The human side of digitalisation

By now, most people are familiar with the basic concept of digitalisation. Robots clean windows and floors, and there are apps and fitness trackers to help monitor their users’ health. And while technology has already become an everyday part of practically everyone’s life, there are still concerns that machines will replace people when it comes to solving business problems. According to Marina Syroezhkina (pictured), Director of the AsstrA Information Technology Department, people should not fear technological progress and increasingly digitalised supply chain processes.

In recent years, digitalisation has become a top priority the transport and logistics sector. The pandemic-triggered crisis has demonstrated that businesses embracing technological advances can more easily survive and thrive in rapidly evolving circumstances. Digital business solutions exist to track processes, collect data from various sources, help humans complete mundane tasks, and generally ensure that operations run smoother and more transparently.

With better access to information, a business can more easily assess its current situation and develop an optimal action plan. Businesses often use Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions and other specialised applications to manage business processes and information. Business Intelligence (BI) solutions are used to track process flows.

In addition to the company’s proprietary Supplier Cabinet tool, AsstrA uses Oracle E-Business Suite, and Lotus to integrate transportation systems, automate associated processes, and free team members from the burden of routine operations and manual data processing. Enterprise Content Management (ECM) as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) are also used in this respect.

But the story does not end there. Markets continue to evolve, as does the pace of digitalisation. The rise of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) technologies is a recent example. RPA solutions are used to handle routine, monotonous operations that do not require decision making. Such operations might include receiving a file, reconciling two documents, or copying information from one system to another.

For operations involving decision making based on accumulated experience or analysis of data from several sources, machine learning (ML) technology can be leveraged. Using ML, prediction algorithms can be designed to support decisions using data accumulated across a company in the form of spreadsheets, financial reports, images, or even scanned copies of documents. ML solutions help humans add an analytical component to their thinking and make faster, more accurate decisions.

As the pace of innovation quickens, the necessity of responding and adapting to changing market conditions is growing. Many companies, including AsstrA-Associated Traffic AG, are restructuring their project flows around Agile methodology to achieve better results. Roadmaps include short sprints that reflect current realities with a constant focus on strategic objectives. In a changing environment, monolithic planning no longer works.

A year and a half of the “new reality” has confirmed that it is not the fittest who survive, but rather the most adaptable. Digital solutions offer dependable support mechanisms in these uncertain times.

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