Can a robot manage my logistics and supply chain?

There’s been plenty of ‘rocking the boat’ happening in the last few years about the future of business in the age of artificial intelligence. The consensus seems to be that for better or worse, automation won’t be slowing down any time soon.

According to this report by McKinsey, AI is already contributing somewhere between $3 and $5 trillion in annual value to the global economy, and this is only expected to increase.

For now, the jobs more likely to be automated are those that are repetitive, simple, and requiring little critical or creative thinking. When asking “Will logistics be automated?”, it’s not hard to see there are plenty of tasks this can be relevant to. Easy examples include data entry, order processing, mapping delivery routes, scheduling transport, acknowledging deliveries, and so on.

So….yes, a robot can manage my logistics and supply chain?

If you’re looking to replace your logistics systems with just AI, better think again. The use of AI and automation in the sector will mean major changes of course, but if anything the role of humans will become more clearly defined and important. You can teach a robot to stack boxes, but it will have a hard time with some of the other tasks that will be essential to successful
logistics strategies, such as strategic solutions, integrated customer service and relationship management.

As with many of the jobs expected to resist replacement through automation, customer service ‘requires human interaction and critical, empathetic thinking’. If part of your business depends on organising logistics, you’ll know there’s a limit to how much a customer is willing to deal only with computers and voice recordings, especially if something goes wrong for them.

That doesn’t mean, though, that AI has no place in customer service;

‘The best implementations of AI in customer service are not … to replace human agents, but to empower them to do a better job at creating the kind of exhilarating customer experiences … key to success in the modern economy.’ – Forbes

Improving your company’s logistics systems is an excellent way to deliver new value to the customer and differentiate your brand. To achieve this, giving your customer service team the best tools to solve problems and keep your client happy will be important. Automated tools that speed up information retrieval, or allow you to change instructions or give an accurate ETA quickly can each be invaluable, and these are only a fraction of the potential for AI in logistics.

To find the right logistics solutions for your organisation, a tailored approach is best. An experienced specialist who understands how to develop and integrate a system that suits your requirements can mean the difference between improvement and decline.

To understand how cora can assist with your freight and logistics management, or more information on how logistics delivers value for customers, contact us here.

For more information on why logistics is important for your industry, click here.