October 21, 2022

Automation in Logistics: How it can help you Improve Operational Efficiencies?

Automation in logistics is here to improve your operational efficiencies and customer service. Get a comprehensive understanding of how it works.

The logistics sector is growing by the day. A lot of this has to do with the fact that the world is increasingly connected. From an economic standpoint, this is great news for your logistics business. But it does mean there are new challenges that often crop up and can hamper the smooth operations of your company.


In other words, your logistics business requires automation to keep up with the rising demand in the coming years. This guide looks at the role of automation in fortune companies and how it can help improve operational efficiencies.


The Current State of Automation in Logistics

The logistics industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. Globalization and e-commerce have been the major driving factors behind the growth of this industry. The need for faster delivery, increased efficiency, and cost reduction are other factors behind this growth.


With the continuous rise in demand for faster deliveries, it is becoming more crucial than ever to automate logistics processes. This will help companies save time, money, and resources while improving their overall business performance.


The global logistics automation market had the highest CAGR of 12.4% according to a study. The global automation market size will likely touch the figure of $82.3 billion by 2026, up from $50.9 billion in 2020.

The rise of automation in logistics has been particularly high among industry giants like DHL. They have already automated warehousing operations in North America and announced a further investment of $15 million in collaboration with Boston Dynamics. Ocado is another shining example of what a fully automated warehouse looks like.

Challenges in Logistics with Manual Processes

Here are various challenges your logistics business can face due to lack of automation.


Processing Documents

Logistics is a complex process that involves a lot of paperwork. In fact, it's one of the most paper-intensive processes in business today. Processing a large scale of logistics documents with a manual process is time-consuming, error-prone, and costly. The cost of processing a simple invoice comes to anywhere between $6 and $8.


The fact that there are several documents for each shipment makes it difficult for humans to process them quickly and without making any errors. The need for automated document processing is more than ever in the logistics sector.


 Transportation Costs

There are several factors to consider when you're operating a logistics business. You have to think about the routes you take and how they impact your carbon footprint. There is also a need to ensure your vehicles remain maintained and your drivers get enough rest.


One of the most important things you can do is automate your route planning process. When you do so, you'll find that you can reduce the number of miles driven by each vehicle. It will reduce their cost of operation. That means more money for your company and less money spent on fuel.


Lack of Shipments Visibility

When your business is handling shipments daily, keeping track of them can be challenging. And when you're running a logistics company, several things can go wrong with your shipments—and they can go wrong quickly.


For example, you do not know where your shipments are until they arrive at their destination. It can lead to delays or issues that you need to resolve manually. This means you will be unable to respond swiftly if something goes wrong with a shipment, and you need to get it back on track as soon as possible.


Improper Warehouse Management

Your warehouse is the heart of your logistics business, and it is where processes are developed, executed, and maintained. Logistics companies with an automated warehouse management system are more productive, have higher quality control standards, and can respond more quickly to changing customer needs. But what happens when a company doesn't have an automated warehouse management system?


It's hard for your employees to be as efficient because they're not using the right tools for the job. It's also harder for them to track inventory with manual systems. If there are errors in the data entry process or if inventory does not get tracked aptly, there's a chance that products could be lost or damaged when you ship them out.


Delivery Delays

A lack of automation in your logistics business is a danger sign for your customers and a threat to your bottom line. In today's digital world, customers expect instant gratification and speedy delivery. A slow-moving supply chain can leave you with unhappy customers who take their business elsewhere. There will also be costly delays that you could have avoided with the right tools in place.


When a shipment gets delayed, it also impacts the entire supply chain. It can create a ripple effect that impacts every step along the way. A single delay can lead to multiple other delays in different parts of your process and ultimately cause disruptions.


Use Cases of Automation in Logistics

Here are various use cases of automation in logistics.


Document Processing

You may have a lot of documents to enter and process. You would also have a lot of stakeholders who need those documents. In addition to being able to enter all the data manually, you also need to meet all your stakeholders’ needs.


This is where automation in logistics comes in. It can help your business process documents faster by eliminating the need for manual data entry. Automation will also free your staff to focus on other things like customer service or sales—these are more important than entering data into spreadsheets and databases.


Warehouse Operations

Warehouse operations can be difficult to manage, especially when it comes to maintaining efficiency and accuracy. The key to success is finding the right kind of technology that will help you achieve your goals while also reducing costs.


