Supply chain management is a complex and extensive process involving many links, from manufacturing a product through its transportation to warehouses and then delivering the goods to the customer. In addition, several stakeholders are involved in the entire process. Such an advanced procedure is also associated with very high costs. Globalization and the proliferation of players in the supply chain force its appropriate optimization to reduce time and, above all, prices. How to do it? Artificial intelligence can help.
Today we are in a new era of digital supply chain transformation, one of the main pillars of any industrial or commercial activity. An efficient and agile supply chain is a significant competitive advantage for companies. That is why businesses relentlessly search for more effective tools that provide accurate forecasting and decision support. In doing so, they strive to improve operational efficiency, customer satisfaction, and energy optimization and thus have the opportunity to cut supply chain costs. One of the most effective ways to reduce the cost of managing this process is AI solutions.
Of course, implementing AI tools requires proper knowledge and preparation, which is why companies are increasingly opting for AI consulting services. However, before we look at the benefits that organizations achieve thanks to this, let’s look at the concept of artificial intelligence itself.
What is artificial intelligence?
Artificial intelligence (AI) implements a range of techniques designed to enable machines to mimic real-world forms of intelligence. In the simplest terms, AI refers to systems or machines that mimic human intelligence in performing tasks and can improve them based on information gathered through iteration. The basic principle of AI is to replicate and then exceed human perception and response in the real world.
From Google to Microsoft, Apple, and Facebook, all of the biggest companies in the IT world are now working on AI problems, trying to apply it to several specific areas. Also, companies working with consulting firms are increasingly using artificial intelligence to optimize the supply chain and thus cut costs. In what way?
AI consulting at the service of supply chain
Thanks to AI consulting, your business can receive valuable information, based on which it will be possible to automate numerous processes and thus reduce costs and increase revenues at the same time. In addition, working with an AI consultant guarantees that you will implement new tools and solutions correctly. As a result, you and your company will be able to reap numerous benefits from implementing AI for the supply chain management. AI consulting takes place in three stages, and at each step, you can count on expert support and top-quality service.
- Feasibility study analysis: AI experts will analyze the health of your supply chain management process and identify possible technology solutions to improve it
- Prototype development: based on the findings, the team will prepare a prototype that you can test before revolutionizing your supply chain
- Integration and implementation: the new AI solutions will be implemented and integrated with the current tools you have been using to manage your supply chain. At this stage, you are left with no choice but to observe how much you save by automating and eliminating repetitive processes in your supply chain
That all sounds very promising, but you may be wondering what artificial intelligence solutions you can implement with AI consulting to reduce supply chain costs. So let’s move on to concrete examples.
Ways to cut supply chain costs with AI consulting
Companies are constantly looking for ways to make their supply chains more resilient, using artificial intelligence and machine learning (ML) technologies. Of course, the specifics of each project are different. Still, we can point to a few examples of artificial intelligence applications that, in most cases, lead to optimization and thus lower supply chain costs.
Fleet current location
One of the best examples of optimizing the supply chain for cost is using AI and the Internet of Things to get an overview of fleet location and status using GPS tracking. For example, trucking companies travel long distances to pick up and return empty pallets to their owners, which is costly. By combining actual route data and end-customer behavior with future forecasts, you can predict where assets will be located and optimize route planning.
Automating warehouse operations
Automated warehouses combine two primary systems: robotics used in the warehouse and management software. Together, they provide logistics that range from transportation and warehousing to operations management. This joint work generates patterns over time that are constantly analyzed. In this way, artificial intelligence helps optimize resources and correct movements when the flow changes.
Improve information provisioning
The automation of supply chain processes, aided by artificial intelligence, makes it possible, among other things, to track orders and satisfy users’ knowledge needs on their own. For example, you can quickly and effectively resolve a frequent question about the location of a package purchased on an e-commerce site by implementing chatbots with artificial intelligence.
AI helps you choose the most cost-effective routes and transport paths. The system stores data about how a fleet has to take and then records vehicle movements on the road. After processing the data, AI can suggest a route tailored to the environment, speeding up transportation and minimizing the risk of costly delays.
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Time to take the action
Undoubtedly, implementing AI solutions for supply chain management can provide many benefits. However, it’s essential to do it right, following best practices. If you want to make sure that you correctly identify areas in need of modernization and then develop and implement adequate tools, we recommend using AI consulting services. Artificial intelligence has already become an integral part of everyday life and logistics.
This technology is an ally in improving all supply chain processes. Suppose you want to increase your competitiveness and profitability. In that case, it is, therefore, worthwhile for you to consider implementing technological innovations and using their results to improve your warehouse management, with the ultimate effect of reducing costs.