SalesTech Star

How Bots Are Redefining Logistics and Delivery Systems

The execution of logistic operations takes place on a large scale, so communication must be very successful or it could cause several problems within the operations. Clients want to know the supply or delivery date of their products, and prompt communication is crucial. To maintain efficient and well-coordinated teamwork, transportation businesses must manage their fleets and departments in real-time.

The conventional phone and human method of doing things is no longer viable, but logistics chatbots are. As a result, this facilitates internal and external communication for businesses and can serve as virtual assistants.

In recent years, the integration of bots into logistics and delivery systems has revolutionized the way products and packages are transported and delivered. Bots, or robots, have the ability to automate many manual tasks, increase efficiency, and reduce errors. Here’s a closer look at how bots are redefining logistics and delivery systems:

1. Automation of Warehouse Operations

Bots have been used in warehouses for several years now, and they have greatly improved the speed and accuracy of order fulfillment. For example, bots can sort packages and place them into specific bins, freeing up human workers to focus on more complex tasks. This automation has greatly reduced the time it takes to fulfill an order, allowing for faster delivery times.

2. Delivery Bots

Delivery bots, also known as autonomous delivery vehicles, are becoming increasingly popular. These bots can deliver packages directly to a customer’s doorstep, reducing the need for human delivery drivers. They are equipped with sensors, cameras, and GPS systems to navigate roads, sidewalks, and pathways. They are also able to communicate with other delivery bots and vehicles to ensure efficient delivery routes.

3. Increased Efficiency and Accuracy

Bots are capable of working 24/7 without breaks, and they are able to complete tasks faster and with greater accuracy than humans. For example, bots can quickly sort packages and match them with the correct delivery route, reducing the risk of errors and missed deliveries. This increased efficiency leads to faster delivery times and improved customer satisfaction.

4. Enhanced Customer Experience

By using bots, companies can offer real-time tracking and delivery updates to customers. This allows customers to see exactly where their packages are at all times, and to know when they can expect their deliveries. This increased transparency leads to improved customer satisfaction, as customers are able to make informed decisions about their deliveries.

5. Cost Saving

The integration of bots into logistics and delivery systems can also result in significant cost savings. For example, bots can work at a faster pace than humans, reducing the amount of time needed to fulfill an order. Additionally, they don’t require breaks or overtime pay, which can further reduce costs.

Chatbots in Supply Chain Operations

Chatbots are effective in streamlining the communication that would otherwise have to be handled by a human in coordination tasks among multiple parties. Chatbots can be used as logistics IT solutions for both customer-facing and operational processes in a logistics business. The logistics industry relies heavily on data from various sources that must be processed and updated in real-time.

  • Customer Orders: Chatbots can assist in processing new orders, updating orders in progress, handling delayed or canceled orders, and addressing unclaimed orders.
  • Warehouse Matters: The inventory, scheduled deliveries, floor plans, and order tracking information must be updated in real-time.
  • Fleet Information: Logistics companies need to know the number of vehicles that are en route, in maintenance, idle, or out of order. Chatbots can help keep track of the fleet information and adjust it promptly to avoid delays.
  • Personnel Information: While self-driving vehicles are still in development, logistics companies rely on drivers to deliver goods. Chatbots can maintain updated records of employees’ status such as working, on vacation, sick leave, or day off.

How are Bots used for enhancing logistics and deliveries?

Bots are used to enhance logistics and deliveries in several ways:

  • Chatbots: Chatbots can be used to automate customer service inquiries and provide real-time tracking information to customers.
  • Robotic Process Automation (RPA): RPAs can automate repetitive tasks such as data entry, allowing logistics and delivery teams to focus on higher-value activities.
  • Drones: Drones can be used for aerial delivery of packages, reducing delivery times and increasing efficiency.
  • Self-driving vehicles: Self-driving vehicles can be used for last-mile delivery, reducing delivery times and improving safety.
  • Predictive Analytics: Predictive analytics can be used to optimize delivery routes, predict demand and prevent supply chain disruptions.

These technologies help companies improve their delivery speed, accuracy, and overall efficiency while reducing costs and increasing customer satisfaction.

The Growth Of the Chatbot Market

The Chatbot market is expected to grow to a remarkable 1.25 billion US dollars in 2025, compared to the 190.8 million US dollars estimated in 2016. Chatbots, also known as conversational bots or conversational AI, use AI programming to engage in natural language conversations via voice or text. Companies utilize this technology to save manpower, money, and time while providing a convenient, always-accessible user experience. Working with a Chatbot development company can give businesses a competitive edge.

