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AI and supply chain - the solution retail industry needs

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Atley Varghese,Associate Software Engineer

 

Artificial Intelligence is the supply chain solution retail industry needed

A flawless supply chain is every retailer's wet dream, the constant need to optimize the supply chain operations and faster delivery of orders are some of the qualities of an efficient supply chain, and Artificial Intelligence is making the real difference. AI helps retailers understand their supply chain operations better and can pin-point the causes that cause shortages or excess stocks. What AI makes possible is impossible to achieve with the traditional supply chain management, we will explore where Artificial Intelligence scores.

 

Predictive Analysis & Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning put powerful tools across the table to predict and analyze the upcoming trends:

  • Machine Learning models can analyze the datasets of a large inventory containing multiple products to provide a better assessment of the maintenance and management of inventory.

  • Artificial Intelligence helps in deriving meaningful patterns and conclusions to help a retailer make informed decisions.

  • Artificial Intelligence holds the ability to talk between systems of various parties to give retailers a better understanding of an upcoming demand and the necessary inventory to meet that demand.

Automation and Optimisation of Data

The influx of automation at multiple levels of supply chain operation offers a better movement of retail goods and creates an ecosystem to build a flawless supply chain.

  • Automation of freight and transport vehicles to make possible faster delivery of products to businesses and end-users.

  • Better use of GPS tracking data to find the best possible routes to make transportation more efficient and cost-effective.

  • It helps in the overall planning of the whole supply chain life-cycle, starting from the manufacturing floor to the shop and finally to the customer's door-step.

AI enables Tight Inventory Control

Artificial Intelligence brings together the scattered data sets which traditionally operated stand-alone and very much isolated from each other's information such as shipping, warehouse management, order management, inventory management. Artificial Intelligence unifies all these aspects of the supply chain together that helps retailers see patterns and demands which remained unseen with the traditional methods.

Unifying the in-store and eCommerce inventory

AI will bridge the gap between a retailer's in-store operations and eCommerce services, for example, using a KIOSK or in-store AI assistant a customer will be able to purchase an item from the store even when the item is out-of-stock in that particular store. 

On the backend, AI will allow retailers to work closely with the wholesaler or supplier to manage the inventory and order delivery to the customer's doorstep creating an inventory that never runs out of stock.

Demand-based Inventory

Artificial Intelligence can combine the sales data and data from the various levels of the supply chain to plan a marketing strategy and potential customer base to maximize sales in both season and off-season purchases. Unlike the traditional assumption of stocking up based on the previous season sale, artificial intelligence takes into account current trends, social media activity to channelize and allocation of inventory that neither creates excess stock nor goes low inventory but building an optimal inventory that will sell maximum. 

Artificial Intelligence is already a part of the supply chain networks of retail market leaders and SMEs businesses are also showing an increased interest in adopting AI in their supply chain lines. As per the study spending on AI by retailers in the supply chain is expected to be $7.3 billion by 2022. The modern customer expects faster delivery of orders and AI will ensure stability, speed, and accuracy in your supply chain. This builds confidence about your brand in the customer and improves the chances of retention. Artificial Intelligence is the future of the supply chain and will deliver on lower costs, faster deliveries, and improved customer satisfaction.

Contact us to get some free insights on making your supply chain smarter.

 

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