COVID-19 continues to disrupt supply chains around the globe. Supply chains struggle to meet demand as most countries are in quarantine and have had no lead time to plan for this type of demand. Up to 75% of companies experienced significant disruptions in their supply chain due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions. Processing and shipping cargo were complex processes before the pandemic and even more so now – utilising automation plays a critical role to address this challenge.
Cargo loss is one of Supply Chain’s biggest problems. According to the National Cargo Security Council, approximately 30% of all perishable products never make it to its final destination, due to problems in transit. The total cargo loss and theft is estimated to cost the industry US$50bn annually. The European Commission reported that extended transit time leads to an increase in inventory costs and impacts delivery delays totalling to more than US$9.34m annually in shipping costs for logistics companies.
Now more than ever, our current climate requires supply chain and logistics companies to evolve and manage operations. Automation meets the demand driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, minimising the risk of cargo being lost, and helping to improve productivity in the long-run, by automating processes such as asset tracking, accounts payable (AP) and forecasting. Cognitive Machine Reading (CMR), built on AI and Machine Learning, is superior to other automation tools such as Optical Character Recognition (OCR). CMR processes data, both structured and unstructured, that goes into supply chain operations. This data ingestion platform rapidly digitises and learns self-repeating patterns, without requiring large volumes of data and costly resources for analysis and modelling.
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Keeping Track of Assets
Ensuring assets get from point A to point B safely and intact is one of the most important objectives for supply chain companies. It’s also one of the areas where most mistakes happen due to human error and other factors which cause cargo loss.
There’s a lot to keep track of and to improve the efficiency of documents and data. When you try to track assets, you need to capture a huge array of different documents, and in various formats. For example, shipping documents require classification, ingestion and digitisation of waybills, receipts and cargo instructions. For proof of delivery, you have customs documents, certificates of origin, commercial invoices and signed bills of lading. CMR uses Machine Vision and can easily digitise handwriting and validate images such as signatures, seals and stamps. CMR makes any data available and useable for your organisation.
Managing Your Bottom Line
Delays in payments will cost you precious time and money. By increasing your AP efficiency you’ll forge better relationships with your suppliers with accurate and timely payments while managing your cash flow. CMR captures and digitises multi-format, multi-lingual line items from invoices and purchase orders and automates validation and payment. With its built-in business rules, you’ll prevent duplicate payments and ensure compliance.
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Better End-to-End Planning Processes
Forecasting and logistics planning is filled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies. Manually sorting through data to make accurate decisions is a difficult and time-consuming task. CMR provides the ability to automate logistics planning by populating data from various sources, including digitised documents and validate all those documents for accuracy, whilst generating a report afterwards for forecasting and follow-through operations.
Customer Success with CMR
A global transport and logistics company transforms the processing of their billing mechanisms – an activity which is normally manually intensive. With CMR, their billing procedures are more accurate – 88-92% greater than with manual processing - in extracting various shipping documents, ultimately resulting in a 63% reduction in processing time. This extra time enabled them to better plan their operations.
With the current global pandemic, there are huge demands on transportation and logistics firms to transform the way they do business. But with challenges comes opportunity. The key for logistics and supply chain companies is to remain competitive by adopting AI solutions, such as CMR, to transform data-intensive business processes. The key is not to procrastinate but innovate, to better equip your enterprise with the operational resilience it needs for whatever lies ahead.
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