Supply Chain Automation: What is it and How Can it Benefit Me? 

If your factory is the heart of your organization, then your supply chain is the veins and arteries. Your operational efficiency depends on everything being connected to deliver a reliable service.

However, many organizations have built up a patchwork of legacy systems, with gaps between applications leaving a disconnect in the supply chain, which can lead to inefficiencies, lack of visibility and general uncertainty. 

Supply chain automation provided by a low-code automation platform can automate tasks within the end-to-end supply chain and connect systems for a 360-degree view of operations. 


What is supply chain automation?

Supply chain automation is the use of digital technologies to improve efficiencies, connect applications and streamline processes within supply chain operations. It usually incorporates intelligent technologies such as Digital Process Automation, Robotic Process Automation, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning. 

What are the benefits of supply chain automation?

There are multiple benefits that can be seen when supply chain automation software is introduced to operations. Here are the four primary benefits: 

1.    Automate menial, manual tasks

A connected supply chain supported by automation technologies provides the opportunity to free employees from these menial, manual tasks. 

“Supply chain management processes contain various documents such as delivery order, dock receipt, bill of lading (B/L), sea waybill, etc,” states AImultiple. Employees in the supply chain department continuously store and process these documents for various reasons, yet, this is a time-consuming, manual task that inhibits businesses to reach operational excellence.” 

These tasks are often carried out on pen and paper by employees in the warehouse, taking up valuable time and often leading to human error when recording and submitting information. The benefits of automation, both in and out of the warehouse include increased efficiency - manifested by increased fill rates and decreased cycle times, as well as increased warehouse throughput time, reduced labor and operational costs, elimination of human error, and improved inventory management.

The benefits of automation were realized by Bizagi customer, adidas. The largest sportwear manufacturer in Europe needed to transform its supply chain across 400 factories. Using Bizagi and an agile methodology allowed for less development, more efficiency, and cost reduction. They created standardized, reusable processes to deliver automation across departments. These automated processes eliminated manual tasks and reduced operational costs, such as eliminating a million emails per year through system integration. They also halved factory onboarding time and sped up the two-month sports asset contract approval cycle to just one week.


2.    Transparency and visibility of operations

Traditional supply chains often face unpredictable lead times and lack the transparency to know how inventory is progressing. Digital technology means that now even the everyday consumer is used to being able to see where their online delivery is in its journey from the warehouse to their front door. So why shouldn’t businesses expect the same visibility earlier on in the supply chain?

The reason for lack of transparency in the past couple of decades has been due to poor connectivity. As more systems and applications were introduced to increase efficiency, they created silos and left gaps between systems, which meant that information could not be passed between them and it was hard to follow the status of a process end-to-end. 

A low-code automation platform can connect all systems and create a centralized location for your employees to access information, providing complete process visibility and orchestration.  This provides real-time data to employees, not only giving them up-to-date status updates, but also allows them to act with certainty when executing tasks that rely on important information. 

Transparency not only benefits employees, but also customers as they can easily get an overview of how their order is progressing through the supply chain. Traceability is now essential for customer satisfaction and a low-code automation platform can provide appropriate visibility. 


3.    Agility to respond to the unexpected 

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. For some organizations, the COVID pandemic meant scaling operations back and operating on a bare-bones basis. For others, it meant ramping up production and shipping capabilities to meet increased demand. 

Using a low-code automation platform provided the benefit of adaptability to respond to unforeseen circumstances, which is built-in when you connect information and data
across your organization. 

“Low-code platforms let technology teams build enterprise applications substantially faster to meet rapid changing business objectives,” reports BM Magazine. “To respond quickly to business needs, using low-code platforms with an API-driven approach can help you to create auto-responsive apps for websites, tablets, and smartphones at the desired speed.” 


4.    Ensure regulations are always met

Diminishing risk and meeting compliance standards is particularly hard in a post-COVID world. Even more so for manufacturers and suppliers with global sites observing different regulations, ranging from health and safety to best business practice. Auditing is then required to prove these standards have been met.

Establishing business processes that are then executed, either in part or fully, by automation technology can help improve both risk management and the overall supply chain management. All stakeholders can ensure best practices are followed while integrating compliance for effective and risk-averse operations. 

Documenting and automating workflows is the ideal way to ensure specific requirements are met, and that operations can be agile enough to evolve. Additionally, the real-time visibility brought to the supply chain by a low-code automation platform can help organizations to mitigate risk and ensure compliance by identifying issues as they arise and preventing them from escalating further. 