The logistics industry has traditionally been focused on trucks and transportation systems, but recent technological advancements have revolutionized the field. Warehouse systems can increase efficiency by automating the picking process and ensuring that essential items are quickly located and packaged for shipment.

Advanced GPS technology provides new capabilities, and IoT sensors allow managers to monitor vital metrics such as temperature, vibration, load weight, and machine performance across their entire fleet. This helps prevent potential dangers to shipments and alerts managers to any necessary replacements or repairs. Although self-driving vehicles and robotic movements are still in their early stages, they have the potential to greatly improve safety and reduce last-mile delivery costs.

From a logistics perspective, chatbots can benefit the company in two ways:

  • Customer-facing tasks, such as delivery booking, shipment tracking, and delivery-related inquiries.
  • Supply chain tasks, such as warehousing, fleet management, and routing.

Read More: SalesTechStar Interview with Frank Dale, SVP of Product Development at Salesloft

The Benefits of Chatbots in the Logistics Industry

Chatbots are software programs powered by artificial intelligence that streamline tasks related to logistics such as booking tickets, cargo tracking, and rate finding. In the transportation and logistics industry, chatbots provide complete supply chain transparency and improve shipment visibility.

They can handle booking and picking up requests, track shipments, and automate quotes for any delays, improving customer communication and overcoming the challenge of keeping customers informed. Let’s see these benefits closely.

  • Improving Work and Productivity in Real-Time: Chatbots act as virtual assistants, enhancing human intelligence by being contextually aware and using voice recognition, natural language processing, and machine learning to adapt to work preferences and real-world factors.
  • Enhancing Customer Experience and Sales Productivity: AI-powered knowledge bots are transforming customer interactions, taking customer service to the next level and increasing sales productivity.
  • Automating Repetitive Tasks: Chatbots can reduce operational costs and increase employee productivity by automating routine administrative tasks such as meeting scheduling, CRM updates, and document generation, freeing up employees to focus on higher-value work.
  • Streamlining Workflow: Chatbots cut down on communication between multiple people, streamlining coordination tasks, including those done via voice.
  • Boosting Efficiencies: Chatbots offer features to boost delivery efficiencies and help drivers with critical updates in a timely and convenient manner through in-cab systems, mobile phone apps, and more.

Growth of Bots in logistics and delivery

For a nation’s economy to function, logistics are crucial. It has to do with how resources are generally obtained, kept, and transported to their final destinations under control. A component of logistics management is evaluating the effectiveness and reachability of potential distributors and suppliers.

With the underlying presumption of a robust logistics sector, it is a differentiating sector that can significantly impact any country’s exports, thereby adding a significant competitive edge.

The logistics sector includes all aspects of the supply chain, primarily transportation, inventory control, information flow, and customer support. It determines the effectiveness of the nation’s supply chain as well as having an impact on it globally. The efficiency of logistics plays a role in determining how well businesses are able to meet demand.

The global supply chain has undergone a technological revolution as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many businesses were unaware of how fragile our system of communication and logistics really was until that crucial period in history.

As soon as bottlenecks started to appear everywhere, it was clear that a crisis was underway. And improvements to procedures were the best way to reclaim control. Robotics adoption is one typical solution.

Robots Boost Productivity in the Supply Chain

Robots can boost productivity in a number of indirect ways, in addition to increased output and direct labor cost savings. If your company decides to use autonomous robots, they can work continuously without a break. They will not require training, will not require vacation time, and will be able to handle repetitive tasks indefinitely. They might, however, require some downtime for maintenance.

Robots Enhance Supply Chain Safety

Automation and robotics in the supply chain can help reduce a variety of safety risks, such as fatigue, lifting accidents, falls, and repetitive motion injuries. Some safety-related issues, like fatigue, are also connected to output and standardization. A significant portion of the logistics process involves the movement of materials. Accidents and injuries can still occur, despite the best safety precautions.

Thankfully, robots are enhancing worker safety in the supply chain too

  • They carry heavy loads.

Some products used in manufacturing and warehousing are substantial. The lifting, moving, and carrying of them by human workers may cause sprains and strains. Robot-assisted systems can instead retrieve or position these loads as needed under the guidance of human workers, protecting them from potential harm.

  • Reducing the likelihood of falls

Consider requiring your staff to use machinery to reach the top of a shelving unit or climb up tall ladders in order to retrieve products. It doesn’t appear secure. Fortunately, robots can retrieve items that are deep within shelves and stored there, lowering the possibility of workers falling.

