How Supply Chain Automation Affects Retail Industry?

For the last few years, rapid advancements in technology have driven the retail industry to the next level. The rising customer expectations have also led the sector to leverage advanced technologies to address their needs and preferences. As we already approached to a digital age, businesses need to optimize their workflows to maintain a competitive edge, and supply chain automation here allows them to perform just that.

Supply chain automation generally is the process of systematizing part or all of a workflow to enhance processes. While the surge in online retail continues to grow, many retailers are struggling to meet the demand spurred by today’s connected consumer. Thus, by leveraging process automation, retailers can lessen supply chain complexities and eradicate the risk of error while swelling efficiency and pace.

Automating part or all of the supply chain has a number of potential advantages for businesses, including reducing manual effort while improving productivity, efficiency, and accuracy. Unlike other supply chain management, the retail supply chain delivers the volume of product movement and the fast-moving nature of the products of the retail industry. This has to be monitored very closely and has to be free of anomalies as the products are always on the move and the cycle time is very low.

Complex retail supply chains are swamped with stakeholders who have what sometimes appear to be conflicting goals and objectives. From business and IT experts to customer service and manufacturing representatives, the criteria of specific silos often determine how information is processed and by which speed it is shared.

Today, consumers are continuously adapting their preferences and seeking more convenient ways to shop. They want their purchases instantaneously, delivered to their homes, available outside of business hours or bought through the click of a button. Thus, in this case, automated supply distribution provides a solution-based possibility for retailers to take benefits of product purchasing convenience, and an opportunity to inflate sales outside of retail store hours.

As most customers these days are used to purchase products with cashless payment methods, automated vending technology ensures that shoppers gain an uncomplicated, smooth and quick shopping experience while making payment to buy their products using a card or other payment methods.

Automated supply distribution also offers an efficient way to secure products, especially higher-value commodities that may currently live in a lock-case. It can make the workplace more productive for retail employees, whether in the corporate office or a local storefront.

In a report, automatable activities account for approximately 30 to 40 percent of the time of merchants, who, for instance, spend about 20 percent of their time on merchandise-planning activities.

Thus, automating the retail supply chain means how retailers optimize processes to maximize both speed and efficiency. They can deliver their products into a consumer’s hands as fast as they can. Also, retailers must optimize their processes to be as efficient and affordable as they can manage.