RIS: Why is AI needed to develop a demand-driven supply chain and help retailers make smart allocation decisions?
Pulfer: There are overwhelming amounts of data being collected and analyzed monthly/weekly/daily/hourly by a multitude of customers across all industries. AI transforms this data into trends, predictive models, and other algorithms to assist retailers in a multitude of decisions in a fulfillment center. In today’s heavy omnichannel environment — where so many retailers are using one inventory to fulfill both retail and direct-to-customer orders — AI can make the difference in whether a retailer is able to fulfill a customer’s order.
RIS: What are some of the cutting-edge ways you’re seeing AI make an impact on the supply chain today?
Pulfer: In supply chains today, AI greatly impacts the dynamic nature of systems, particularly in the WES. New features are being developed every day and added to the “neural logic” that drives a WES to optimize and organize work while synchronizing and sequencing resources. These additions to the intelligent design of the WES are leading to shorter cycle times, improved productivity, improved visibility, and better utilization of resources. Specifically, we are working on labor management/movement, order batching, and dynamic slotting of inventory. These types of evolutions in supply chain or warehousing are far beyond the standard practices of the past and equip operations to handle the increasing dynamic nature of the industry today.