Can a bad delivery really drive customers away? Many customers say they would switch suppliers and even expect a full refund in the event of a delayed or bad delivery. Customers are used to free shipping at lightning speed, but that model may not be sustainable for eCommerce businesses. It’s extremely costly, but customers have come to expect it. Fortunately artificial intelligence can help eCommerce businesses streamline supply chains and cut costs wherever possible in order to maintain customer satisfaction in the long run.
The entire supply chain needs an overhaul, and AI holds the key. On the production side, AI can be used to forecast things like spikes in electricity costs, ordering, and scheduling needs to optimize production and ensure excess inventory isn’t sitting around gathering dust or that one shift is working overtime while another shift has nothing to do.
On the shipping side of the supply chain, AI can be used to optimize shipments to ensure there’s never empty cargo space in a cargo container or on a truck. Empty truck space cost one company 16% of its entire mileage for a year, so ensuring trucks are completely full before they roll out can save shipping companies significantly.
Warehouses sitting full of unsold merchandise are a waste of money. Artificial intelligence can forecast consumer demand and monitor inventory, taking the guesswork out of inventory management. It’s a lot more successful than a human walking around with a clipboard ordering things that ‘look low’ and leaving it to human judgement.
When it comes time for delivery, AI can help again. UPS used AI to prove that left hand turns waste time and fuel, and their algorithm is able to devise the most efficient delivery route, ensuring customers get their deliveries in the fastest time possible. This can also help save fuel costs, CO2 emissions, and wear and tear on delivery vehicles.
Even equipment maintenance can benefit from AI optimization. Algorithms can predict when a truck or piece of equipment is likely to fail, avoiding breakdowns that could halt production or deliveries. Optimizing maintenance schedules is a great way to save money on breakdowns without spending on excess maintenance.
AI is more than just the villain in sci-fi movies. It’s a useful tool that can be leveraged to make our lives easier and our businesses more efficient. Learn more about how artificial intelligence can streamline the supply chain from the infographic below!