DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES IN LOGISTICS
Almost every day we hear about such technologies as artificial intelligence (AI), robotic process automation (RPA), and blockchain.
What solutions can they bring to the table?
1. Mistakes reduction,
2. Enhanced productivity,
3. Shipments location tracking,
4. Time and cost-efficiency.
Let us consider each digital technology in detail.
Artificial intelligence (AI)
Nowadays, artificial intelligence has already offered many effective solutions to a variety of industries and it is time for introducing positive changes in a conservative logistics sector. The use of artificial intelligence provides enhanced customer service. With the growth of e-commerce businesses, like AliExpress or Amazon, consumers are relying on online orders more than ever. However, due to negative experiences with logistics companies on the Internet, trust in online shopping started to fall rapidly.
The implementation of AI in the logistics industry helps to solve these problems by offering such digital solutions to customers as:
1. Delivery packages tracking,
2. Vehicle tracking,
3. Delivery time tracking,
4. Filling in invoices and web forms,
5. Route optimization,
6. Cost reduction.
Furthermore, almost all logistics companies have cloud-based databases that allow them to access customer and order data within seconds. Digital logistics companies can now more effectively manage day-to-day operations, including availability, costs, flow and resource monitoring, transportation process, staffing, and suppliers, to ensure flawless processes and enhanced customer service.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) offers many benefits to supply chain organizers:
1. Reduced costs.
Employers don't need to spend extra money on hiring and training of new employees.
2. Reduction of mistakes.
Due to performing tedious tasks, people can easily burnout and start making mistakes.
3. Process acceleration.
Robots can perform a lot of time-consuming and repetitive tasks and don't become bored and exhausted as people do.
Speaking about such an important issue as safety, the introduction of RPA has a significant impact on improving labor safety in the digital logistics industry. Robotic process automation reduces the risk of injury at the operational level in the supply chain warehouse, saving workers from hazardous work procedures. For instance, a robot for packaging and stacking on pallets can eliminate the risk of injury when performing industrial tasks for stacking on pallets, such as heavy boxes.
When people hear about blockchain, the first thought that comes to their minds is cryptocurrency coins and mining, but the main idea is much wider and deeper. Since the moment of its first market appearance, multiple industries have adapted this technology to their needs. And logistics is not an exception.
The main benefits of integrating blockchain into logistics:
1. Elimination of data tampering. A document entered once, such as a bill of lading, receipt, or certificate of conformity, remains in the system in its original form forever;
2. Elimination of unnecessary intermediaries;
3. Prevention of illegal goods mislabeling and other fraud attempts;
4. Time-effectiveness. Blockchain allows reducing the time for document management by an order of magnitude, quickly finding the link of transportation where a mistake was made, and reducing business costs.