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Supply Chain Automation: Use Cases for Every Point in Your Logistics Network 

From billion-dollar organizations to the independent Mom & Pop store on your street corner, countless companies depend on their supply chain to effectively run their business. An effective supply chain can make or break your operations, so it’s important to keep it running smoothly. 

In an effort to avoid disruption and build resilience, many organizations are looking to supply chain automation. 

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Here are seven supply chain automation use cases throughout every step in the journey your product takes to show how automation can help your supply chain to run smoothly.

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Raw materials – Environmental, Social & Governance Management at Tatweer Petroleum  

Tatweer Petroleum uses the latest oil exploration, production and recovery technologies to produce oil to meet energy demands, while upholding its commitment to the highest standards of health, safety and environmental protection

They were looking to eliminate manual tasks and ambiguities from core operational tasks by automation processes at their 1,500 oil wells. This would not only aid a smoother execution of work, but also ensure health and safety measures and environmental guidelines were followed.

Since deploying process automation across the organization using a Center of Excellence, there are fewer ambiguities and errors. This is thanks to electronic data capture, reduced turnaround times and lower operational costs. But most importantly, it has created a safer working environment. There has been a 205% increase in the number of identified and rectified safety observations by employees, and the work permits are captured and processed more efficiently, creating a safer and more cost-effective allocation of work. 

 

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Shipping – Customer Shipping Information Management at Unilever 

Unilever Asia Private Limited, part of one of the world’s leading consumer goods companies, embarked on a digital transformation initiative to automate processes across the business, with a focus on supply chain operations to deliver a more transparent and reliable way of working.

They ship goods to hundreds of different ports, so need to maintain complex shipping information which varies from country to country. Documents were previously completed and shared over email, meaning there was no visibility or control over the process.

Process automation is now used to import shipping information from Excel and displays over 170 fields in an easy-to-use tabbed format, providing full visibility and control in a single platform, while automated reminders avoid manual chasing for follow-ups and approvals. Over 1,900 cases were submitted in the first seven months of use, with 87% of cases completed within a month of submission. Previously, cases would have taken up to two months to complete.

 

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Warehouse – Factory Onboarding at Adidas

Adidas is Europe’s largest sportswear manufacturer and has a global supply chain that requires smooth logistics to keep them at the top of their industry. 

They needed to connect their silos across multiple departments, warehouses, and factory sites to become more efficient. Adidas standardized processes and made them reusable to deliver automation throughout the supply chain. 

The highly successful initiative reduced the time to market by two-thirds when compared with the traditional in-house development. The integrated systems and process automation reduced factory onboarding time by 50%, with an overall 60% reduction in supply chain costs. 

 

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Manufacturing - Quality Assurance at JSR Micro

JSR Micro is a manufacturer and supplier of semiconductor solutions, used for energy applications and medical research. Within their Life Sciences division, they were acquiring new customers and employees while establishing new product lines, but needed to ensure that their stringent customer, legal and compliance requirements were met.

By documenting, streamlining, and automating business processes, they can produce goods faster and more consistently, while maintaining quality and compliance with numerous ISO and customer audit requirements. This has helped to improve throughput time by 45%, with no additional IT headcount thanks to the low-code automation platform.  

They now have an automated audit trail, which has helped them win top supplier quality awards as they can produce documentation and evidence of their process compliance in just a matter of clicks. 

 

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Production Line – Quality Assurance & Management at Geesinknorba

Geesinknorba is one of Europe’s leading companies for the design and manufacture of refuse-collecting vehicles and waste compactors. 99% of the vehicles they produce are customized, so they require a highly flexible, transparent process to meet customer requests. 

The concept of a Smart Factory has become popular with the dawn of process automation, but Geesinknorba flipped the process on its head to create Smart Units, which act as the navigator through the production process. This means that different production steps can be started simultaneously with intelligent automation using information such as lead-time, capacity, and materials in stock to make the best decision on how each truck should be assembled. 

This efficient new way of managing a production line has led to a 45% increase in production efficiency and a 40% higher product output, with a decreased lead-time for each vehicle. 

 

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Distribution – Order Management & Dispatching at Multinational Beverage Company

CBC, the Central American Bottling Corporation, has the largest beverage portfolio in Latin America, exporting to more than 35 countries globally. With such a vast portfolio and complex network of suppliers, they looked to process automation to deliver efficiency and ensure customer satisfaction

They have around 2,200 vendors in the market who submit presales information to CBC’s warehouses at 6.30 pm. They need to have details of orders, truck loading instructions and delivery routes ready by 4 am the next morning to meet their strict SLAs for transport orders. For large warehouses, they have as little as 35 minutes to send them transport papers so they can load the trucks. 

Thanks to process automation, they now meet all of their SLAs: vendors submit information for orders and dispatching, which automatically plans the dispatch route and creates a transport sheet. This is sent to warehouses, including loading instructions for the trucks. Every step in the process is tracked and handed off through Bizagi to ensure that all steps are accounted for.

 

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Customer Interaction – Customer Contact Center at Bunzl 

Bunzl Retail Supplies is a distribution company that provides store supplies, packaging, and store décor. Part of the wider international and outsourcing group, Bunzl Group, they were looking to create more connectivity between their employees, suppliers, and customers.

They began by automating elements of the customer contact center to help employees log and resolve inquiries more efficiently. Their customer inquiry process was automated to gather data and call logs, so agents are now instantaneously presented with all relevant data on a single screen so they can resolve inquiries faster. The customer service team can resolve calls 33% faster, which equated to seven person-days a month.

Additional subprocesses have been put in place to enable Bunzl to track quality complaints and to manage pick shortage claims to support customers who have been sent the wrong product or incorrect amounts. This subprocess branches off to the warehouse team to ensure faster problem resolution.

 

Bring supply chain automation to life 

Using a low-code platform, you can automate processes throughout your supply chain to deliver efficiency, compliance, and customer satisfaction to help you remain competitive. Automate and orchestrate your processes end-to-end using Bizagi to make your supply chain more robust and deliver results fast.

For more information on how to tackle any challenges you may be facing, download The Strategic Guide to Supply Chain Automation for Manufacturing & Retail. 

The comprehensive ebook provides three easy-to-follow steps on how to build more resilient supply chain operations. These strategies can make digital transformation approachable and deliver meaningful progress in a short space of time. 

 

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