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How Automation Can Benefit the Key Stages in Supply Chains

Jan. 28, 2021
Regardless of the kind of business you work within, supply chain automation can take much of the time-consuming analysis and calculation out of keeping it running efficiently.

Regardless of the kind of business you work within, supply chain automation can take much of the time-consuming analysis and calculation out of keeping it running efficiently. While it’s true no configured AI can truly replace human ingenuity or problem-solving, there are still numerous applications for simple automation in a variety of trades and practices. Whether it’s produce delivery, mail tracking technology or warehouse stock management, having automation in place can reduce overhead costs and requires minimal maintenance once set up. While specific applications of automation exist, let’s first discuss the immediate benefits to a business.

What Immediate Benefit Does Automation Provide?

Companies produce a lot of data in every field: logistics tracks vehicles and stock; factories log product output and manual labor hours; restaurants maintain digital records of stock turnover and replenishment schedules. Automating these processes and others like them has a variety of rapid and measurable benefits, both on a business and its employees.

For example, stock in a large warehouse can be monitored quickly and accurately, all but eliminating mathematical error while lowering potential employee injuries compared to manual stock counts. “This streamlines deployment and replacement of stock by automating surveillance of ordered items and setting up thresholds for replenishment, increasing not only consumer satisfaction but allowing you to market towards larger companies and provide larger orders without a significant added burden on processes” says Roman Howell, a tech writer at Elite assignment help and Bestbritishessays.

Machine-Learning: Efficient Supply Management

Large warehouses require a lot of employees and maintenance, resulting in high overheads, an increased risk of injury and multiple opportunities for human error in a single day. Managing a country-wide distribution network and the database of products that accompany it is impossible without some form of machine-learning automation to manage stock count, ongoing and new orders, and low stock alerts, in addition to staying ahead of increasing demand.

Automation does not make management specialists obsolete. No AI can imitate abstract human thought or be aware of outside influences beyond its program, and data produced by machine learning should always be checked by a management specialist for accuracy—especially if the data produced seems unusual in any way. Even the most powerful automated system may develop flaws within its code that need to be addressed and human checks are a necessary final step in ensuring efficiency and accuracy.

Robotics: Automated Supply Logistics

Particularly in large e-Commerce warehouses supplying thousands of products, using robotic hardware to automate aspects of supply transport to delivery trucks can save time and money, especially in regard to exceptionally heavy stock. Some items—structural hardware in trade warehouses, for example—are too large or heavy for an employee to transport themselves. Automated equipment systems not only make the job more efficient; they also make it safer for staff by lowering the risk of injury.

Production can also be automated. Industries that maintain a high output, such as machinery or car manufacture, can benefit from the automation of less intricate tasks. Bodywork cutting and soldering, painting and other tasks that don’t require an intricate attention to detail can be automated, streamlining an otherwise arduous, mundane process and releasing previously sequestered manpower to complete other tasks.

Driverless Vehicles: Economic Supply Shipping

Able to be programmed for a number of tasks, driverless vehicles can be used to automate item retrieval, the loading and unloading of pallets from vehicles and larger stock from around the warehouse, and complete rapid stock checks; they can also replace the role of forklifts and employees on site. This can lead to significantly shorter turnover times, reduce the cost of warehouse management and increase customer and employee satisfaction. Thinking on a large scale, suggests Zena Satterfield, a business writer at Revieweal and Ukwritings, automated vehicles could even deliver small items to local customers, covering for poor driver availability between old and new hires.

Automation Application in Supply Chains: Conclusions

The possibilities are daunting, but integration and management is easier than expected and the benefits are almost instantly quantifiable. The application of automation in the various roles discussed above can lower costs and increase profits in your business, all simply by increasing the processing and output capacities of your employees and warehouses.

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About the Author

Kristin Herman

A marketing writer for Do my assignment and Big Assignments, Kristin Herman produces an array of articles for online magazines and blogs, such as Boom essays.