Logistics is driven through documentation. It is a collective of multiple tasks like warehousing, shipping, distribution etc. jolted together to create a supply chain.
With expected manual verification and data extraction at each node, the task becomes problematic with the sheer growing number of documents that need processing. This accounts for a smart solution that can automatically perform the needful and scoots through without making errors with minimal manual intervention.
To answer this, we have discussed some of the common problems faced in the logistics industry and how intelligent document processing solve problems for logistics? Read ahead…
What are the Problems Associated with Logistics?
With a complicated network of processes, there are plenty of problems that the Logistics industry has to deal with. These problems can range from supply chain visibility to government regulations.
Here are a few common issues that plague the logistics industry.
General Problems in Logistics Industry
With the growing market, there has been an increase in the number of customers. This has also given way to more custom-centric logistics throughout multiple industries. It happened due to the radical shift and acceptance of the online market by the end consumer. Although, major challenges like variation in documentation process throughout industry verticals still persists.
Problems Related to Customers
As told earlier, there has been a rise in the online market by the end user. The point here to note is that the online market flourishes on timely deliveries with certain terms and conditions. Although issues like incorrect delivery due to human error, limitation of existing data management softwares, and demand for timely updates & notifications for shipment tracking by the customers adds fuel to the already existing problems. Also, the incapability to deal with these problems degrades the end customer experience that is of high importance in the e-commerce market.
Problems at the Vendor's End
It's not like vendor’s don’t have their own set of problems. A lot of work related to logistics has been digitized. Although, the growing needs and demands makes way for more work or as one would say documentation.
Vendors today are dealing with huge volumes of data generated. This data requires validation, processing, extraction, and storage with easy retrieval for future purposes.
With human operators, there are frequent errors in the products registered. Also, the amount of time spent on processing invoices is a lot. The industry today also demands real-time forwarding of documents generated, for easy shipment tracking. Yet, this is not all since there are a range of documents from structured to unstructured that needs to be catered by the vendor. Also, with these documents, there can be plenty of editing mistakes, delivery notes by the customers, and much more.
Another task is to predetermine the freight wages based on the kind of the service the end-customer has subscribed to. Logistics organizations today also require a central repository of data for easy access and need to reduce time & cost spent on documentation.
What are the Common Documentation Challenges at Coordinator Level?
While there are multiple coordinators in the logistics sector such as the suppliers, carriers, freight forwarders, assembly plants, etc. It is not possible to cater to every document challenge at coordinator level. This is majorly because doing so will result in a book with hundreds of pages.
Processing of Shipping Documents
Shipping documents are reflective of the shipment type, its quantity, date of shipment, method of shipment, specifications etc. It consists of multiple different documents such as Bill of Lading, Proforma Invoice, Export/Import Customs declaration, Certification of Origin, Arrival Notice etc.
With so many documents at bay to process, even a single minute error can jeopardize the supply chain. Hence it is essential that every data point is aligned. Doing so can aid the logistics organizations deliver a product from manufacturer to the customer timely and effectively.
The challenge here is the timely processing of the documents. Also, it demands the capability to extract data from volumes of documents so they can be forwarded to the next phase. For instance, extraction of address and name from 1000 documents for printing it on the invoice.
The process of documentation can take up effective time and money. Also, it is easier to make errors when the process runs 24*7 and requires the organizations to be on their toes.
Processing of Warehouse Documents
Warehouses are places where any sort of goods are stored catering future demands. Warehouse documents comprise a variety of paperwork. Although, they lie between the spectrum from receipts of the goods to the depositor of the goods.
The variety of the documents used in warehouses are Warehouse Warrants, Warehouse Keeper’s receipt, Dock Warrant, and Delivery Order.
All these documents require constant validation, data extraction, sorting, and storage. It becomes a major task considering the sheer number of documents that a warehouse handles on a daily basis.
How Intelligent Document Processing Solves Problems for Logistics?
Intelligent Document Processing in Logistics is a disruptive solution. It allows bulk processing of the documents which can be structured, semi-structured, unstructured, or a combination of the three.
It can extract entire fields of data from a document or can extract it categorically. IDP even segregates data before processing and produces sorted data in the form of Excel files, PDFs, or CSVs. It is a platform that is native and platform independent. Also, it can be easily integrated with existing CMS, SAP, DMS, email, or legacy applications.
An IDP is meant for working in a cloud environment. This helps in centralization of data and accounts for easy fetching of records when needed. It is a complete document processing solution that can help automate the entire documentation process end-to-end.
Beyond this, it comes with Artificial Intelligence algorithms, Machine Learning algorithms and supports Robotic Process Automation. Therefore, it not only learns & evolves overtime but has the capacity to fulfill tasks like download, upload, saving etc. without any manual intervention. Also, the cutting edge OCR technology accounts for upto 99% accuracy.
What are Some of the Effective Intelligent Document Processing Solutions for Logistics?
There are multiple companies that are providing Intelligent Document Processing Platforms. Although before revealing any names, it is better to understand the categories in which these companies fall. These categories are:
- Legacy Vendors: Vendors that build an IDP platform on top of a legacy system.
- Innovative Vendors: Vendors that provide IDP solutions with the latest technology i.e. AI, ML, RPA etc.
- Niche Vendors: Vendors that cater to a particular market with a certain use case.
- System Integrators: They offer IDP solutions as an add-on along with their systems.
- Technology Providers: These offer the technology but are not full-fledged IDP solutions.
There are multiple great companies that provide IDP solutions from these categories. Some of these are VisionERA, Infrrd, Hyperscience, Rossum, Abby, etc. Each of these companies have been doing some great work in their own respective way. Although, we will be advocating for VisionERA and how it can be the solution you need?
VisionERA IDP platform comes with proprietary advanced technologies like AI, ML, RPA Natural Language Processing, and Computer Vision. This allows the organization to automate their document processing End-to-End. Despite this, it learns and evolves over time thanks to the technologies involved.
It offers every feature that its contemporaries promise to cater to and more. The system has helped reduce workload, time, and cost incurred on organizations because of documentation.
VisionERA is a new gen product that benchmarks and exceeds its adversaries in terms of quality & performance. It is not an industry-specific or use-case specific platform but is easily applicable anywhere in any organization that requires heavy document processing.
Its capability to provide custom document data extraction and custom workflow makes it a suitable intelligent document processing platform to solve problems for logistics.
Logistics offers a variety of documentation challenges. The problems we discussed are merely the tip of the iceberg. Although, with effective automation and AI powered solutions, all this can be made completely autonomous. With VisionERA, we hope to help companies empower their employees. We want that any repetitive document related task that takes up any amount of important time and can be automated is blown out completely.
We welcome you to see VisionERA in action, simply click on the link below and schedule a demo with us at your own convenience.
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