How to Automate Your Logistics Business
Employee Training
Byadmin-hubtek |
29 June, 2023 |

Nowadays, automation is vital in the logistics industry. With this tool, we can reduce errors, save time and, more importantly, earn more money. According to the website Logitude World, “The benefits of logistics automation are countless – saving on labor, inventory, energy and more. In addition, the logistics process is carried out faster, more precisely and qualitatively, more economically and more efficiently. It significantly reduces errors and improves customer service.” 

We spoke with experts in our company, and this is what they had to say: 

Ricardo Gonzalez, Hubtek’s CEO, stated that, “Automation in logistics should not be hard, and is an approach that every company in the transportation world should be implementing. Think of the intermediation that happened in the travel industry when Expedia came to be and disrupted all these travel agencies. Think for a second why it was that a digital platform transformed and disrupted the way we travel. Basically, it’s because they brought digital transformation and automation to a particular industry.” 

“So, in my mind, transportation and logistics companies need to be implementing automation in their day-to-day, and it doesn’t have to be too crazy at the beginning. It doesn’t have to be an “all or nothing” kind of thing where you change a lot of your systems and change the way you operate and, by the way, you’re going to change the way your customers operate as well. I don’t think that’s the recommended route. I think the recommended route is to start small and start choosing one or two processes that you think you can automate. Select a champion that knows the process, that is an expert advocate on a particular process and application, and start there.” 

Start small. Start with the low-hanging fruit. Little by little, start getting more complex and more sophisticated. Assign a center of excellence, or a group of champions who are going to be the moderators of the automation process internally, in your company, and then start investing in more technology. I mean, you don’t want to break the bank and invest in a lot of the sophisticated automation tools that are out there. Start with a simple outlook rule.” 

“I always put this example to customers and people I talk to – start with automating simple phrases in your emails that get an email archived in a particular folder, for instance. That’s automation! It might not yield the biggest ROI, but begin making all these little changes. Start automating rules and responses in your TMS if it’s available. Start eliminating the mundane tasks that you know can be automated. Start little by little, and assign champions to it. Before you know it, you’ll have 10 or 20 different automation processes or projects that you’re working on, and then you will definitely justify investing in more sophisticated technology.” 

“In our world, we help logistics companies with a product called TABiConnect, where we help them automate different processes, including the rate quoting process, with a product we call the rating management system.  Basically, we’re transforming the way logistics companies price their freight to their shippers, in an automated fashion.” 

“So, all in all, long story short – start small, start with low-hanging fruit, assign champions and advocates for the automation, and start building upon the small structure towards the bigger transformational change in your business.” 

Ben Marsh, US TABi Representative here at Hubtek shared, “I think it is really cool when you look at all the different ways you can use automation within a logistics business. “Automating the rate quoting process is number one for me, obviously, and one of the reasons is because of how long it takes to manually quote each shipment that’s offered. With automation, the calculation and method of pricing a shipment is identical to how you would price it manually, so it really makes a ton of sense to start utilizing a tool like this.” 

“Another example of how you can use automation is to streamline back-office tasks such as collecting carrier paperwork, categorizing each document, and then processing the load completely touch-free.” 

Finally, we heard from Andrew Gulovsen, Hubtek’s CMO, and he affirms that automation is a tool.  A tool to simplify and improve your current processes. However, as with any tool, it must be understood and wielded properly. “First, you need to understand your current processes, both clearly and honestly, looking for where there are issues related to accuracy, time, and effort. While not all processes can be automated, there are some that can, through an automation solution, to allow you to redeploy your resources for greater advantage to the company and its goals.” 

“Identify those that burden your team. Find those activities that require greater speed, accuracy, or a combination of the two. There are a number of companies out there that are focusing their efforts to specialize in efficiency, speed, and accuracy for a particular step in the life cycle of a load – from rate quoting, to order entry, to appointment setting, to carrier acquisition, to tracking, to bill payment, invoicing and reconciliation. So you want to see where you can get the biggest impact in your own processes, and find the right partners to become better, stronger, and more adaptable to a changing market.” 

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