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The Supply Chain and AI!

Artificial Intelligence among other technologies are all converging at an interesting time and in an interesting way.

My personal opinion is that AI alone will not move the needle.

However, if it is coupled with Big Data, augmented reality, and the Blockchain you start seeing some very interesting outcomes on how today’s challenges can be solved.
Transport management
In most cases today, cars and trucks are standing still 94% of the time (either parked or in traffic), so not only are they underutilized, they are also heavy polluters. How can other technologies and AI start helping us out? Imagine a world where the load factor of your vehicle is matched to the customer’s product and delivery locations, with a clear understanding of the delivery windows and constant, transparent communication to the end receiver to aid in smooth drop off once the vehicle arrives at the location. In the B2B delivery system the final delivery is very time consuming at the point of delivery due to back and forth communication, and a potential mismatch of expectations between the order placer and the order receiver. A convergence of a blockchain platform, powered by AI, using IoT devices and big data to optimize will start creating incredible efficiencies.

Documentation processing
Documentation processing for the major part consists of repetitive tasks with only a small percentage of transactions being unique. As such, these repetitive tasks can easily be replaced by Robotic Process Automation. AI will come in to play when there is communication involved with internal systems, customers for clarification, or communication with government authorities for escalation or transaction resolution.

However, if blockchain is to be implemented in the manner we expect, documentation brokerage, may be a service of the past!

Warehouse operations processes
AI in the warehouse has countless applications. Warehousing is all about maximizing storage potential but doing it in a way that still makes you operationally efficient. Most companies today will struggle with the ability to understand which products need to be stored where based on order throughput to maximize the pick time. However, things get very exciting when the rules of operational flow are more fluid with a hard set of wider boundaries and within those boundaries the system is able to work to reach optimal performance. i.e. a combination of augmented reality and AI could rapidly change the way flows and activities take place in a warehouse operation.

Overall, AI is an exciting technology, however, cannot it have the impact we expect on its own.

If what we saw Google launch with its AI bot phone call is the new possibility, imagine customer experience and how that could change dramatically in the operations of your business.
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