Automation or automatic control in logistics refers to the use of control systems, machinery or software to improve the efficiency of operations. It usually applies to processes that must be performed in a warehouse or distribution center and which result in minimal human intervention.
In fact, along a supply chain (procurement, distribution, customer service, reverse logistics…) there are a multitude of processes that could be automated. For example, Stock Logistic has warehousing and distribution services, both for dry and refrigerated cargo, for any type of industry and whose processes are automated.
The main advantages of automation logistics are:
- Real-time access to loading and data analysis. When you have access to load data and the ability to run reports, you have the ability to make better business decisions.
- Reduction of mistakes that cause a great cost. In manual data entry there can be a number of mistakes that result in increased shipping costs.
- Organizational control. The systems are usually flexible enough to adapt to the company’s business rules and, at the same time, powerful enough to force all users, both internal and external, to follow the policies that ensure efficient and profitable shipping.
- Improved customer service as you can track in real time cargo, auto pick-up, adequate insurance and cargo accounting by incorporating it into your order specifications.
- Scalability and speed. The software provides ease of entry into the system and manage with greater agility, for example, a warehouse. In addition all transport invoices can be consolidated into a single weekly invoice, no matter how many shipments you have in each location.
Logistic automation, however, also has some disadvantages:
- Less flexibility, both in processes and in process changes. In other words, it is doubtful whether it will be possible to standardize certain processes so that they can be executed more efficiently in an automated system.
- Taking into account the large number of actors in a supply chain: suppliers, manufacturers, customers, distributors… All of them can present pitfalls and be reluctant to include the necessary and obligatory technological solutions for automation.
- Time is another element often cited against them. An automated system can take an average of 10 years to implement, which when faced with the cost of putting it into operation, sometimes gives returns on the investment that companies consider too low.