perform on a daily basis. 

  • Time-critical
  • Highly manual
  • Low exception
  • Stable
  • Low complexity
  • Prone to error
  • Rules-based
  • Repetitive
  • Seasonal

With RPA implementation Logistics industry can experience

  • Cost-effectiveness and time saving
  • Faster, seamless process automation (requires minimal training)
  • Easy automation of existing processes and integration within the existing ecosystem
  • 24/7 Operations
  • High accuracy
  • Freed up humans to focus on other business activities and improvement
  • Improved customer experience
  • Scalability to accelerate process performance

3 Interesting RPA Use Cases in Logistics3 Interesting RPA Use Cases in Logistics

Bill of reading 

The bill of reading is a major exercise done by contract logistics organizations.  

It has details of Sender, receiver, What item, how many no of boxes that is getting shipped. This data has to be loaded in DMS ( Distribution Management System) wherein delivery agents are mapped & assigned – largely manual including last-mile delivery – RPA can do this. 

Accounts receivable  – Credit note automation 

The credit notes & debit notes in a contract logistics are very high & are mostly done manually with the payment advice reconciliation  & finally updated in the ERP. RPA bots can do this. 

Warehousing operations 

Warehousing operations follow a scheduled task – say first in first out / last in last out etc – Material shipment details are available in ERP & the shipment data ( like serial no, mfg date, etc., time of shipment )  are loaded in WMS ( warehouse management system) – done manually in most of the logistics companies today – BOTs can be used here. 

RPA is certainly a potential tool for transforming the simple yet repetitive tasks Logistics workers perform on a daily basis. However, RPA may not suit all Logistics companies due to a few reasons.

Here are the reasons why RPA implementation could fail. 

  • Misunderstanding bots

Understanding your logistics process is highly critical even before implementing a bot. RPA can’t be applied under a few scenarios and it is better to have an open discussion with your implementation partner and they could help. 

  • Non-scalable bots

RPA implementation starts small and once the stage is set, it requires a lot of bots to accelerate the process speed. If the program doesn’t allow scalability and achieving the complete value out of the bot implementation will possibly won’t happen. 

  • Misunderstood IT dependency

Many logistics heads believe that involving the IT team in the RPA implementation would delay the process. But, it is a must as the IT team has to play a meaty role when you scale the bots for accelerating process speed as they have to govern the entire process. 

  • Misunderstood bots for human scenario

It’s not true that bots will replace humans. In fact, bots implemented on the logistics companies are helping the humans perform better by allowing them to focus on the critical process improvements and business advancements rather than focusing on the repetitive, high volume and time-consuming tasks. 

  • Selecting RPA implementation partner 

Partnering with an expert RPA implementation partner is recommended to avoid potential productivity loss even after implementing bots. Only expert RPA vendors understand the importance of automating the type of processes that require bots and guide with the right solutions. 

Also, the company should have a proven track record and certified RPA developers and partnership with reputed RPA development companies like UiPath, Blue Prism, Automation Anywhere to make the entire program successful. 

From the above discussion, it is prudent that RPA solutions will improve the process and productivity of  Logistics companies. 

Planning to automate your repetitive, manual and high volume tasks? Let’s talk.