Supply chain management has become a vital strategic opportunity to keep organizations competitive and this statement has taken even more precedence due to the current pandemic situation that the world is facing. The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in some sort of supply chain disruption related to transportation restrictions created by the lockdown and the economic impact caused by it will be felt for months to come. But at the same time, there has been a sudden increase in the adoption of digital technologies like algorithm development, data analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, the internet of things, and cloud computing to make supply chain management ever-evolving.
Artificial Intelligence with the help of automated technology processes a large amount of data within few minutes to provide business-based insightful information. AI is already beginning to change the face of the supply chain industry. Effective supply chain management is important for businesses, customers, and also the government. Integration of AI and supply chain management make the decision-making process easier and faster, improve efficiency, and better human resource utilization. AI has helped enterprises, businesses, brands, and retailers make better decisions across their supply chains.
AI has the power to anticipate orders and manage deliveries, thereby increasing efficiency in all areas of the supply chain. Here are the few points highlighted which talk about the role and importance of AI in supply chain management.
Timely Delivery - The AI technology has reduced the dependency on the labor workforce and making the entire procedure safe, quick, and smarter. The technology facilitates delivery to the consumers as per the dedicated time. In supply chain delivery, every mile and minute matters, therefore automated systems have accelerated traditional warehouse procedures. The details of the customers, drivers, and vehicles have been submitted to the machine, which then uses algorithms to create the most optimal routes and thus make timely delivery.
Inventory Management - Inventory management has become more complex due to real-time pictures of the available items in the inventory. With the help of AI, it delivers many advanced solutions to inventory managers and allows them to manage the process more efficiently. The technology automatically orders the right flow of items to fulfil manufacturing demand and can ensure that the correct amount of raw material gets in and out of a warehouse. This also helps in preventing inadequate stock, overstocking, or understocking in the warehouse.
Minimize Operational Cost - The AI systems increase the productivity of the business and reduce the dependency on the manual workforce. This is one of the biggest advantages of AI in supply chain management. Automated intelligent operations can work error-free for a long-lasting duration, reducing the number of mistakes. Warehouse robots achieve a higher level of productivity and provide greater speed and accuracy.
Enhance Safety - AI-based automated tools mitigate human error behind the wheel and ensure smarter planning and efficient warehouse management, which may enhance worker and material safety. AI can also examine workplace safety data and inform manufacturers about any possible risks. The risk factors can be evaluated over a period of time via machine learning and such data come in handy to prevent on-floor accidents or fatalities.
Warehouse Efficiency - The AI technology notices the pattern and suggests actions and replenishes nearly out-of-stock items and ensures a smooth journey to the customer. AI systems can also resolve several warehouse problems, more promptly and accurately than a human. An efficient warehouse is an integral part of the supply chain and also saves valuable time. AI-driven automation efforts can significantly reduce the need for and cost of additional warehouse staff.
Supply chain management over the months has showcased singular resourcefulness and ability to upgrade and adapt, through the current challenges. The organization which used manual methods or rudimentary approach to manage their supply chain have had an extremely tough time to manage their business affairs.
With the sudden and rapid increase in digitization and transformation of technology, more and more companies are adding artificial intelligence to the supply chain to ensure maximum utilization of resources. The pandemic has opened up several business opportunities to work towards a strong supply chain management system and ensure seamless customer experience and smooth business operations. With increasing competition in today’s world, it becomes even more crucial to maximize productivity by reducing uncertainties and error-free scenarios.