AI or Artificial Intelligence, is a very new niche of science that has been booming in the recent times. It has been implemented into every walk of our lives, even though they are not to the point, there are many applications that use AI to make our lives easier.
In the same way, there is a new technology that makes use of various ‘smart’ devices to work together in synergy and make our lives better. This novel technology, which similar to AI has not been around for a long time. It is termed ‘Internet of Things’ abbreviated IoT.
These two have been known to be implemented into today’s household items since the last decade. But the primitive versions of these were in place in supply chain and logistics sector of market for a long time. Supply chain is the series of steps that happen before a product or service is made available to the consumer from the producer.
Supply chain has become intertwined with AI and IoT and it is a complicated process. Though the process has become more complex than the traditional methods, it has become very convenient, and predictable for the client to know the position of their services or product they ordered for. This has improved the experience of online shopping of products and services.
There have been multiple uses from the application of AI and IoT in the supply chain. Some of the perks are predicting things for customers, whereas some other perks are about the actual transportation and logistics of the purchase.
- The process first starts when a person surfs for a service or product online. This is the first step that happens in e-commerce, and also the step where artificial intelligence come into the picture. AI based on the trend of your search history and product purchase history, will recommend something along the lines to match your purchasing habits.
- Then once a consumer searcher for something that is required to him through an e-commerce website, the related and relevant search options pop up and the consumer has a choice of choosing any one of the options given by the search function of the website. This step again includes the work of artificial intelligence because the search options favors the trends governed by ratings of buyers for that product. A product with higher and better ratings will be pushed by website.
- The next step after selecting a product or service is payment. After which the e-commerce website will provide an expected date for the delivery of your purchase. That data comes after taking into consideration the trends of the rate of delivery, distance from storage facility and other such factors to determine a date for delivery. This varies for various products and services and for all the various cities, and this huge amount of data has to be managed and fed to an AI that based on previous trends will determine a date of delivery.
- After the payment is done and approved, the shipment leaves a facility for storage, and it intimated to the consumer at every point of its journey. The package travels through a lot of points and it needs to be tracked at every point of its journey to make sure it is going in its stipulated path, and the information for the expected delivery date is correct. If information from any one of those points change, then the expected delivery on the e-commerce website will amend to adjust to the delay or early dispatch. This information is done through Internet of Things.
The above points list the application of AI and IoT for supply chain. But there are also multiple advantages to using these technologies.
- Tracking: The products that are dispatched will be tracked through the various company markers spread across the route from storage facility to the drop location. This along with notifying the location of package, it also notifies of any misconduct or mishap that might happen to the package during transit. This information is also conveyed to the consumer so that he has the knowledge of the position and speed of their package.
- Automating this entire process of supply chain will make it easier for the company to go through and manage a huge amount of data that will be collected from millions of transactions worth several million dollars, without missing a single customer or a penny. This will help comb through the data in case of any discrepancy.
- The company can generate a personalized receipt of transaction to every customer, which not only helps in their accounting but also helps customers request any customer care or other kinds of services if need be.
Major companies have taken to this method for easy and error-free maintenance of supply chain and are flourishing. Amazon and ebay are two of the major companies that have taken a shift to AI and IoT to improve their customer experience. Even though, the technology is still under development and it has a long way to go to make it viable and affordable to even the small scale industries, but it has been successful and has paved a way for effective supply chain management.
Aarif Habeeb is the Technical Content writer at Digital Marketing Crab. He is a technical writer and IoT writer of year 2020 by HackerNoon. His expertise includes Technical writing, Technical SEO, e-commerce, lead generation, and localized site-to-store strategies. He is the founder of Aarif Habeeb & Co. Feel Free to Follow him on Twitter and Linkedin.