A Tech Company’s Perspective on True Automation

There are a lot of opinions on the ways technology and automation can improve operational efficiency.

Today’s freight forwarders have a lot of opinions on the ways technology and automation can improve operational efficiency. Since automation comes in so many forms, the challenge for most is knowing where and how to get started in a market oversaturated with overhyped technology. One thing that’s certain, however, is the fact that modern freight forwarders can no longer be successful without automation.

So, what’s a forwarder to do? When it comes to the sentiment that the industry has been slow to increase automation, some feel that this criticism has become a played out, unfair generalization undermining the efforts a lot of businesses have actually taken. We attribute this lack of recognition for the progression that’s currently taking place to the fragmentation that’s been an ongoing battle within the industry.

In fact, embracing technology is what has allowed many companies to seamlessly transition all of their employees to completely online, full-time environments, following the outbreak of COVID. With the aid of newly digitized processes, forwarders can communicate, collaborate, and work as effectively at home as if they’re still in the office without any discernible difference on the customer’s end.

What Does Automation Really Mean to Forwarders?

Automation can take on many definitions based on who you’re talking to and the context of their industry. It can refer to something as simple as using Excel or something a little more complex like integrating a SaaS-based operating system. At this point, most companies use some form of automation — they’re just on different rungs of the automation ladder.

The term isn’t talked about or taken seriously enough. We’re all consumers in some aspect, whether it’s on a personal or professional level, so we all should be able to understand how those expectations should translate into delivering exceptional service from a business standpoint. One place companies can start looking to benefit from technology is any area of their operations that requires too much heavy lifting.

Anything that involves a tremendous amount of effort and manual labor is the kind of process forwarders can tackle to increase automation internally. This is just one core part of a business, however. The other piece of the automation puzzle is the customer interaction side of things. It’s important to consider both the internal and external uses of technology because it’s not just about the concerns of the client.

A common mistake companies make is underestimating the value of workplace evolution. Efforts to make your system more user-friendly for the benefit of its internal users will only serve to improve your performance for customers down the line. When you take care of your staff, they’ll take care of your customers the way you would. If you give yourself the tools your company needs to progress, you’re setting yourself up to give your clients the results they need to grow as well.