January 16, 2024

Automating the digitalization of logistics documents with AI

Technological innovation is revolutionizing logistics and the transportation of goods.
To compete in an increasingly global market, companies must make strategic decisions to improve the efficiency and productivity of their processes.

Today, we know that documents containing even the smallest error can be impossible to trace, resulting in delays or cancellations of shipments, or can end up costing the company thousands or millions of euros1.
By digitalizing logistics documents, companies can reduce data processing time, increase the accuracy and security of information, and improve workflow management.

Achieving these goals requires that, in addition to document digitization, supply chain and logistics companies implement process automation through Artificial Intelligence: AI-based solutions can handle large amounts of data quickly and efficiently, enabling companies to make decisions based on accurate information. In addition, they can support the daily activities of operators, simplifying workflows and reducing errors.

So let's dive deeper into the importance of digitization and process automation in logistics by examining the potential of Artificial Intelligence in the workflows of companies in the logistics industry.



Digitization and innovation in logistics

The logistics and supply chain industry is notoriously complex and relies heavily on manual processes: for example, business communications are often based on paper documents, or the customer service department engages in manual data entry.
This traditional approach can slow down the management of logistics processes, making it difficult for companies to make strategic decisions based on accurate and timely information. Digital transformation has therefore become a priority for companies seeking to improve customer service performance and increase the efficiency of logistics processes.

In this context, process automation is a way to speed up the flow of information and improve communication between business departments. With AI, companies can digitize logistics documents and automate the data capture process, reducing processing time and improving the accuracy of information so as to reach more customers with less effort and keep up with the digital transformation.

Digital transformation has become a priority for companies seeking to improve customer service performance and increase process efficiency.

Therefore, digitization and process automation are critical to the success of companies in the logistics and supply chain sector, as they enable improved customer service performance, optimized efficiency of logistics processes, and strategic decision-making based on accurate and timely information.



Process automation through AI

One of the reasons why logistics companies are moving toward process automation through AI is to improve customer service performance and increase its efficiency and productivity by drastically reducing errors.
Indeed, customer service workers often perform repetitive cut-and-paste tasks, which are time-consuming and can be prone to transcription errors.
With Artificial Intelligence, companies can automate these tasks and make the flow of information more efficient.

With Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology and integrated Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) solutions – the extraction of information from paper and electronic documents and their use to enable end-to-end automation of document-centric processes – data can be automatically extracted from logistics documents and transformed into structured, easily accessible information.
In addition, AI-based solutions can be used to process data automatically, creating reports and analyzing data to identify hidden trends and patterns. By automating processes, companies can reduce data processing time, improve the accuracy of information, and free operators from repetitive tasks.
This way, operators can focus on more creative, challenging, and higher-value-added activities, such as solving problems, managing customers, or devising new business strategies.
Process automation is a key step in the digital transformation of companies and their ability to make strategic decisions based on accurate and timely information. So let's see what benefits AI-based solutions can bring to the workflows of supply chain and logistics companies.



Artificial Intelligence in workflows

The use of Artificial Intelligence in workflows is a growing trend in many companies, including those in the logistics and supply chain sector: as a matter of fact, McKinsey estimates that companies will reap between $1.3 billion and $2 billion in economic value annually from the use of AI in supply chains and manufacturing2. One of the most useful applications of AI is intelligent document processing (IDP) to extract data from documents.
This process enables companies to produce significant paper savings: According to the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche in Turin, Italy's companies consume 1.2 million tons of paper each year. This number rises dramatically in the United States, where there are more than 30 billion paper documents that are copied and printed each year3.
By adopting document automation solutions based on AI and IDP technologies, the manual work associated with document management can be almost completely phased out and workflows can be exponentially automated. And this is a trend already at work in the logistics industry: by 2025, the global market for document management systems will reach $10.17 billion with a CAGR of 13%4.

By automating workflows in customer service document management activities, information will be handled more efficiently, reducing the risk of errors and speeding up data processing.
The value of automation comes primarily from the efficiency it creates. One of the largest global consumer goods companies reported that the use of advanced automation to solve workflow problems increases workflow efficiency by 30% and improves employee productivity by 50%5.
Using tools such as WENDA AI Document Processing (IDP) to extract data from documents and automatically enter them into ERP, TMS or other business systems without printing can help companies improve their productivity and increase the accuracy of information.
A large number of documents can be automatically digitized and processed by Wenda's solution: proof of delivery (PoD), bill of lading (BoL), instructions for the bill of lading, packing lists, transport document, invoices, pickup requests, airway bill (AWB), spot offers request, verified gross mass (VGM), cargo manifest and many others.

By automating workflows in customer service document management activities, information will be handled more efficiently, reducing the risk of errors and speeding up data processing.

AI can be used to automate many other aspects of supply chain workflows, such as order management, shipment planning, inventory management, data reconciliation and business rules.
In general, the use of AI in workflows is an important step in the digital transformation of companies and the automation of processes, improving efficiency and productivity.



Conclusions

Digitization and process automation through Artificial Intelligence are critical to the success of companies in the logistics and supply chain industry. Process automation through AI enables improved customer service performance, increased efficiency of logistics processes, and strategic decision-making based on reliable information.
The use of tools such as Wenda AI Document Processing can enable companies to reduce costs associated with paper management, save time previously spent on repetitive and low-value-added activities, improve document tracking, and improve the quality of services offered.



Notes

1. According to The Data Warehouse Institute, upwards of $600 billion every year can be attributed to data entry errors in the supply chain, data procurement, and other vital areas, exposing organizations to compliance risks in addition to a large amount of wasted money and resources. More info in the following articles: [1], [2], [3]
2. See the article by The Economist titled How AI is spreading throughout the supply chain
3. Omdia, Market Landscape: Intelligent Document Processing
4. See the article by Inkit titlato Automated Document Generation in 2022 & Beyond: Technology, Standards, and Market
5. IBM Institute for Business Value (2018): The Evolution of Process Automation