Connectivity and automation bring the efficiency and agility that so many supply chain operators crave. If you would like to find out more about how a low-code platform can help transform your supply chain, download our free ebook, The Essential Guide to Automation in Manufacturing. 

In addition to insight on how to optimize your supply chain, you will also learn:

•    How to build a competitive advantage through three essential strategies
•    What the dawn of Industry 5.0 means for manufacturers
•    Tips for a successful automation program and how to repeat success


Manufacturing automation guide ebook mockup.png

Cardboard boxes on a conveyor line in distribution warehouse Use Cases

Automation Success Story from Deutsche Post DHL Group’s Shared Services Hub

Financial Services

[Infografía] Reducir las brechas en los servicios financieros


[Infographic] Bridging the Gaps in Financial Services

Agile & Low Code

Low-Code Automation: The Benefits

Financial Services

5 formas de capacitar a los empleados de servicios financieros con la automatización

Financial Services

5 Ways to Empower Financial Services Employees with Automation 


[Infografía] Fabricar de forma automatizada para innovar: 3 Estrategias Clave


[Infographic] Automate to Innovate in Manufacturing - 3 Essential Strategies

Finance Solutions

What CFOs Really Think About Automation in Finance

Businessman using a digital tablet to discuss information with senior leadership in a meeting. Business partners discussing plans. Mature boss and young business man working together in office. Financial Services

Transforming Approval Processes in Financial Services: Real-Life Examples

Process Modeling and Mapping

What is Process Mapping? Benefits and Examples of Process Maps

Business Analysis and Strategy Digital Process Automation

What is Business Process Automation (BPA)?

Confident smiling businessman using smartphone in office Intelligent Process Automation

Process Automation ROI: How to Calculate Yours

Workspace with Blank Computer Screen Agile & Low Code

What is Low-Code Automation and How Could it Benefit You?

Digital Process Automation

Automation Predictions for 2021 and Beyond

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v80), quality = 82
Process Modeling and Mapping

What is Process Modeling? 6 Essential Questions Answered

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v80), quality = 82
Finance Solutions

5 Reasons for Automating the Procurement Process

Process Modeling and Mapping

What is Process Improvement? Methodologies to Help Your Business

Digital Process Automation

3 Ways Process Automation Can Aid Your Business Recovery

HR & Employee Experience

4 Ways to Deliver Change Management for Process Automation

Depressed frustrated trader tired of overwork or stressed by bankruptcy, sad shocked investor desperate about financial crisis or money loss, upset businessman having headache massaging nose bridge Business Continuity

4 Technology Priorities for Enterprises Preparing for Economic Downturn

Digital Transformation: Technology

The Building Blocks You Need for Digital Transformation

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v80), quality = 82
Robotic Process Automation

How to Use Bizagi and RPA to Achieve True Digital Process Automation

Financial Services

3 Processes Ripe for Automation in Financial Services

Governance & Compliance

5 Governance, Risk and Compliance Automation Templates You Can Use Right Now

Digital Transformation: Strategy

Digital Transformation Strategy: Get it Right & Become a Digital Master

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v80), quality = 82

3 Ways to Ensure Data Security in Healthcare

Customer Experience & Engagement

The Customer Journey: How to Capitalize on Critical Moments

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v80), quality = 82

Telemedicine: Meet Customer Expectations in Healthcare with AI

Digital Transformation: Strategy

[Infographic] 3 Ways to Tackle the Tensions Around Digital Transformation

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v80), quality = 82
Financial Services

Rescue Insurance Policy Administration with AI & Process Automation

Financial Services

How AgFirst Ensures Compliance in the Finance Industry using Process Automation

Governance & Compliance

[Infographic] 4 Ways to Reduce Risk & Keep Your Business Compliant

Financial Services

Insurance Claims Process: Don’t Leave Your Customers Waiting

Digital Transformation: Strategy

Digital Operations: Transform your Business in 6 Simple Steps

Customer Experience & Engagement

[Infographic] 3 Ways to Transform Your Customer Engagement Strategy

Financial Services

Banking Fraud Prevention: System Silos Create Gaps for Criminals

Customer Experience & Engagement

Contextualization: The New Rules of Customer Engagement

Governance & Compliance

Governance and Compliance: Mitigate Risk in 6 Simple Steps

Financial Services

Insurance Onboarding: The Key to Lasting Customer Relationships

Governance & Compliance

Why Agility is The Key to Regulatory Compliance

Use Cases

Lotus Notes Migration: Modernizing Your Applications with Bizagi

Financial Services

Blockchain: The Fuel to Energize Your Financial Services Transformation