What is Supply Chain Automation?
Automation in the supply chain is about using robots to take up tasks that are either repetitive or error prone. From manual documentation to picking and packing errors, the supply chain network is filled with such a time-consuming process. It leverages digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and Robotic Process Automation to lower operational costs and menial tasks that are time consuming. Employees then can spend their valuable time on higher level tasks that require the human touch.
As per a research study by Deloitte, warehouse automation is the top technology invested by companies at 53% followed by predictive analytics, IOT and cloud computing.
To thrive in today’s market, supply chain leaders are looking towards such technologies to increase their performance and reduce costs. But many experts believe that even if something can be automated does not mean that you should automate it. So, to understand, what can be automated and what shall remain in the hands of a human, we need to understand what its weak and strong points are.
Yes, robots have limitations too!
Lack of Dexterity and Flexibility
There can be several exceptions in the warehouse for which a robot might not even understand. Although many robots can now navigate a warehouse and pick items, they lack dexterity and flexibility for which they still need human intervention. Some facilities are also not suitable in every application of robots.
Limited to Menial Tasks
Cobots can perform many tasks such as picking, placing and inspecting, etc, alongside humans. These collaborative robots work with humans for tasks that cannot be fully automated. All of these and other automation tasks are menial and cannot make real time movement decisions like humans.
Humans are the Best Managers
There are many areas that are unlikely to ever be automated like human resource management and administration. Many situations also require human perception and awareness that robots cannot replicate such as personal life or work performance. At the end, they are still programmed and cannot think beyond their programming.
So, what can be automated in the supply chain?
Back-Office Automation:- There are many documents in the supply chain management process such as dock receipt, delivery order, Bill of lading etc. employees continuously have to store and process these documents for several reasons. Using robotics process automation, Artificial intelligence can help in nearly end-to-end automation of these documents.
Transportation Automation:- Automated trucks and drones are some of the automated technologies that we have already seen. Drones can avoid traffic being an aerial vehicle and deliver much faster. Driverless vehicles are capable of driving and navigating without any human inputs.
Warehouse Automation:- Goods-to-Person, Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems, Automated Guided Vehicles, Autonomous Mobile Robots are some automation technologies. It can help boost warehouse space and can dramatically reduce the need for manual labour.
3SC’s warehouse solutions provide a full range of warehouse functionality from receiving and put away to inventory adjustment. Our digital solutions are designed to scale and support warehouse needs, that can be integrated into any environment with quick configurability through the mobile applications. Our system provides flexible interfacing that allows connectivity with other ERP systems with the shortest implementation time through our expert personnel. Our solutions will improve your labour efficiency and inventory count along with a reduction in shipping errors, total inventory, and management time.
Our solutions are designed to provide you with the most up-to-date digital solutions to increase the productivity of your warehouse through better space utilization with a high-end warehouse management system and much more.
Want to know more about 3SC’s warehouse solutions, reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org