We live in the age of tech. We use smartphones, tablets, and computers to help us with almost all of our daily needs. Steadily and swiftly, AI is coming onto the scene for businesses, and the implications are huge. Think Terminator, or the Borgs from Star Trek. Cool right? Well, what we’re talking about may not be able to travel back in time, but it can certainly help you reduce work time.
What is AI?
AI or Artificial Intelligence is like a man-made brain given to a machine. Nowadays, AI is used in our cellphones or self-driving cars. How smart that AI is, is determined by machine learning.
Machine learning is an application of artificial intelligence that allows systems the ability to automatically learn and improve from experience without explicit programming. The system starts with observations or data, direct experience, or instruction, to look for patterns in data and make better decisions in the future based on the examples that we provide. Computer programs can then access data and use it to learn for themselves, so they can learn and optimize automatically, in a split-second.
Just like you and I, the more experiences and data it’s exposed to, the better it can work within the system to optimize your operations.
How does this affect your fulfillment?
For businesses, there are tons of applications. Microsoft developed a program that uses AI to help with fulfillment, distribution, manufacturing, and field services. It’s called Intelligent Order Management (IOM). What's great about this is that AI allows the program to collect data and inform you of better ways to satisfy customers, and fulfill orders. Gone are the days of feeling flustered during peak season because you don’t know how to distribute certain products in your inventory to match the demand. Microsoft dynamics certainly makes our lives easier.
Where this gets exciting, is that one of our main focuses for the Inventory Platform is a seamless connection with IOM, and its built-in AI + machine-learning capabilities. So, IOM’s Intelligence will be equipped with all the commands, actions, and options that the Inventory Platform has, and will be able to execute those actions in real-time, helping you boost performance every day.
How does this work?
The combination of the Inventory Platform and IOM is a slow-build with extremely high-potential ROI. Over time, the intelligence can increase as the platform gains more experience from use. So, if you use IOM in manufacturing, the more orders you run through the system, the more efficient your order process becomes. The tactics of the IOM become tailored to your business.
There are thousands of options, and lightning-speed decision-making going on behind the scenes in IOM that help you make inventory management easier.
What if you just got a big order from your key customer, and they need it ASAP, yet there isn’t enough inventory unless you review order reservations and short or delay the fulfillment of other orders. What can you do? If you’re seeing that inventory is running low, it can already be too late. But, with a system that uses the inherent machine-learning capabilities in IOM, you can short or delay fulfillment orders in real-time, without having to crunch the numbers yourself.
Let’s say you suddenly get a massive spike in sales of small orders from the east coast because everyone’s gearing up for the summer, with an extra $1400 bucks in their pocket. You need to save costs by creating a wave set transfer order to a fulfillment shop in New York, but having a person monitor and make these decisions is another fire you need to put out.
Then days later, you’re slammed with full pallet orders that require forklift operators to act quickly. Anomalies like this found by IOM, and your picking rules can be put on hold automatically. This means that you can temporarily allow forklifts to pick from piece pick and case pick zones, without missing a beat.
Once these massive orders are out the door, you can systematically return to the normal course of the picking process. All made possible by machine learning and Power Automate.
It can be hard to deal with, but the times, they are a changing. Luckily, with The Inventory Platform coupled with IOM, it can be a change for good. If you’re curious how The Inventory Platform can save you up to 90% on data entry and 20% on labor, click the link below to get in touch with us. We work across all platforms and built our business and our products around our partners and customers.