Md. Abdul Khadeer is an MBA graduate from JNTU, Hyderabad and predominantly worked in logistics & supply chain Industry. His passion for logistics &SCM started with DHL express where he has worked for 10 years in different roles simplifying complex supply chain of many global & Indian companies. His strong penchant to address Indian domestic logistics concerns, made him join start-ups like Criticalog, H&S to understand the problem especially Rural logistics. With an aim to address the challenges of logistics in Rural segment, he has started his own venture “AI Logistix” in April 2021. With a vision “To Revolutionize Indian Logistics Landscape by Building the Largest Profitable Network, Connecting Every Town/Village to “Deliver Delight to the Deserted Rural”, he has already achieved revenue of more than 1.25 crores so far and expanded to 17 locations as of now.
The world is moving towards a digital future and Industry 4.0 such as AI, IoT, Blockchain, etc., are considered as the prime drivers of the businesses in the coming times. Speaking in terms of AI, it is an efficient tech for solving problems at a faster pace, minimizing errors, and increasing efficiency.
AI is an efficient tool for predicting human behavior as compared to the human mind and therefore we call it Artificial Intelligence. Artificial intelligence started to impact the logistics industry, along with the supply chain in a big way. Logistics is highly dependent on humans and minimizing errors is one of the biggest challenges for any logistics company. The introduction of modern and new technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning (ML), and blockchain has transformed the unorganized and fragmented logistics sector.
Can AI alone bring that efficiency & effectiveness required for logistics? The answer is NO. AI and ML together are a powerful combination when it comes to logistics & supply chain management. These are highly effective in optimizing the processes, eliminating & alerting potential mistakes which humans can make, reducing total turn-around-time for a shipment, and predicting future opportunities and challenges.
How do AI and ML Impact the Logistics Sector
- Machine learning is an efficient way of analyzing data sets at a fast pace and also enhances demand forecasting accuracy
- AI and ML boosts the resources by decreasing the time and expenses of tracking the goods
- To reduce the shipping cost, AI aids in logistics route optimization
People often get confused between automating the process and using AI in logistics. Automation of processes and systems is not what AI is for. AI plays a pivotal role in saving time, reducing costs, increasing productivity and accuracy with cognitive automation. AI helps in logistics to optimize routes, which helps in reducing the costs of shipping, which further aids in generating more profits.
Helps Save Time and Money: AI helps in automating extensive time-consuming processes and as discussed above is a key to demand forecasting. It further helps in logistics route optimization which leads to a reduction in shipment costs, hence increases the profit margins. The quick decision-making process through AI saves so much time and effort which can be used elsewhere to increase the organization’s productivity.
Improves Warehousing Operations: AI has proven to be extremely helpful in improving warehousing operations by automating inventory processing. Several logistics brands across the world are using robots to locate, move and track inventories inside the warehouse.
Collection of Information: Companies using artificial intelligence can gather and analyze information to make informed decisions within a matter of seconds, thereby saving time for human resources. AI also helps to completely transform warehousing operations, stock auditing in the form of collecting and analyzing information or inventory processing. Through AI, logistics players can leverage data platforms and create datasets to regulate patterns and anomalies. It helps in learning patterns in the supply chain that quickly pinpoints the influencing factors, analyzes large, diverse data fast, and hence improves demand forecasting accuracy.
Improves Supply Delivery Performance: Logistics & supply chain is also dependent on suppliers and AI helps in improving supplier delivery performance & minimizes the supplier risk in the collaborative supply chain & logistics segment.
Improves Efficiency: Remember, logistics is all about delivering on time & everything is time-bound. Every process is interlinked with each other and depends on the one preceding it and a minor delay on one stage causes a magnified ripple effect on all the other stages. At the time of delivery, there ends up being a delay of days because of a few hours of downtime. All this can be avoided with AI & machine learning. AI & Machine learning in the logistics industry replaces the complicated steps of planning and scheduling, working with more accuracy and efficiency, thus streamlining the processes efficiently.
Minimizing Failures: The rapid transformation of technology and the adaption of machine learning in logistics planning can help in better forecasting about the unforeseen situation in the delivery of goods, which then can be avoided well in time. ML can replace the complicated mechanism of planning and scheduling, thereby streamlining the process for a better and more lean process.
Hence, like any other industry, logistics operations are also harnessing the power of AI and ML for better outcomes. One major drawback which is often discussed while utilizing the technology is the loss of jobs. However, if organizations plan well, the human resources can be trained with new skills, thereby retaining them, and improving the efficiency of the organization.