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Streamline your food and beverage supply chain with data-driven automation

Streamline your food and beverage supply chain with data-driven automation

Reduce friction, increase efficiency, and eliminate costly manual tasks

This is the second of a three-part series on how companies in the food and beverage industry can transform their supply-chain operations.

What technology trend do you think is expected to have the biggest impact on businesses this year? Cloud-based computing? Artificial intelligence? Cryptocurrency? Wearable devices? 

The answer (which some might say is a lot less sexy) may surprise you: Automation.

According to a survey of business technology buyers across North America and Europe, 57% of respondents said they expect to automate at least some part of their business environment in 2020.

There’s no question that food and beverage companies are ripe for this type of technology. Manual processes can result in added cost, increased errors, and process delays, leading to missed shipments, narrower profit margins, and angry customers. Automation, on the other hand, replaces and accelerates manual processes, reduces costs, and improves supply-chain outcomes.

A critical component of an effective TMS solution

When we talk to customers, many are familiar with the fact that a transportation management system can help automate their supply chains. What they’re often surprised by, however, is just how many links in the chain can be automated.

Here are some examples of modes in which automation can save your business time and money:

  • Order management — Automation allows shippers to import bulk orders from a flat file or document repository, or directly via API or EDI.
  • Load planning — Orders can be generated and consolidated, and shipments optimized based on region, customer, product type, carrier, the value of your shipment, or other factors.
  • Carrier evaluation and assignment — Tendering of contracts can also be automated, focusing on approved carriers and pre-negotiated rates, thereby eliminating the need for manual negotiations with every shipment.
  • Transportation and delivery — Shipment status can be updated via ELD integration or robocalls, including automated communications related to exceptions.
  • Settlement — Invoices and other documents can be automatically generated, paid, and reconciled electronically based on business rules that determine how financial exceptions should be handled.
  • Messaging — Carriers, shippers, and 3PLs can be linked with automated communications, including rules-based alerts to key stakeholders regarding tender acceptance, shipment delays, and delivery.
  • Reporting and analytics — Rate suggestions can be surfaced to your team automatically based on seasonality, region, and carrier compliance, using historical predictive and prescriptive analytics.

Shipwell: The recipe for success

Shipwell understands the unique challenges facing today’s food and beverage companies — as well as the challenges you’ll face tomorrow. We help offset industry-wide margin pressures by providing an affordable, cloud-based solution that reduces friction and waste. Our connected shipping platform combines the key ingredients you need to maximize efficiencies and reduce total cost of ownership: the features and functionality of a TMS, advanced visibility, and an integrated partner network.

Download our free white paper, “Shipping for Food & Beverage Companies: A Recipe for Success.”

Check out our other blog posts on the food and beverage industry:

Data analytics in the food and beverage supply chain

Quality Control Technology: A critical tool in your food and beverage supply chain