Uses of Artificial Intelligence Within the Supply Chain

Artificial Intelligence is a significant technological advancement when it comes to supply chain. It has significant potential to reduce cost and increase efficiency across your supply chain.

In this infographic, we look at how artificial intelligence can be used for predictive analytics and inventory and supply chain management. We also introduce some interesting statistics about artificial intelligence in the supply chain and go a little into how it can be used alongside wearable technology.

Uses of Artificial Intelligence Within the Supply Chain

AI has the potential to seriously impact your business’s supply chain, reducing cost and increasing efficiency. In this graphic, we introduce some ways AI is used within the supply chain and some statistics relating to this.

  • Labour productivity is expected to increase by 40% because of investment in AI.
  • 70% of executives plan to significantly increase investment in AI.
Predictive Analytics

Supply chain processes generate huge amounts of useful data, and AI can make use of predictive analytics to make sense of it all.

For example, in warehouses, digital cameras are routinely used to monitor stock levels and the data from these can be used to provide alerts when restocking is needed. The same data can be used to forecast when a resupply will be needed.

Theoretically, using predictive analytics and AI, warehouses and DC’s could in effect run themselves with very little need for human interaction.

Different Areas Predictive Analytics can be used within the Supply Chain:
  • Demand Analytics
  • Network Planning and Optimisation
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Finished Inventory Optimisation
  • Transportation Analytics
  • Geospatial Analytics
  • Replenishment Planning Analytics
  • Procurement Analytics
  • Strategy and Tactics
Inventory and Supply Chain Management

All adoption within inventory and supply chain (specifically the use of optimisation algorithms) is revolutionising the industry, reducing the depletion of stock and maximising stock levels. Statistics from 2017 MHI Industry report on the speed of supply chain transactions for just one e-tailer on Black Friday: 426 Orders Per Second were generated from the website throughout the day. In total, that’s over 36 million order transactions. That’s an estimated:

  • 250 Million Picking Lines at the DC
  • 40 Million Inbound Sortation hub scans, Inbound regional Sortation facility scans, DC package loading scans, Outbound Sortation hub scans, Outbound Delivery truck scans.

without the help of automation and AI, the cost of this would be significant. Annual costs of holding just a single unit of inventory could range from 15% to 35% of its value (Timme and Williams-Timme 2003). This means a firm’s success in a competitive market can hinge on the control and planning of inventory.


There are various opportunities to use Wearable’s alongside AI in the Supply Chain to further increase effect on human error. Below, we go through 3 types of Wearable’s used across the supply chain today:

  1. Smart Glasses

According to the white paper, employees at Active Ants, a Dutch e-fulfilment company, performed 15 percent faster when using Google Glass smart glasses to run a custom-developed application. Meanwhile, error rates dropped by 12 percent.

2. Voice Headsets

Its expected this year that 20% of firms will look to add voice-enabled interfaces to their existing point-and-click dashboards and systems.

3. Smart Watches

There are various applications of smartwatches that can be used alongside AI in the supply chain, such as using a pedometer to measure the number of steps taken to perform an action and using this data to train an AI system.

Feel free to use this infographic wherever you like. All you need to do is credit us, wherever possible you should include a link back to this article.

Interested in learning more about how artificial intelligence can increase efficiency and reduce cost in your organisation? Contact our supply chain consultants today!


Uses of Artificial Intelligence Within the Supply Chain Infographic

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