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Is Automation the Future of the Supply Chain?

Emerging technologies such as automation are at the forefront of the supply chain’s digital future.

|Aug 19|magazine6 min read

Certification for Automation

In a recent Manufacturing Skills Standard Council (MSSC) meeting, they announced a new, industry-led certification to provide companies with higher skilled technicians. "Certified Technician in Supply Chain Automation" (CT-SCA) will be a hands-on training and certification program, launched off the back of COVID-19.” 

Companies Implementing Automation

COVID-19 proved that the retail economy is becoming more e-commerce based, meaning orders shipped directly to consumers from large distribution centres have increased. This effect has encouraged the e-commerce industry to invest in automation technologies. Supply chain technologies are becoming more prominent in business processes and it seems that automation alongside machine learning and artificial intelligence are the future of Industry 4.0. 

In a May 2020 Visual Capitalist Infographic, it shows that 55% of retail, management and logistics professionals are investing in warehouse automation and 47% in predictive analytics. It is expected that most companies are looking at implementing automation in the future but 23% have already acquired new automation technology, yet surprisingly 26% aren’t looking to implement.

In a Gartner report, it showed that 30% of operational warehouse workers will be supplemented, not replaced, by collaborative robots in 2023. This shows how essential the implementation of technology is and will be in the future, especially now COVID-19 has proven to be a catalyst in technology adoption. 

The recent pandemic has thrown many challenges into the procurement and supply chain sector and proved that technology would be essential for successfully implementing social distance and risk mitigation in warehousing and distribution. AI-based automation within warehouses is extensive. The opportunities for implementing such technologies is becoming readily available, from mechanical arms that can sort and handle cargo to intelligent software capable of calculating daily stock rotations. 

PayMate Supply Chain Automation Platform

PayMate has launched a new supply chain payment automation platform for large distributors and their suppliers. The platform allows businesses to automate and extend their day payables by using commercial cards. It is a cloud-based platform that has features including multiple payment modes, automating invoicing,e-procure and e-discounting. 

It believes businesses require working capital for growth and therefore, PayMate’s platform simplifies the process and makes it easy to access capital, offering over £325mn in credit extended to SME’s (small and medium sized enterprises). 

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