Artificial Intelligence (AI) used to be a concept reserved to the pages of science fiction novels. However, in today’s day and age, AI is something that society uses every single day. From the apps we use on our smartphones to predictive searches on Google, AI is everywhere, including in industries like supply chain.

In the past decade, we have seen an increase in companies investing in AI and greatly benefiting from it. A recent report revealed that Supply Chain and Operations was one of the top industries that pulled revenue from investing in AI. Below you will find five applications of artificial intelligence in supply chain management.

Streamlining Procurement Through Chatbots

With the help of chatbots, companies can streamline procurement through automation. Chatbots can carry out a number of tasks including talking to suppliers, requesting purchases, and completing actions that follow compliance. With the help of chatbots, companies can focus their time and energy on more pressing issues, rather than tedious tasks.

Enhancing Supply Chain Planning

A crucial aspect of the supply chain strategy is supply chain planning. Utilizing machine learning in tandem with supply chain planning can help companies forecast their inventory, demand, and supply. Additionally, with the use of intelligent algorithms and the analysis of big data sets, supply chain managers are able to make more informed decisions in order to deliver more efficient outcomes.

Improving Warehouse Management

A challenge that most businesses run into in warehouse management is the under-stocking or overstocking of product. Machine learning algorithms have a predictive power that can provide insight into the demand of consumers. This helps to eliminate inventory issues.

Increasing the Efficiency of Shipping and Logistics

The demand for fast and on-time delivery adds pressure to the efficiency of a company’s shipping facilities. AI algorithms can provide information to clients and consumers of when they can expect to receive their order. Rather than just relying on manufacturing and shipping schedules, the AI algorithm considers a number of additional factors. Using¬†historical data, customer feedback, weather reports and logistics, AI can create the most accurate prediction of when the product will reach its destination.

Superior Supplier Selection

When looking for a supplier, companies look for someone who is both reliable and easy to maintain a professional relationship with. In the world of business, one mistake in an operation can lead to negative publicity. Machine learning and intelligent algorithms can provide real-time performance data about suppliers, thus helping firms select the best supplier with the least amount of error.