Automated systems are a vital part of warehouse management because they allow you to automate several processes that you do manually. Warehouse automation solution providers like ABB, Toyota Industries, and KION Group are already helping logistics companies save time, money, and effort through their solutions.


Inventory Management

To operate a warehouse effectively, you need a system that can optimize your resources, keep track of inventory, and ensure that your employees are completing the tasks they need to do. Automated systems can do all these things.


Automated systems can help you optimize your resources by ensuring the right products get stocked in the right places at all times. They also make it easy for you to keep track of inventory levels so that you know what items you need to reorder and when.


In addition, automated system help ensures that your employees are completing the tasks they need to do because they provide clear instructions to complete each task.


Speedy Transportation

One example is the use of automated trucks. These trucks are able to navigate through heavy traffic and on busy roads without human assistance. This allows them to travel faster and deliver goods on time, even when there are many other vehicles on the road. Complete autonomy in truck operations can reduce operational costs by 45%.


Another option is the use of drones for delivery purposes. Drones can fly over congested areas and get packages to their destination quickly while avoiding any traffic jams or accidents that might cause delays in delivery times.


Benefits of Automation in Logistics Businesses

Here are various advantages you can enjoy with automation in logistics.


Reduces Human Errors During Data Processing

There is nothing more important than accurate data processing. When you deal with logistics, even minute details can make or break your business. Automation is thus the key to accurate data processing.


It allows you to get rid of human error, which can lead to several issues when it comes to logistics. You won't have to worry about people forgetting to enter something into the system or entering something incorrectly. Automated systems are fast and efficient, so your team can spend more time on important tasks like serving customers.


Enables Quicker Processes

Faster processes can help your business to be more efficient and effective. If you can get products to your customers faster, they will be more satisfied with your business. This will result in repeat customers and word-of-mouth advertising that will help you grow your business even more.


For example, if you have a warehouse with an automated system that manages inventory, you won't have to worry about manually counting inventory or refilling stock. The system will do it for you.


Helps Reduce Operational Errors

Hiccups in your logistics business can cause delays. And delays can cost you time and money. Automation is the key to reducing errors, which means less downtime and more efficient operations.


By automating processes, you don't have to worry about human error. This is especially helpful when it comes to repetitive tasks or error-prone tasks like data entry or calculations. Automation can also improve accuracy and consistency by eliminating human error, which reduces the number of mistakes in your system.


Improves Customer Service

The ability to have a personalized experience with your customers is one of the most important things you can do for them. Automation can help you provide a more customized experience, which is key to keeping them happy.


For example, if your company uses an automated tracking system, you can set up notifications that go out as soon as a package gets shipped and delivered. This will make it easier for you to respond quickly when a customer asks about the status of their shipment.


Enhances Organizational Control

If you are running a small, growing company, you might be struggling with how to get the most out of your staff. Your employees may work hard, but some things can fall through the cracks. As a result, everyone feels like they're not doing their best work and not making as much progress.


By automating repetitive tasks and processes, your team will have more time and energy left over to focus on what matters—the growth of your business. You can use their extra time on strategic planning or team-building exercises. It will help everyone understand their role better within the organization, which leads to more effective teamwork overall.


Enables Business Scalability

One of the most important benefits of automation for your logistics business is that it can help you scale. If you're a small business, automation can make it easier to grow. And if you're already a large company, automation can help you make sure your supply chain doesn't fall apart when you start hiring more people or taking on more clients.


You can also replicate automated processes across your business to create consistency. You won't have to hire additional employees to manage new warehouses or offices. Automation can reduce your costs by eliminating the need for human labor altogether.


Achieve Advanced Document Automation Today for Logistics

Are you looking to quickly and accurately process your logistics documents at scale? We have an answer: VisionERA. It is an Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) platform that makes it easy for your company to process your logistics documents quickly and accurately.


VisionERA can scan, index, and extract data from any document in any language, even with handwritten notes or illegible text. It can also automatically categorize those documents into folders so that you don't have to do the work yourself.


This means you can spend more time focusing on what matters most—your business.

Note: You can get started with VisionERA today itself without having to pay a single penny. Our $0 invoicing policy lets our customers pay only after seeing satisfactory results. No risk and absolutely no obligations!

To avail the trial version of VisionERA, click on the free trial button.

Also, if you want to have a detailed one-on-one with our document automation team, schedule a demo with our automation experts.

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