Remember how movies in the 80’s and 90’s painted the future? They used to show us flying cars, video conferences on small devices, robots replacing all human functions, and so many more things that at the time were unfathomable and seem to be in the way distant future. Guess what? The future has arrived. Short of the flying cars, technology has advanced to the point where we now have the gadgets that movies showed us once upon a time. One of the biggest advancements has been in the development of artificial intelligence (AI). 2016 was marked with many amazing examples of how powerful AI can be and how there is a lot of promise for its continued use for the future. Industries are starting to look to artificial intelligence to take over some of their more routine tasks. There is one industry in particular that could be greatly benefited by the adaptation of AI and that is the logistics and supply chain industry. Let’s have a little look as to why AI is definitely going to be a part of this industry in the near future and beyond.
1 . Collecting data to make better decisions in the future.
Companies often produce a certain number of products each month expecting to move all their merchandise. However, more often than not, they will see that inventory is not moving and things start to get backed up and the warehouse starts to fill up. This ultimately leads to losses instead of profit for the company and enough losses could lead to having to let people go. Artificial intelligence can change this situation. Thanks to AI, companies can run software that will help them analyze all the data that is collected from demand and help make decisions that will ultimately make the supply chain process more efficient. After enough data analysis, AI can tell a company when is the best time to increase production and when it should take it easy. This could be done across all of the processes in the supply chain and it would help companies save time and resources.
2 . Automation means a safer environment
Work related injuries can be a huge liability for some companies. With artificial intelligence, the liability would be reduced considerably. Machines can learn how to move around a warehouse or how to assemble products and companies would not have to worry of a careless worker getting injured accidentally. Through artificial intelligence, the time that it takes to take an order, process it, and get it shipped to its final destination would be lowered substantially. A more efficient supply chain means doing things a whole lot faster and with people doing things faster often means increasing the risk of injury or for mistakes. Artificial intelligence can keep employees safe and companies could use the extra manpower in strategic areas of the company.
3. Reducing auditing and compliance processes
One of the biggest factors into bringing in more business is having certifications regarding the different processes of the company. Certifications are usually associated to quality, plain and simple. Obtaining them means a company has to rigorously audit certain process on a regular basis to make sure they are compliant with all regulations and standards. Anyone who has gone through the auditing process knows that is time-consuming and rather stressful. Artificial intelligence takes care of both. AI technology can go through all the documents and information that a company receives and it can detect where there are some improvements to be made or if there is a suspicion of fraud. Companies could get certified a whole lot faster if they had the resources that would allow them to crunch the data and analyze faster. That’s right, they do: artificial intelligence.
Artificial intelligence has taken the leap from futuristic concept to an everyday reality. We are surrounded by AI and it is time to embrace the fact and see the benefits, especially in logistics and supply chain management. Artificial intelligence makes supply chain and logistics processes more efficient. It creates a safer working environment for the company. Moreover, it helps companies with their decision making by letting them know when it’s the best time to take action. AI is definitely the industry’s biggest ally and it should become a major factor from here on out.
David Kiger has been in the industry for years and he has seen how it has evolved throughout time. This blog is space where followers can gain more understanding into how logistics and supply chain management work and what the trends are. Artificial intelligence is just one of things that will contribute to the industry in 2017. Check out the post, “2017, Supply Chain and Technology”, to learn more about what other technology will play a huge role in the current year and maybe beyond.