in: Company News, Manufacturing Solutions
Inventory management is one of the most challenging aspects of running an inventory-based business. When businesses manage inventory using spreadsheets or other outdated systems, it makes everything more difficult for both employees and customers.
This problem is compounded by the recent supply chain crisis that has pushed companies to implement more stable and flexible inventory management systems. Fortunately, modern inventory management systems eliminate the problems associated with older systems and offer an intelligent solution for the issue of supply chain efficiency—artificial intelligence (AI).
AI Provides Cutting Edge Inventory Management
AI is nothing new, particularly in warehouses and inventory management, but according to a Forbes article, AI technology is expected to add $1.3 trillion to the global economy by 2038. The most modern inventory management systems will take AI innovations to the next level, allowing businesses to track multiple orders at once and identify any inventory problems or production delays.
But warehouses aren’t the only ones to benefit from artificial intelligence. This technology is critical for every stage of inventory management and is expected to gain traction across the retail industry as businesses seek to gain an edge over their competitors.
Check out five ways AI gives you an edge in inventory management.
- Demand Forecasting
AI is equipped with software that can use advanced logic and analysis to learn how to manage everyday business situations. Machine learning can be used to analyze customer data to predict trends based on region, season, and changing trends to give you an edge over your competitors. It can also collect data from external sources, such as social media and online reviews, to create algorithms that can predict future inventory needs.
These abilities are critical with the flood of data available to today’s businesses. Manual processes simply can’t keep up.
- Improved Productivity
Companies can automate their workflow by setting up rules that trigger specific actions without human interference. AI can monitor and manage things like cycle times, lead times, errors, item quantities, temperatures, and even planned downtimes.
This automation allows employees to focus on more valuable, revenue-generating projects, such as those that promote company growth and product quality improvements, because repetitive routine tasks are automated.
A warehouse automation system can automate the movement of inventory into, around, and out of warehouses requiring little or no human intervention and emphasizing physical and digital processes simultaneously. For example, a warehouse management system can track how many SKUs will ship in the next 24 hours and direct workers to pick them all at once to avoid repeat trips. Automated warehouses could use AI, cameras, and sensors to help an autonomous mobile robot (AMR) navigate a warehouse and put together an order without human assistance so humans can focus on other tasks.
- Enhance Customer Service
A modern order management system provides detailed inventory data in a centralized database accessible to all team members—from the back office to the warehouse. AI can provide a highly accurate, up-to-date inventory database and can assist in maintaining optimal stock levels by automatically reordering when products run low or out of stock.
But AI can improve customer service in other ways, too. Chatbots, for example, are expected to hit over $102 billion by 2026. This innovation can keep you updated on your ERP inventory system, track orders, and aid in customer service by providing answers to common questions or performing specific tasks for customers, such as providing a shipping update on an order.
This type of proactive customer service creates loyal customers who are likely to share their positive experiences with others, hence growing your customer base and bottom line.
- Improved Warehouse Management
We have already looked at how AI can track inventory for improved productivity, but do not overlook how it can also streamline warehouse management and decrease the chances of human error. By utilizing AI with cloud-based capabilities, accurate information can be accessed instantly, allowing for informed decision-making.
AI can handle logistical tasks like tracking pallets or inventory control, freeing up human workers as well as budget requirements. You can even update things like wage and performance updates so you can access up-to-date data on employee performance.
- Minimized Downtime
AI utilizes predictive algorithms to learn from past failure patterns and avoid these issues in the future. This ability reduces downtime and saves money. For example, if a machine has a history of needing repairs at a specific interval, you can schedule maintenance before an anticipated breakdown can occur, allowing the machine to continue running without fail.
The same method can be used in your IT department to predict the best time for server updates and maintenance to eliminate server downtime.
Level Up Your Inventory Management with AI
AI has revolutionized modern inventory management systems, and we haven’t even seen what the future will offer. One thing is certain; by implementing AI in your inventory management, you will level up your inventory management. You’ll enhance the user experience of both employees and customers, boost sales while reducing costs, and improve your company’s overall productivity.
Mindover Software provides manufacturing software solutions that integrate key functions, intelligently manage the supply chain, and provide real-time reporting required to make good decisions in manufacturing. Our software solutions based on the Sage and Acumatica platforms can be tailored to meet your specific manufacturing needs, whether made-to-order, made-to-stock, discrete, or process manufacturing.
Contact us today for a free manufacturing software solution consultation and learn more about the inventory management solution that is best for you.