The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the impact of uncontrollable global events on product demand. Some businesses struggled to keep up with the growing demand, while others have been left with surplus inventory as demand for non-essential goods has decreased. Companies that make cleaning products and sanitisers were put under a lot of pressure because of the high demand.
Such conditions serve as a reminder that manufacturing firms must be able to respond to consumer demands rapidly. They will risk losing their competitive advantage in the market if demand is not met, and potential sales may suffer as a result. This is where effective supply chain automation comes into play.
Companies like ComActivity are continuously helping businesses implement supply chain automation to manage market volatility.
What is Supply Chain Automation?
The phrase “supply chain automation” refers to systematizing a portion or all of a workflow to increase performance. In essence, it entails using technology to handle a complex network of interconnected working parts from a central location.
Businesses may benefit from automating a portion or all of their supply chain by reducing manual labour and increasing productivity, reliability, and accuracy.
In supply chain management, automation can prove to be the turning point. Businesses must optimize their workflows to retain a competitive advantage in this volatile market, and supply chain automation can be your solution to this problem.
Steps to Implement an Effective Supply Chain Automation
Identify Potential Automation Possibilities
The first step in finding automation opportunities is to assess and evaluate existing business processes. A process review would allow for a detailed evaluation of daily operations to identify outdated procedures and areas for improvement.
This move aims to boost performance by streamlining manual operations and, where possible, automating them. Inefficiencies can be defined and measured after the existing flow of operations has been planned out from supplier to customer, keeping the need for automation in mind.
Opportunities for automation will be calculated after a workflow review has been performed for all business processes, and goals have been defined based on the cost to the business. Among the future opportunities the most common in the supply chain are:
- Problems with adherence
- Concerns about security
- Utilization of employees
- Problems with customer support
- Tasks that include manual labor
- Delays in the workplace
Make a Strategy For Success
After steps 1 and 2 have been completed, the next step is to build a strategic plan representing the latest processes that will be streamlined to produce the desired results. It’s essential to automate processes that have the most significant effect on resources and costs.
Technology, in particular, is critical to an automation project. The pre-existing technology should be integrated with ERP software allowing for seamless automation and alignment with core business processes such as customer orders, operations scheduling, and inventory tracking.
Consider Your Choices
An assessment strategy should be developed in combination with an implementation strategy for an effective supply chain automation process. Identifying benchmarks for each automation area will assist in deciding what performance entails. When assessing supply chain processes, consider factors such as employee turnover, material costs and overheads, operating costs, labor costs, and revenue figures.
To stay competitive, each business must perform all required tasks quickly and efficiently. Supply chains must use both human resources and technology in a balanced manner.
Professionals in the supply chain must learn to accept and lead shifts. When and where it makes sense, they must introduce new technology, as recommended by industry leaders like ComActivity. You can recognize automation opportunities, stay relevant, and develop yourself as a supply-chain expert by keeping up to date with the capabilities that new technologies bring.
Raj Kumar is a qualified business/finance writer expert in investment, debt, credit cards, Passive income, financial updates. He advises in his blog finance clap.