The Rise of Automation in Logistics and the Importance of Customer Service

July 2, 2018

Retail is a competitive industry and heavy demand from customers for fast transport and low prices filters down to those responsible for importing and exporting goods. These increasing demands have become the catalyst for change in our industry, and recent advancements in automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are at the forefront of this movement.

This can pose some difficulty as meeting the increasing demand and growing rate of consumption can have a negative effect on the maintenance of interpersonal relationships. However, with the right balance of customer service, technological advantages and AI, logistics companies can nurture client relationships while keeping an economical edge.

How Automation is Changing Logistics

The trend towards all things automated has resulted in more innovative processes as logistics companies strive to speed up their systems. This comes with more extensive reporting, invoice processing and data capturing which is used to flag any flaws in order to increase production. All this happens in real time, with tracking, redirection and warehouse distribution commonplace advancements for those working in logistics.

A big talking point for the last few years has been driverless vehicles on our roads. No longer a question of “if”, but instead “when” with large-scale tests currently underway throughout the world. Just because cars aren’t driving themselves just yet, it doesn’t mean tools and equipment aren’t evolving in order to replace the human hand.

Robotics is something which is gradually overhauling the industry, and with the help of robots stacking and selecting packages, distribution centres are seeing less need for traditional workers. Robotic forklift trucks may sound futuristic, but in this instance, the future is already here. Conveyors are continually adapting to be more autonomous, and there is AI technology available for loading and unloading at the docks. Automation equals a faster turnaround of goods, in order to meet the expectations of consumers.

The question is, is it smart business to move to a fully autonomous service? The short answer is no, as we believe customer service and the human element still plays an important role.

Why Customer Service Still Matters

When you consider how the behaviours of consumers have changed, we know there is a need for instant gratification. Importers and exporters are feeling the effects of a fast paced world, and logistics companies have had to adapt in order to keep up. This is where automation, robotics and AI are crucial elements in accommodating the needs of our clients.  But, with all these innovative logistics, there is one thing that cannot be replaced, and that is good old fashioned customer service. Robots may be quicker at some tasks than humans, but they do lack creative thinking, adaptability and a friendly voice to communicate with.

When it comes to building a long term relationship with your clients, one of the key traits that differentiates humans from robots is empathy. With a more genuine and sensitive approach, we have the ability to offer a positive, full package experience. Price and speed are not the only factors that determine whether a client chooses your logistics company over another. The way your staff deal with delays, complaints and queries could make all the difference. Over time, this relationship between the logistics company and client is forged and as the interpersonal connection grows, loyalty is gained.

At MYC International Logistics we successfully manage the clash between autonomy and customer relationships by offering our clients a personal Account Manager. To find out more about our services, please contact us today.

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