  • They reduce worker exhaustion

A recent study found that longer shifts, shorter breaks, or too few breaks increase the risk of injury for workers. Robots have the benefit of reducing worker fatigue at the workplace. They will still need breaks, of course, but there will be much less chance of getting hurt.

  • They reduce the learning curve

Factories and warehouses are known for having high employee turnover. There is a learning curve for new employees when they first start out, and safety risks may arise during this time. This learning curve can be sped up when robots take on some of the labor-intensive, repetitive tasks.

Examples of AI bots used by brands to enhance logistics and delivery systems:

Chatbots are a game changer for businesses, delivering a 87% higher conversion rate, 70% reduction in service costs and 91% satisfaction rate. These conversational AI tools can help you streamline operations, boost revenue and improve customer happiness. Discover ten inspiring examples of companies leveraging the power of chatbots for business success. You can enhance customer interaction with AI-Powered Chatbots.

Conversational AI chatbots use a combination of AI, NLP, ML and conversational design to mimic human-like conversations. They are advanced virtual assistants, providing automated, human-like interactions through text or voice. Applications of conversational AI chatbots include:

  • Taking food orders in restaurants
  • Providing 24/7 answers to frequently asked questions
  • Streamlining onboarding processes for clients
  • Guiding customers through online payment processes
  • Identifying customer needs and directing them to the appropriate department
  • Multichannel communication, from websites to WhatsApp, SMS and beyond
  • In-built support for hundreds of languages.

1. BizBike:

Bizbike, Belgium’s largest e-bike provider, was faced with a high volume of daily customer queries and repetitive basic questions that were taking up valuable time for their customer service team. To address this, they turned to Chatlayer’s conversational AI chatbot. The chatbot’s easy-to-use templates allowed Bizbike to quickly set up an effective automation solution that saved over 40 hours per month.

The results were impressive, with an increase in customer satisfaction reflected in a higher NPS score, from 54 to 56, and 62% of customers actively promoting the Bizbike service and the conversational AI chatbot solution.

2. iFood:

As Brazil’s leading online food ordering and delivery platform, iFood has seen a surge in popularity, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, this growth also presented new challenges for the company’s driver customer service. With an increase in deliveries, drivers were calling for assistance more often, putting strain on the customer service team and affecting driver satisfaction.

To address this, iFood turned to Chatlayer’s conversational AI chatbot to assist with new driver registration and onboarding processes. The chatbot was integrated into messaging apps like WhatsApp and the website, helping to improve customer service for drivers while reducing time and costs. The bot resolved technical and logistical issues but 91% of delivery issues were also resolved.

3. Proximus

To alleviate the HR department’s workload at Belgian telecommunication company Proximus, they implemented three conversational AI chatbots for customer service, sales, and HR. These chatbots were able to handle the majority of frequently asked questions, freeing up HR’s time and allowing them to focus on preparing their workforce for future challenges. The result was impressive – the chatbots handled 76% of inquiries and boosted sales by a staggering 120%.

4. Rawbank

Rawbank, a 2.1 billion revenue bank in the Democratic Republic of Congo, was facing a challenge in handling the high volume of customer inquiries. With thousands of messages received each month, it was difficult for the support team to keep up. However, deploying a standard chatbot to handle FAQs was not feasible as customer inquiries were highly diverse and regular chatbots would have trouble understanding the true intention behind them.

To address this issue, Rawbank partnered with Chatlayer by Sinch to create a custom chatbot. This conversational AI chatbot was able to understand over 50 different use cases and handle a substantial number of customer requests, processing up to 4,000 each month. This solution proved to be a huge success for Rawbank.

5. Salud Digna

Salud Digna, a Mexican non-profit organization, is dedicated to providing accessible healthcare services. During the Covid-19 pandemic, their call centers were inundated with calls from individuals seeking affordable lab services and testing. To address this challenge, Salud Digna turned to technology and launched a conversational AI chatbot on their WhatsApp channel.

This solution reduced the volume of incoming calls by 50 percent, allowing customers to receive assistance more efficiently and with less frustration. With the implementation of the chatbot, Salud Digna was able to continue providing critical medical services while alleviating pressure on their call center agents.

How Brands Like Amazon are using Bots in delivery and logistics?

Amazon Robotics, based in North Reading, Massachusetts, has made a significant impact in the robotics and warehousing industries. Although they don’t sell their technology to the public, their work has been closely followed by others in the field. In 2012, Amazon acquired Kiva Systems and renamed it as Amazon Robotics.

