Sree Lakshmi Deepak


8 Benefits of Chatbots in Logistics and Transportation

The rising demand for self-service and 24*7 customer assistance at lower operational costs have driven the growing need for chatbots. Furthermore, self-learning digital assistants’ development to deliver human-like conversational experiences is now a core-competence for many enterprises. A report by MarketsandMarkets on the Chatbot Market states that the market size will grow to USD 9.4 billion by 2024 at a CAGR of 29.7%. The use cases for chatbots in customer service are abundant, but these digital assistants’ potential to support operational activities within a supply chain is also immense and not yet fully tapped.

Digital assistants are changing the way a user interacts with the software. As the transportation needs of an industry increases, so does the need for quick communication and navigation. It is only imperative to have a chatbot or digital assistant to help the user with their needs.

SAP Conversational AI

SAP Conversational AI finds many uses to support both internal and external supply chain, management teams. Within the SAP transportation management module, a business user can significantly increase their productivity by using a chatbot. These chatbots are trained to be human-like and have a meaningful conversation. The SAP Conversational AI has a simple yet powerful user experience.

The chatbot is taught to understand simple to complex requests by the user. The user must put across their requirement, which the chatbot analyzes to answer. At times the questions could be simple, e.g., asking the chatbot the number of shipments in execution today or extracting more complex information needed. For example, the user can calculate the shipment costs. You can find more use cases on chatbot alignment with the transportation portal and SAP here. Learn more about how SAP Conversational AI can help businesses transform into an Intelligent Supply Chain Enterprise.

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The excellent benefits of chatbots in logistics and transportation

1. Site navigation 

    A chatbot can simplify site navigation for a user. A user requests the day’s tasks to the chatbot and clicks on them to access the information.

    2. Receive delivery information 

      The chatbot can behave like an interactive human-like bot. The traffic planner or manager can use the bot to ask questions regarding recent or past orders. The chatbot will provide additional information like the date (or date range) and or the freight order numbers to provide more accurate results.

      3. Track shipments 

        The chatbot is a great tool to track your shipments in real-time. Providing the tracking ID or purchase order number, or freight order number can trigger the chatbot to derive the shipment status. From an external user’s perspective, a customer service representative can instantaneously extract this information while still being on the call with a customer and provide real-time insights into the shipment status, ETA, and other details without accessing the order system. These insights save time and enhance the customer experience manifold.

        4. Provide analytics

          The chatbot can also generate reports based on the user’s requirement. For example, the user can request the chatbot to extract a detailed report on freight orders showing open orders, orders not started, orders with carriers assigned, and orders delivered. The chatbot analyzes the information in real-time and presents it in concise graphical representations that can aid decision-making.

          5. Leave feedback

            Chatbots are used to leave feedback or create incidents in an agile system. Conversational AI can be connected to a board (say, JIRA) to log any system-related concerns the managers or user may have.

            6. Quick FAQs

              A website usually has a section with frequently asked questions. In time constraint situations, a chatbot is used to point the user in the right direction. The FAQs are used as a reference, or the intelligent chatbot can answer the question too.

              7. Cost simulations

                 The Chatbot can do shipping cost calculations based on the shipment’s origin and destination. Generally, in a standard SAP TM System, the user would need to create an order to extract information related to shipment cost, whereas a chatbot can do it instantly. Thus, a chatbot can save significant time and increase the efficiency of the process providing accurate cost estimations that can help a user make an informed choice. 

                8. 24/7 support

                  A chatbot is a digital assistant that is available at a user’s service 24x7. Therefore, it does not matter where the users are in the world; the chatbot can extract information about the shipment anytime without relying on any human intervention.

                  We recently participated in the SAP Community Calls: Digital Supply Chain Experience with SAP Conversational AI. View this video for a detailed demo on the use cases of a chatbot in transportation management.

                  Managing orders on the TM system can take up a significant portion of productive person-hours. Additionally, a lot of back-and-forth communication between internal and external players is a significant supply chain inefficiency that can disrupt a smooth supply chain execution. The users further spend a significant amount of time optimizing trucks, finding the cheapest carriers, calculating charges, and collaborating with external parties like suppliers, carriers, and other vendors and accessing analytics reports. These tasks and actions eventually impact user experience, decrease productivity, and increase external communication via phone and email to make the right decision while executing transportation orders. A chatbot can be an effective solution to curbing such inefficiencies and improving overall supply chain performance.

                  At Novigo, we help customize chatbots for various businesses depending upon their specific needs. Through our expertise, we help businesses develop a well-thought plan and execute the proper application of chatbots to address their specific challenges. To know more about our chatbot solutions, contact us.