What are the applications of AI for logistics and supply chains?
The supply chain is made up of a huge number of processes, each with their own intricate features and potential challenges. AI technology can support and enhance logistics processes for the manufacturing of goods, their handling in storage and transit, and ultimately for last-mile delivery to customers.
An Accenture study on the evolution of AI applications suggests that AI can be used to generate designs or blueprints for buildings, which can go on to be refined by human architects and designers. The components for these blueprints can then be processed in factories, piecing together the buildings “like LEGO sets”.
While that’s a potential future for AI in manufacturing, it also has benefits at the current time. AI co-bots are a new form of manufacturing robot, different to industrial robots, that can help streamline the production process of complex items like cars and computers.
By using AI-powered robots, the production line can be even further automated than ever before. As well as increasing efficiency, this can also ensure quality is maintained by training AI on testing procedures and acceptable limits.
While AI co-bots typically need a human operator, they can be automated even further by training a secondary AI to act as a supporting guardrail – almost entirely eliminating the need for human intervention in these mechanical, repetitive processes.
These new AI-driven manufacturing processes can then be integrated with AI in logistics and supply chains, creating a holistic automated journey with maximum efficiency and little room for error.
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Supply Chain Optimisation
AI optimises processes all across the supply chain. Fulfilment technology and robotics can benefit through AI co-bots and big picture processing. Meanwhile, warehouse and inventory management can be seamless automated with predictive algorithms that match and manage stock according to user demand.
Last-mile delivery analytics can lead to more accurate and cost-effective deliveries, and generative AI presents a step forward in personalisation and response rates for customers.
Major players in the industry are utilising AI to create entirely new ways of handling logistics and delivery, such as Amazon’s AI-powered delivery drones which can automatically bring parcels straight to the customer’s doorstep, without the need for a human controller.
In essence, the supply chain is being revolutionised through the use of AI, and the reach and effectiveness of these digital technologies will only continue to grow over time.
Research & Development
With access to enormous, tailorable datasets, AI is in the prime position for sifting through otherwise unmanageable amounts of information. This can support human researchers, helping them to quickly narrow down data into what they actually need.
On the development side, AI can help to identify trends and produce statistics based on processed data. A quicker analysis of results means a smoother process into actioning them, potentially speeding up your R&D efforts by a large margin.
Accelerating the production process through AI’s innate ability for pattern recognition, predictions, and processing allows for rapid resolutions to complex problems. For logistics and supply chains, this means finding the best ways to handle each stage of a multi-factored fulfilment journey in the shortest time possible, as well as producing new tools and tech to enhance the process.
Quality Control & Assurance
By processing data at extreme rates, AI is able to provide assurance for the quality of your services in an incredibly short time.
Quality control for logistics and supply chains means ensuring proper handling of assets, navigating regulations, and meeting deadlines for delivery. Intelligent automation achieves this at unprecedented levels without the need for constant human supervision, allowing a hands-off assurance for your operational efficacy.
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