Traditional supply chain management is becoming obsolete as more and more businesses are moving to supply chain automation. While supply chain automation can result in streamlined processes and higher profitability, it can be overwhelming to initiate. That's where no-code automation comes in. No-code automation proves that to enable business automation, there is no need for expensive technology. No-code automation also means that it can be implemented by any business, regardless of size.

What is Supply Chain Automation?

Supply chain automation is the utilization of technology to centrally manage and improve the complex web of processes within your business. Supply chain automation can make life easier in many aspects. It can simplify tasks such as order tracking, data analysis, and warehouse management regardless of your business's scale or the industry that your business operates in. No matter what size your business is, supply chain automation can help reduce costs, improve efficiency and boost productivity across any organization

There are many reasons that supply chain automation can be beneficial to your day to day operations; some of the main benefits include the following.

  • Serve Larger Clients

  • Decrease Environmental Footprint

  • Lower Risk of Workplace Injury

  • Improve Order Accuracy

  • Increase Client Satisfaction

  • Increase Productivity

  • Lower Turnover Times

There are three parts to the supply chain that can be automated to the benefit of your company. Supply management, supply logistics, and supply shipping.

Automate supply planning through machine learning

The first significant part of automated supply chain management that will benefit from becoming automated is the software and systems that are found in the warehouse and storage operations. The management of your inventory is the most essential aspect of your business. Having adequate machine learning will allow for the automation of tracking available inventory, new shipping requests, and short supply alerts. One of the global leaders is IBM, here you can learn more about IBM Inventory Control Tower powered by AI and Machine Learning

Automate warehouse through robotic solutions

Robotic solutions are beneficial for companies where warehouse management, item handling, and transportation around your warehouse is essential to success. Where some materials are too heavy or bulky for your employees to manage, an automated robotic solution can handle anything it is programmed for. This is especially true when workplace injuries and damaged goods are factored into the equation. In this post from Wired an Amazon warehouse with machines and humans work side by side

Automate Shipping through driverless vehicles

Finally, supply chain management is made even more streamlined when traditional forklifts and drivers can be replaced with driverless vehicles. These driverless vehicles can be programmed to load and unload cargo, search for items in the warehouse, and increase your turnaround times, allowing you to get orders out faster and more accurately. Here a post from Cerasis about the capabilities of driverless logistics

Not all of these changes need to be implemented at the same time. The changes can be made in a way that is most beneficial and logical for your company and its specific needs.

Supply chain automation can have transformative effects on your company. However, technology is often an overwhelming aspect of automation. To help mitigate the technological demands that automation comes with, we can turn to no-code automation.

What is No-code Automation?

Traditional supply chain automation requires enterprise application. Since most users don't have the skills required to do this, a software developer or a software company needs to be hired. Choosing the right professional can quickly get very expensive. No-code automation means that you don't need to create the code to create the app, saving you from hiring specialists. Instead, you can use a "drag and drop" application development process that uses a universal coding to enable custom solutions to be created to meet your specific needs. This process uses visual models to replace the complex coding, allowing the data to be easily managed. This allows anyone who knows the processes of your company to create the application.

To create no-code automation, the end-user is presented with a series of modular options that work together to build an application. This gives you the ability to design and make changes, test the application, and update what needs updating without the need for coding or relying on an IT professional to oversee the process.

The flexibility of no-code automation allows end-users to master business technology resulting in the best outcome for business. Here's why: End-users are the ones most familiar with the business, how their specific supply chain works, and have spent years on the factory floor to have hands-on access with creating and implementing the digital ideas.

No-code automation can be used in all the elements of a Supply Chain process, including the following.

  • Receiving and filing claims

  • Post invoices

  • Receive and confirm orders

  • Track shipments

  • Generate and create reports

  • Sending alerts

An app can be created to aid in the automation of all of the above aspects, or separate applications that communicate with one another can also be used. The simplicity of no-code automation is often assumed to be just for a simple application, but this is not the case. With the rapidly evolving world of technology, the no-code application builder has become sophisticated enough to support the functionality in all applications to meet the business demands of any company.

Pros and Cons to No-code Automation

There are pros and cons to choosing no-code automation for your company. No-code automaton is appealing for many reasons beyond the simplicity it offers.

Pros

  • Faster Implementation

Because the majority of the development is done using a drag and drop interface, the application can be quickly created. The testing is then automated, which allows the development time to be drastically minimized and the processes to be quickly implemented.

  • Reduced Costs

Hiring a software developer is expensive. No-code solutions are able to cut back on the costs by taking away a lot of the overhead that comes with having to have a skilled team on hand at all times while you are building and testing the application.

  • Increased Productivity

When you have the ability to build an app at a faster pace, you aren't loading down your IT staff with requests from all over the company while you are trying to create an application. This means that instead of your IT staff taking weeks or months to create and test your application, the entire process can be done in hours or days.

  • Easily Adaptable

When you use traditional hand-coding, you can't choose to change a feature at the drop of a hat. This is especially true if you aren't fluent in the language of coding. When you are using no-code atomization, you can. If you need to make a change, you can drag and drop to implement new logic and have the change ready to be used within a couple of hours.

While there are many advantages to the no-code option of automation, there are some drawbacks that are important to understand and be aware of before you invest in the option.

Cons

  • Users Must Understand the Requirements

There are many no-code platforms that are available to users. And since no two no-code platforms are alike, users must ensure that any particular tool is going to meet their needs. Since these requirements are going to naturally change over time, there is no way to know if the requirements will one day diverge from the capabilities of a no-code platform.

  • Rigid Templates Can be Limiting

No-code development platforms come with various templates and components that can be configured to meet a set of uses. The problem with these templates is that they may not do exactly what is best for your business. You may be able to get it close to what you want, but you might find yourself being forced to create workarounds. This can also shift your focus from "what do I want to build" to "what can I build," which can lead to frustration. For more advanced features No-code automation should be paired with a robust enterprise suite. Here an example of No-code apps that can connect to Microsoft Dynamics. Or with SAP

  • You Don't Own the Source Code

If you choose to move away from the no-code development platform in the future, you could run into the issue of vendor lock-in. This typically also comes with the inability to switch providers or being hit with substantial fees to do so. Maintaining your application in the future is dependent on the original vendor of the no-code interface. While for some business, this might not be an issue, it is important to consider what this will mean for your business. This is why, when choosing a no-code partner for your business you should go for a reliable solutions. My preference go to Microsoft Flow

Conclusion

The benefits of no-code automation cannot be argued. Any business can benefit from implementing automation in their Supply Chain. Switching to a no-code automation system can be done without purchasing any expensive equipment or software and without having to hire IT specialists. The investment made in automation will be paid off by the saving on direct costs and the speed achieved to serve your customers.