Automation in logistics: The next frontier in Restaurant Biz

Short Description
Customers are no longer restricted by their geographical location, which has made Logistics an instrumental part of the success of any business.
  • Ratheesh D Director, CABT Logistics
Supply Chain

Disruptions in supply chain management and a scarcity of personnel, warehousing etc often hurt logistics. To storm these issues, companies are looking at leveraging automated technology.

 

Automation in the logistics sector is the way to the future. Many restaurants and retail incumbents and even startups are working on drone deliveries in limited areas to decipher how it can help in rapid fast deliveries without putting the riders at risk. Besides this, the backend processes in supply chain management and last-mile and first-mile logistics delivery are also witnessing automation.

 

A crucial part of logistics requires harmoniously carrying out many routine procedures which often face delays due to human errors. Automating basic routine processes can reduce complexity. Fleet management, scheduling, supply ordering, procuring raw materials, invoicing, payouts, customer relations etc are being automated to reduce complex and time-taking tasks which require collaboration between various departments. Automation allows for simplification of logistics and helps businesses stay ahead and on schedule. Thus offering opportunities to scale up without compromising on quality.

 

In the present scenario, the logistics sector is mainly working on manual strength. Time-consuming processes such as sorting, order picking and forward delivery allocation are manual which eventually add up to the delivery time and reduce efficiency. Automation can help companies combat this issue by eliminating unnecessary delays, risks to human life and pilferage ultimately speeding up the process. This also leaves the companies with the option of rendering their human workforce to tasks that need more creativity, strategic planning and growth ideation.

Here are a few key areas that can excel with automation -

 

Automated micro warehouses: Customers are no longer restricted by their geographical location, which has made Logistics an instrumental part of the success of any business. Therefore, from first-mile delivery to last-mile delivery, a product goes through a lot of processes. Automated warehouses at strategic locations will help smoothen logistics.

 

Blockchain technology: The adoption of blockchain technology makes operations better for all the parties involved. From the vendor shipping their product to the end consumer, blockchain technology has augmented the industry's transparency, quality and loyalty. Blockchain facilities optimization of the freshness of the produce, food life and waste. Blockchain-backed analytics like analysis of food temperature during transportation, the shelf life of ingredients, rotation of items in inventory, etc., provide real-time insights for supply chain data. These insights help businesses in understanding the bottlenecks and strengths of their supply chain.

Besides this, the blockchain trace system provided end-to-end supply chain visibility. This augments time optimization to track the food source. This can come in handy, especially for preventing food-borne diseases and maintaining superlative quality. Documentation is another silo that benefits from blockchain technology. Accurate documentation, particular produce contracts, certificates of origin, organic growth policies, compliance requirements etc can be uploaded and managed easily. Blockchain also furthers authentic ratings and reviews and innovative customer Loyalty programs.

 

Route optimization: One of the major bottlenecks of logistics today is route optimization. Currently, there is no software or algorithm in place to help figure out the shortest route for delivery. Automation and technological advancement will help relieve this bottleneck and optimise the best route for delivery.

 

CRM: Seamless logistics is the key help in retaining customers which is not an easy task, especially in the current scenario. Automation has become a major part of customer relationship management as well. Using chat-bots effectively increases customer retention and engagement by solving customer issues seamlessly. Chat-bots eliminate the need for other customer inquiries, such as emails and phone calls, and they can also keep the customers in the loop about new products, services, offers, events, etc., on a personalized basis.

 

Technological advancements: Live order tracking and end-toned visibility help in accessing and avoiding delivery cancellations, order fulfilment and inventory management. With real-time visibility technology, businesses can automate the process of performing driver check calls and have on-demand access to an order’s status.

 

Advanced Predictive analytics: Predictive analytics is the future of operational optimization. With enhanced data at hand, thanks to intelligent SaaS platforms and AI-based tech tools, it is easy to understand the health of a supply chain and predict any performance hurdles that might sprout shortly. Parameters like the perfect order rate, inventory velocity, inventory to sales rate, warehousing, delivery timelines etc can be monitored to make sure that operations are optimized and continue to function seamlessly.

 

Automation helps in decreasing confusion and implementing contactless freight management. Freight invoice auditing and settlement processes are also being optimized via robotics process automation. With the logistics arm agile and strong thanks to automation, it can pave the way forward in digital evolution.

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