Ever wondered how supply chains are holding up these days?
Nowadays, you’ll hear about automation taking many industries by storm – the same is true for supply chain management. No matter what your job is in the supply chain industry, automation can take so much time off your hands, whenever calculating and analyzing your supply chains.
Despite the rumors that artificial intelligence will kill jobs, there are still ways to implement it on smaller tasks in various trades and practices. When it comes to supply chain management, that’s especially common, because there are many things that automation can do – just not everything. But is it still important in the industry? Yes!
This guide will show you why automation matters in this business, and the 3 ways that it can help out with supply chain. So, let’s jump right in!
Why Automation Matters In Supply Chain
Supply chain companies often work around the clock to bring items to their clients and customers. Such companies must go above and beyond in the following areas:
- Factory logging product output
- Logging manual labor hours for their employees
- Tracking vehicles and stock
- Maintaining digital records of stock turnover
- Maintaining records of replenishment schedules
As a result, automating such processes come with unique benefits for both a company and its employees. Here are 3 ways that automation can help the supply chain industry.
ML In Supply Management
Machine learning can play a huge role in the first major stage of supply chain management. Warehouses and storage management operations can definitely benefit from using automated software and systems to run their day-to-day supply chain jobs. This prevents many human errors from happening in the first place. Though, it’s still important to double-check your inventory every so often, to ensure that the ML is doing its part to keep production going.
ML can help supply management in the following ways:
- Manage inventory
- Alert management about short supplies
- Request new shipments, etc.
Robotic Solutions In Supply Logistics
Robotic solutions can help your supply chain initiative thrive, depending on the type of products and services you sell. By using robotic hardware, warehouse management, along with item handling and transportation, will run smoother within the warehouse, because it takes less physical labor for employees (especially when it comes to shipping and handling heavy and bulky items). Thus, automation will have your business covered on the “heavy” stuff, while your employees stay focused on handling the “little” things in the warehouse.
Driverless Vehicles For Shipping Supplies
In the last stage of supply chain management, you and your company can implement driverless vehicles to handle the rest for you. With talks about driverless vehicles slowly becoming more of a reality, such vehicles can, in the meantime, take on the jobs of traditional forklifts, and replace the physical and difficult labor of employees transporting palettes and other items in and around the warehouse. As long as they’re kept on the premise, driverless vehicles can serve as a helpful asset to your company.
Driverless vehicles can help out in supply shipping in the following ways:
- Loading and unloading cargo
- Searching for warehouse items with only a barcode
- Delivering small-scale orders to clients (thus bypassing third-party delivery services)
- Compensating for shortage of human drivers (when necessary)
Despite the promising features of driverless vehicles, you’ll still need employees for backup and assistance. In fact, the concept – as a whole – has yet to be accepted 100%, because according to The Verge, nearly 3 out of 4 Americans, as of May 2020, aren’t ready to fully embrace autonomous cars to begin with. Regardless, such vehicles can give your company less headaches, when it comes to shipping certain supplies to other parts of the company, or to certain clients.
While the concept is still being speculated and tested in certain companies, the idea of implementing automation in supply chains is still fresh in the industry. With automation seen as a possibility in the 3 areas mentioned in this article, it’s possible that automation will be here to stay once it’s officially implemented 100%. However, one can still bet that human employees will be there to see its usefulness and success come into fruition, and increase production by a landslide.
About the Author:
Elizabeth Hines is a writer at State of writing and OX Essays. She is also a contributing writer for Write my paper. As a digital marketer, she specializes in social media advertising and influencing. As a content writer, she writes about the latest tech and marketing trends.