Hey there supply chain enthusiasts! Did you know that technology is totally revolutionizing the way we do things? It’s true! Customers these days expect more personalized products, and they want them yesterday. So, manufacturers are turning to automation to get their orders fulfilled, their production lines running, and their supply chains moving as smoothly as possible. And let’s not forget about our friends in the banking and commodity trading industries, who are facing increased regulation and pressure to keep their systems accurate, audit-able, and efficient. The bottom line? We’re all feeling the heat to make our operations more efficient and keep up with the competition. But hey, at least we get to enjoy the benefits of supply chain convenience, resilience, and transparency. So, let’s embrace the technology and make the most of it!
Commodity and grain supply chains automation
If you’re a commodity trading business, you might not think that supply chain automation is relevant to your industry. We encourage you to re-evaluate this block in your mind. Automating your logistics processes can be a game changer for commodity businesses looking to improve their customer experience, speed up contract processing, strengthen governance, and increase profitability. With commodity management apps like Commotrack, you can streamline and automate everything from assigning stock to contracts and managing inspections and shipping documents, to invoicing and accounting.
Here are a few reasons why automating your logistics function is a smart move:
✓ It allows your team to work from the same data online, reducing the risk of duplicated work and mistakes caused by transferring data across offline documents.
✓ It gives your team a complete view of all the data they need to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively.
✓ It streamlines workflows and sends notifications, so there are fewer mistakes made and operational risks are reduced.
We’ve previously talked about how automated workflows can speed up processes at the trade desk, but they can also be a major boost to logistics operations. So don’t miss out on the opportunity to invest in automation – it could be the key to taking your business to the next level.
Logistics automation: how does it work?
Commotrack or formerly Graintrack is here to make your life easier. With automated workflows, you can create a wide range of documents based on the information you’ve already entered as part of the contract creation process. These workflows are tailored specifically to your organization, so you can specify which individuals or teams need to approve each document and how many approval stages there are.
For example, let’s say you need to request a release for a bank-financed transaction. With just a click of a button, you can trigger the workflow which will notify the approver by email. Any subsequent approvers will also be notified once the request is granted. And once approved, release emails can be generated and sent right from within the app, creating a complete audit trail for reporting and ensuring that you always know what actions have been carried out and which ones are still outstanding.
But that’s not all – our workflows also make sure that all deals are carried out in accordance with your internal processes. That means no further actions can be taken until approval has been granted. For example, the transition to declare a shipment won’t be available until a Bill of Lading date has been input, just like in the real world where a Bill of Lading is required before shipments can be declared.
If you are a logistics expert, here’s your secret power
Logistics automation is all about making life easier for operators and helping them add value to every deal. Commotrack smart automation features allow operators to access all the information they need in one place and make the best decisions based on real-time data. For example, when allocating stock to a sales contract, operators can easily filter stock by grade and see warnings if allocations are outside of weight tolerances. They can even split lots if needed.
Multimodal shipping is also made simpler with automation taking care of documents and processes, including the transition from ocean freight to inland destinations. Transport requests can be generated within a Commotrack and automatically populated with details like vehicle numbers.
Automation doesn’t stop when vessels are at sea either. With APIs to vessel tracking software and shared calendars of upcoming tasks, operators can easily set up automated workflows and specify which tasks need to be carried out next by which teams. Deadlines for these tasks can even be based on other dates, such as sending an Ocean Bill of Lading 10 days before a vessel’s estimated arrival in port. If key dates change, the associated tasks and deadlines can be updated automatically. And if applicable, any cash flow data will update automatically as well.
In short, automation in commodity logistics helps businesses in the supply chain meet consumer demand for faster turnaround, greater traceability, and better service, all while reducing the risk of errors and allowing operators to make better decisions.