Amazon Robotics, a division of the company, has made significant contributions to improving safety and efficiency in its fulfillment centers. With over 100,000 robots in operation, Amazon Robotics has reduced the time for item retrieval by half compared to manual methods. Despite potential impacts on warehouse worker income, the benefits of these robots in streamlining operations and increasing productivity are undeniable.

As the company continues to expand, it is embracing a range of warehouse automation technologies to enhance its profitability and efficiency. The transformation from a manual warehouse to a technologically advanced one is evident, and Amazon remains at the forefront of this revolution.

The company now boasts over 100,000 robots in its fulfillment centers, which have halved the time required for item retrieval from shelves compared to manual retrieval methods. The robots work in a separate, gated area from human workers, bringing storage units to them for either putting away or picking items.

Amazon is leveraging AI-powered chatbots to improve its online channels, making it a key player in the trend of “conversational commerce.” The technology enhances sales through customer interaction and streamlines customer relationship management (CRM). NLP-assisted search features are also strengthened with the help of the chatbots.

Moreover, the implementation of chatbots has the potential to significantly reduce labor costs for Amazon and other companies. According to a public Tableau report, 30% of customer service jobs in the US can be automated by chatbots, saving an estimated $23 billion in annual salaries.

The use of chatbots is also growing in the corporate sector, providing employees with intelligent assistants that can aid in scheduling, task management, and inter-employee interaction, leading to better-focused customer service and improved customer experience.

Furthermore, chatbots can drive brand engagement for Amazon by delivering interactive and personalized content to customers, similar to websites, blogs, or Facebook pages.

Read More: Mastering Sales in 2023 Will Require Masterful Outbound

Things to implement for creating a logistics chatbot:

Thinking to create a logistics chatbot for your company? You can boost your logistics Chatbot with Complementary technologies.  Here are the things you should do:

Leverage the power of multiple technologies to enhance the capabilities of your logistics chatbot. By combining various technologies, you can create a more comprehensive solution with a greater impact.

Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT allows for effective utilization of data gathered from connected devices, converting the information into software for further use. In logistics, chatbots can leverage data from devices such as temperature sensors, barcode scanners, and operator tracking to answer specific queries.

Voice Recognition and Speech-to-Text Conversion

The future of customer interactions lies in voice-responsive chatbots. With predictions stating that 25% of customer interactions will be voice-based by 2023, it is essential to invest in conversational AI for your chatbots. With voice-activated chatbots, workers can easily input and receive information hands-free, freeing up time for other tasks.

Big Data

Chatbots can track and process user information, be it from customers or employees, to further improve its algorithms and provide better responses to queries. Utilizing big data allows chatbots to provide users with the options they expect, leading to a more seamless user experience.

By combining these technologies, you can optimize your logistics chatbot and reap the numerous benefits it offers.

Pitfalls of Bots used in logistics and delivery systems:

Bots used in logistics and delivery systems can have a few potential pitfalls, including:

  • Technical difficulties: Complex logistics systems require sophisticated bot technology, which can be prone to technical difficulties and glitches.
  • Lack of personal touch: Bots can struggle to provide the same level of personal attention and empathy as human customer service representatives. This can negatively impact customer satisfaction.
  • Inaccurate data input: The bots’ effectiveness is largely dependent on the accuracy of the data fed into them. Incorrect or outdated data can lead to inaccurate results and inefficient processes.
  • Resistance to change: Logistics and delivery systems often rely on long-established processes and procedures, and some employees may resist the adoption of new technology.
  • Cost: Implementing and maintaining bot technology can be expensive, and there may be hidden costs associated with using bots in logistics and delivery systems.
  • Limited capabilities: Bots are limited by their programming, and may not be able to handle complex or unexpected situations, leading to delays or miscommunication.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, Chatbots are useful and versatile. Bots are transforming the logistics and delivery systems in many ways. From automation of warehouse operations to delivery bots and enhanced customer experience, bots are providing companies with new opportunities to improve efficiency, accuracy, and customer satisfaction.

As technology continues to advance, it is likely that we will see even more innovative uses for bots in the logistics and delivery industry. As customer demands and competition increase, logistics companies are turning to chatbots or virtual agents to manage customer queries 24/7 without delay. Conversational chatbots will have a big impact on your company, helping you accomplish everything from cut way back on employee workload to increase customer satisfaction, cut costs, and drive sales.