How Automation Helps Solve the Biggest Issues in Supply Chain and Delivery

The term "automation" often conjures up images of self-driving trucks and large robotic machines on factory assembly lines. But the real magic of automation happens behind the scenes, helping industry professionals solve seemingly small but essential tasks.

For those who have tracked shipments manually by entering delivery data into lengthy spreadsheets, it's no secret that the most tedious tasks are prone to human error and often take the longest to complete. 

Automation will increasingly become a competitive advantage as the supply chain and logistics industries evolve to meet ever-changing demand. To be successful and gain a strong competitive edge, delivery and logistics organizations must prioritize technology adoption by removing obsolete, legacy technologies and processes that are in place today.

Without urgent action, the shipping and logistics industry will face last mile challenges, the adverse effects of climate change, and even new stressors such as the Russian-Ukrainian war.

Here’s how automation technology can solve the biggest problems in the supply chain and change the way work gets done.


Automation Solutions for Supply Chain, Logistics, and Delivery

Documentation is necessary to ensure transparency between the sender and the recipient when processing parcels and shipments. It should be easy for these professionals to fill out forms and transcribe information for any document, but this approach is fragile. Through no fault of their own, industry professionals tend to make mistakes when backlogs rise and stress increases.

The human factor is critical when reviewing day-to-day invoices, bills of lading (BOL), commercial invoices, waybills and customer clearance documentation. People enter the required information into fields and internal systems line by line to charge customers accordingly.

Therefore, when working with large volumes of physical documents, it is easy to make mistakes and decipher something incorrectly, which will lead to a loss of income of up to 12% and an immeasurable loss of time to correct these errors.

This problem is not one-sided but is related to the inefficiency of the entire industry. Data entry teams face different levels of variability due to the multiple formats created by clients and the inconsistencies, nuances and legibility of handwriting, leading many to consider alternatives such as Intelligent Document Processing (IDP).

IDP improves document processing accuracy and reduces back-to-back work, making it the industry’s premier solution to the problems with physical documents. It uses AI and machine learning to provide end-to-end document-centric business process automation for structured and unstructured data such as PDFs, images, and handwritten forms.

IDP not only converts such document formats into structured, machine-readable information, but it does it faster, more accurately, and more efficiently than a human.

Back-office automation is a win-win in the transportation industry. Organizations will not only save revenue that has traditionally been lost due to inaccuracies in paperwork but will focus employees on high-level tasks without getting bogged down in paperwork. With automation support, customers can track information with confidence and receive faster service.

Benefits of Supply Chain and Delivery Automation

Today, several distinct benefits of automation are driving delivery and logistics forward. To name just a few:

1. Save time and money 

Automating delivery processes has many benefits in saving money and improving customer service. You can eliminate many errors, such as misspelled addresses, wrong products, package sizes and weights, and reduce the time employees spend preparing shipments. All these points can help you avoid significant expenses and customer dissatisfaction.

2. Enable real-time updates and notifications

To reduce human contact due to COVID-19, package delivery should include automatic notifications and alerts to keep customers informed of the status and arrival of their items. Companies that benefit from improvements in such systems are more likely to gain a competitive advantage.

3. Become truly Agile

More and more organizations reconsider the need for automated processes. As companies transition to maintaining productivity and agility during the crisis, the need to automate multiple departments, people, and robots becomes critical. This includes all of your supply chain aspects as companies look to automate processes to ensure delivery.

4. Enable Better Consumption Planning

Automated delivery means consumers have a better view of arrival times. This visibility allows better planning of consumption and leads to customer satisfaction. Imagine if you knew exactly when your delivery would arrive. You would be able to plan exactly when an item will be used and how it fits with other items when consumed.

5. Improve customer and employee experience

Automated shipping will free up time for your employees and make the buying process even easier for your customers. This gives customers faster and more organized information about their orders, which allows you to spend more time improving your customer experience in other ways.

Are you looking for custom supply chain and logistics automation solutions?

6. Create New Marketing Opportunities 

Automated deliveries allow marketers to expand their target markets and build loyalty by sending recurring orders for perishable goods. They can also create brand positioning and set it apart from the competition with cost and speed of delivery and lower overheads to pass the savings on to the customer to improve purchase satisfaction.

7. Scale the delivery of personalized messages

Automated delivery of personalized marketing messages has proven important. We see our brand customers switch messages completely from advertising to crisis response within hours, using micro-market-specific data to personalize empathy and health-related advice messages. 

8. Capitalize on the subscription boom

Automated delivery will be the catalyst for the boom in the retail business with subscription models. As such, savvy marketers will be tasked with stimulating public demand for subscription-based products that offer convenience and peace of mind for consumers on a “set it and forget it” basis.

supply chain trends 2022's Client Case

A leading truck transportation and delivery company was looking to build a custom logistics automation solution to add scalability, increase customer satisfaction and retention, and optimize courier operations. They hired for this automation project.

Our custom-built solution enables the Client to properly inform its end customers of the time slot in which the delivery will take place as well as provide options to the recipients to control the entire delivery flow. On top of that, we optimized operations by increasing the number of activities a courier can handle during a day.

Key product features

  • Optimal itinerary planning  and routes recalculation for agents;
  • Route recalculations and optimizations on traffic events or delivery changes;
  • Enabling delivery  redirects, cancellations, dynamic pick-ups
  • Pinning on map, contacting courier through central system;
  • Live tracking of couriers;
  • Addressing  parsing and autocorrection, geocoding, reverse geocoding;
  • Geofences  – microzoning and macrozoning;
  • Integration with Logistics Management solution


As a result, our Client gained the following benefits:

  • Scalable architecture 
  • Increase in customer satisfaction, retention, and new sales;
  • Optimized courier operations by increasing deliveries and pick-ups  up to 20-40% per day;
  • High volume of data processing: 3 millions of transactions, 600,000+ deliveries, 140,000+ agents per day
  • Real-time data processing

Bottom Line

There are three major advantages of automation that are moving the needle in the field of delivery and logistics:

  • Accurate shipment processing

Customers can automate according to the accuracy level, ensuring that red flags indicating previously lost revenue are no longer missed. This reduces discrepancies in data that negatively impact revenue.

  • Business agility 

Advanced automation enables customization that allows organizations to combine their business processes with the power and flexibility of machine learning. They can easily make adjustments as regulations change or demand increases, providing flexibility now and into the future.

  • Flexible data extraction 

Companies using automation can confidently classify, extract, and enrich data from various formats, from handwritten BOLs to invoices with essential revenue information.

Automation in logistics and transport does not have to include large shipping containers, machinery, or drones. On the contrary, human-centric, intelligent automation can revolutionize how you deliver, creating an ideal situation for all stakeholders.

The leading organizations of tomorrow understand that when demand is high, time is of the essence. They will use automation to exceed expectations, scale with volume, and transform business operations by minimizing routine tasks and enabling the future of human-machine collaboration.

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