Will artificial intelligence and automation impact your industry?  Most likely the answer is yes; the only question is how.  At the very minimum, you should be paying attention so you can make sure you are taking potential advancements into account in your strategy.  

In the accounting industry, AI has the opportunity to transform and automate a significant number of jobs.   Manufacturing has already been impacted by automation.  Of course, it is likely to continue to evolve; however, it has the potential to transform the logistics industry.  Perhaps we better think about potential applications:

  1. Instructions – Artificial intelligence certainly seems to come in handy when it comes to fixing issues and reviewing instructions.   
  2. E-Commerce– AI certainly helps to find like-products and complimentary products when purchasing through an e-commerce portal.   
  3. Intelligent virtual assistant– AI can learn how you respond to tasks and requests and answer for you with repeatable and mundane tasks.
  4. HR recruiting– Although arguably not as good as an excellent recruiter, AI can find qualified candidates and eliminate legwork in the recruiting task.
  5. Autonomous vehicles– Starting within the plant and expanding to trucks and elsewhere, autonomous vehicles are being used to increase efficiencies and reduce risks.
  6. Robotic picking systems – This is one of the largest risks in terms of current logistics operations.  Just as manufacturing has been automating so will logistics operations.  It will be a ‘win’ for costs, efficiencies and speed; however, are you prepared?
  7. Maintenance – why go through the long and arduous “old school” view of preventative maintenance when you can look at data and predict exactly what needs to be maintained before it breaks down?
  8. Customer demand – the better data on customer demand, the better the entire supply chain can run – quick, efficient and low cost.  
  9. Repetitive tasks – anything that is repetetive is a good candidate to automate.  It will be more repeatable, more consistent quality and lower cost.  Are you looking for opportunities?

Don’t just look at what will directly impact your company.  Review impacts to your end-to-end supply chain.  What is likely to disrupt your customers?  How about your suppliers?  What can you do to get in front of it?


Lisa Anderson