01/11/2021

Chatbots and their Role in Digitizing the Supply Chain

A supply chain comprises a complex network of multiple players, numerous operational activities, and the flow of goods and information that generate enormous data at various touchpoints. Streamlining processes in supply chains has been the ultimate challenge for businesses globally. With the rising need for digitization within the supply chain and logistics industry, conversational AI-powered chatbots are a boon. With adequate proof of chatbots having revolutionized the customer service industry, they have immense potential as digital assistants in the supply chain domain too.

Personalized human conversations are intrinsic to a good user experience in any business process. Conversational AI effectively bridges the gap between automation and personalized user experiences with the help of Chatbots. But how do chatbots change the landscape within the supply chain and logistics?

Chatbots comprise a messaging platform, the ability to comprehend meaning using Natural Language Processing, and integration with a source of data like ERP, CRM, or other databases to execute user requests. Easier data retrieval and efficient interaction with systems are how chatbots can enhance the user experience for end-users. Thus, using chatbots within supply chain processes has immense potential to streamline them, improve collaboration among various players, increase efficiencies, and ensure process excellence.

Top five things that chatbots can improve in a Supply Chain

Order Management: Order management has primarily been a manual task, but with a chatbot at your disposal, all order related activities can be automated and expedited. A chatbot can help manage creating new orders, checking the status of orders in progress, canceled orders, delayed orders, and a lot more. A simple text can extract any order information for a user.

Warehouse Management: Chatbots can effectively aid warehouse management activities such as inventory checks, expected inbound shipments, floor plans, updating warehouse locations, tracking order information, etc.

Inventory Management: Conversational AI can do maximum back-end work for inventory tracking that would generally depend on a task force. A CAI powered chatbot can proactively alert on anomalies found in inventory and help prevent disruption in the supply chain.

Fleet Management: Chatbots can derive accurate information about vehicles in transit, idle vehicles, broken vehicles, or the ones under maintenance. They can also aid in fleet allocation to freight orders.

Workforce Alignment: Chatbots can effectively align your workforce by improving workflows between users. Conversational AI can enable the seamless exchange of information between customers as well as internal teams. A simple query can trigger in-depth insights based on keywords and context. They can speed up many operational processes making critical information available in a fraction of seconds to anyone.

The Novigo ChatBot and its role in enhancing supply chain processes

We tried our hands at exploring how chatbots can give your supply chain a competitive advantage. We built a quick and easy to deploy Chatbot using SAP Conversational AI that integrates with SAP Cloud Platform & SAP S/4 HANA Fiori Launchpad.

Well, what can this Chatbot do? It can aid various players in a supply chain such as a shipper, carrier, freight forwarder, and customers to experience seamless information flow in everyday operational activities. The automation level provides a more interactive and enhanced user experience with 24/7 live support to external users using the transportation portal. Additionally, it can:

· Aid a customer service representative, extract order-related information in seconds.

· Notify the user about the next tasks inline

· Generate proactive alerts about delays or any predicted disruptions

· Enable efficient collaboration between internal and external users.

Extracting order status using a Chatbot

Learn more about the use cases of Chatbots for SAP Cloud Platform Portal.

Our ChatBot for On-Premises Systems can enable internal users to perform daily operational tasks more efficiently. With simple text messages over the messaging platform, this Chatbot allows a user to:

· Extract order details without having to log in to the SAP GUI

· Extract the status of the freight order with just the freight order number.

· Report certain events at the user's discretion

· Extract freight settlement details

· Show a list of unplanned freight units (FUs).

· Assign carriers to freight orders based on contracts as well as modify action in case of last-minute cancellations

Many end-users in the supply chain using SAP's TM solution are not experts. Thus, there's a steep learning curve and additional investment in training taskforces who use the Transportation Management systems daily. A chatbot can effectively help reduce training costs by aiding the users to perform their daily transactional activities.

As conversational AI and other advanced technologies see more adoption into the supply chain and logistics operations, the entire industry will evolve to interact with technology like they would with humans. Chatbots powered by conversational AI and other such technologies present multiple and undeniable benefits. They can infuse resilience within supply chains with predictive intelligence and thus prepare them for future disruptions. They can in true means help digitize the supply chain.

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.