“Cross pointed to the fact that Walmart already uses AI to solve ‘last mile’ delivery issues, while German ecommerce brand Otto Group uses a cloud-based machine-learning system that has reduced its out-of-stock rates by 80 per cent.
Anyone asking if robots will really take your job is in fact, woefully behind the times – change is already afoot. Earlier this week, House of Fraser’s logistics operators XPO announced the deployment of 5,000 intelligent robots across its warehouses in Europe and the US.
“The rise of automation through AI will have a much more significant impact on retail than other industries” said Sutherland director of retail Christopher Schyma.
“This is the result of the changing retail industry – today’s customer requires digital-first experiences, where needs are met and expectations exceeded across a variety of touch points and at the complete convenience of the shopper.“
“The challenge for retailers is that they lack connected systems. Thirty-six percent of survey respondents indicated that they have separate demand planning, replenishment, allocation and order management systems for store and ecommerce orders. Combined with the fact that 28 percent don’t manage each of their modules on the same platform, it becomes clear that disparate demand replenishment systems are a significant burden to efficiency.
AI and machine learning holds enormous potential to improve supply chain efficiency, and forward-looking retailers are already investing in these technologies. Retailers say AI’s greatest potential to improve supply chain management relates to quality and speed of planning insights, while nearly half of all respondents identified ‘demand management’ as one of the top three areas for AI in the next five years.”
“The introduction of AI is not just about automation or leveraging machine learning to squeeze a fraction more efficiency through the supply chain – although that is always welcome. It is about decision making: it is about automating the supply chain with a better decision. And as the pressure to create the perfect supply chain continues, human processing alone will not be good enough: those organisations that embrace AI and add intelligence to decision making will be best placed to both respond to the inevitable disasters and plan for a very different, very profitable, future.”