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Supply chain challenges have always been prevalent in some way, shape, or form. However, the imbalance between supply and demand in the past few years has further exacerbated constraints across all industries.
Operations just can’t keep up with the substantial uptick in orders.
These constraints have left store shelves bare and have negatively impacted lead times on almost everything. As demand continues to increase, companies around the globe have started shifting their focus toward adopting new supply chain technologies and automation.
Automation has become a necessity for companies seeking to improve and scale operational efficiency. For your supply chain to run effectively, it is essential to integrate your physical and digital tasks. Furthering this is the concept of automating areas that are considered sub-optimal. Integrating automation slowly here and there can quickly yield results that enable faster output in the long run.
This is especially true for logistics as getting a load from point A to B in an efficient manner is the overall goal. To put it simply, time is money.
Implementing robust solutions such as a transportation management system (TMS) or other solutions that lead to increased automation can positively affect not only fulfillment times, but your bottom line as well.
There are a series of hurdles that the industry will face as they strive to implement more automation throughout 2022. These hurdles include the following:
Logistics automation is a growing industry with a wide variety of players.
This overwhelmingly fragmented industry has made it challenging for companies to obtain substantial market share and influence. There is an abundance of competition and organizations striving to disrupt the industry with new and potential supply chain solutions. This creates a lot less room for the adoption of new technologies and potential clientele.
Change is necessary, but there are always those who are reluctant to change.
Many facilities feel comfortable with the systems they have in place. They understand the process, have the right contacts when something goes wrong, and essentially don’t have to spend time learning a new process. This is a common occurrence amongst large and busy organizations. Individuals in fast-paced environments don’t seek to spend their time learning unfamiliar software or integrating their data into a new system. While automated systems make things much easier, the process of getting everyone on board may drag. The adoption of new technologies won’t result in a swift change overnight, instead, it will be gradual over time.
Logistics automation technology has come a long way over the last decade.
However, some areas need to be further advanced. While a significant portion of the process is automated, there are still tasks that are handled manually presently across the industry. Automating areas within the logistical process, such as moving data between systems to ensure proper coordination is a key component that can be improved upon. Utilizing technologies such as natural language processing (NLP) and obtaining values out of emails is a way in which the process could reduce bottlenecks and congestion through the elimination of human intervention.
The supply chain industry as a whole is facing a series of obstacles that have heavily impacted global operations. As the industry continues to face unprecedented constraints, logistics automation has become a viable solution for facilities seeking to improve operational processes.
Two of the most consistent challenges logistics-based companies face include a lack of visibility and efficiency. With the amount of competition out there, manual spreadsheets and pieces of paper simply won't cut it. To maintain a competitive edge, logistics automation has become a necessity to further expand operations and take a company to the next level.
The logistical process and material flow are challenging for many organizations around the globe. This is due to inefficiencies such as manually booking freight over email, keeping records via spreadsheet, and having limited to zero visibility. These inefficiencies build up and easily contribute to cost increases. This is why it is essential to seek out automated solutions that suit your facility.
Utilizing software such as RedwoodConnect can easily bridge the gap in your disparate logistics automation platforms. This is in addition to providing a heightened range of visibility. RedwoodConnect provides real-time supply chain solutions for your freight and distribution chain through a tailored approach.
Want to establish a unified and connected supply chain that you are in control of? Schedule a consultation with our supply chain experts today.