AI is a Game Changer

By In Insight On 11th May 2023

Every day a new article or podcast touts AI as the new frontier for supply chain management. A few months ago, analysts predicted that AI would take over repetitive tasks that do not add customer value.

Now that Chat GPT has emerged from its beta stage, users around the world have been exposed to and started to utilize AI in their daily tasks.

It is clear now that AI will adopt faster and have a much larger impact in the immediate future, opposite to what the analysts thought. In this article, we will explore the top 2 areas in Warehouse Management System (WMS) and Transportation Management System (TMS) where AI is going to have an immediate and beneficial impact. 

Warehouse Management System 

AI is already having an impact on warehouse operations. AI helps automate repetitive tasks, improve productivity and accuracy, and reduce costs. Here are the top 3 ways that AI is already impacting warehouse operations.  

  1. Predictive Analytics: AI can analyze data from multiple sources, including historical and real-time data from smart devices and phones. With this data, AI can make predictions about future demand, allowing warehouses to optimize their inventory levels and reduce waste. 
  2. Intelligent Order Picking: AI-powered order picking can help improve efficiency and accuracy in warehouses. Using machine learning algorithms, AI learns from past order picking patterns and optimizes picking paths to reduce travel time and minimize errors. 
  3. Automated Inventory Management: AI can be used for cycle counting and replenishment. Using handheld devices, AI can monitor inventory levels in real-time and trigger automatic replenishment when inventory reaches pre-determined restock triggers. 

Transportation Management System 

For years supply chain practitioners have relied on outside firms for routing optimization, freight audit, and tender management. AI now makes many of these outside services obsolete as AI-driven TMS takes over many of these functions as part of their core package. Here are the top 5 areas where AI is already changing business. 

  1. Route Optimization: AI can help to optimize shipping routes, taking factors such as traffic, weather, and road conditions into account. AI can learn from past delivery patterns and identify the most efficient routes for each shipment. 
  2. Predictive Analytics: AI can help with data from various sources, including historical data, real-time data, and external data sources such as weather and traffic data. With this data, AI can make predictions about future demand, allowing shippers to optimize their shipping schedules and reduce costs. 
  3. Carrier Selection: AI can help shippers to select the most cost-effective and reliable carriers for each shipment. AI can learn from past carrier performance data and identify the best carrier for each shipment based on scoring factors such as cost, transit time, and reliability. 
  4. Freight Audit and Payment: AI can automate the freight audit and payment process, reducing errors and improving accuracy. AI can identify discrepancies and errors in billing and payment data and automatically reconcile invoices. 
  5. Chatbots and Virtual Assistants: AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can help to improve customer service in a TMS. Chatbots and virtual assistants can answer customer queries and provide real-time support, improving customer satisfaction. 

Tim Curran

National Business Development Manager - Supply Chain 



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