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Reimagining Supply Chain Efficiency with Intelligent Automation

September 8, 2020 - Romil Bhalla Senior Analyst - Product Management, EdgeVerve

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Mr. Peter Crawley has been closely monitoring the developments globally since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. Being the Chief Supply Chain Officer in a large retail enterprise with operations across the globe, Peter’s team has been working 24×7 to ensure seamless operations. Just like Peter’s organization, most enterprises today are facing challenges to stay afloat. In these testing times, the supply chain is being looked at to keep the operations running across industries like retail and manufacturing. These industries are completely dependent on the supply chain to keep their upstream and downstream operations afloat. To cater to the dynamic needs of these industries, the supply chain organizations should focus on combining agility, flexibility, and cost-efficiency with rapid product and service development1.

A survey conducted by Deloitte2 confirms the intent of enterprises in this direction. When Deloitte asked the respondents, “What functions are you prioritizing for future digital investment?” the supply chain emerged as the top overall answer, with 62 percent respondents choosing it over planning, product design, and smart factories.

Intelligent Automation is one such pillar helping the supply chain industry and functions achieve this by expanding the automation horizon. The focus on high accuracy levels and efficiency in operations make intelligent automation the key to this transformational change. Forrester has also called out the importance of Intelligent Automation (RPA+AI) as an important driving force to own the future of work3. In this article, we are looking at some of the key Intelligent Automation (IA) technologies that are reshaping the supply chain industry and its operations. We will also look at how the adoption of these IA technologies is redefining the role of knowledge workers across the Supply Chain industry.

The above examples give a glimpse of the endless capabilities for Supply Chain by deploying the right Intelligent Automation technologies across appropriate use cases. Let us look at the impact on Supply Chain with the advent of Intelligent Automation.

For a shipping company, operating across 139 countries on multiple systems and interfaces, EdgeVerve deployed over 400 AssistEdge RPA bots to offer price quotes and booking management within minutes as opposed to the previous 24-hour lead time.

Another US-Based company ensured business continuity in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic using AssistEdge RPA’s Intelligent Automation capabilities4. This transportation and logistics company operating in 30 countries, wanted to ensure that payment operations are on track, and payments processing can be done remotely and in a more agile manner. The solution helped them better manage the orders into Ready-to-bill (RTB) and ready-to-pay (RTP) status, resulting in a reduced Annual Daily Sales Outstanding of USD 2.5 M.

There are numerous other examples where supply chain organizations are already reaping the benefits of deploying Intelligent Automation capabilities across their processes. You can also take up similar initiatives by creating a core team that focuses on identifying the right use cases and assisted by a Process Discovery tool. They should look at the profiles of different knowledge workers, identify the areas which are best suited for specific IA technologies, and reimagine the supply chain.

References:

1 Automation Singularity – https://www.edgeverve.com/assistedge/automation-singularity-expanding-horizons/

2 Deloitte Industry 4.0 Investment Survey 2018 – https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/focus/industry-4-0/challenges-on-path-to-digital-transformation/supply-chain-paradox.html

3 Forrester Report – Embrace Six Success Drivers to Own The Future Of Work by Craig Le Clair

4 Stronger Together: AssistEdge RPA automated billing process for a global logistics provider during COVID-19 crisis – https://www.edgeverve.com/assistedge/case-studies/covid-19/automates-billing-process-global-covid-19-crisis/

Romil Bhalla

Senior Analyst - Product Management, EdgeVerve

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