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By Heather Kosinski 

Artificial Intelligence is becoming widely used across many industries. AI in supply chains can prove as a useful tool while providing powerful optimization capabilities. This can affect planning, forecasting, productivity, costs, and safety. Here are some ways AI can help and hurt supply chain processes based on our research.

How AI can Help Supply Chains

Accuracy in Inventory Management

    • AI has the ability to aid in stocking abilities to prevent overstocking, inadequate stocking and unexpected stock-outs.

Efficiency in Warehouses

    • Expanding on inventory management, AI can help in time management for retrieval of items from a warehouse and ensure a smooth delivery to the customer.

Fewer Errors & Less Waste

    • AI is able to spot irregular behavior from both humans and machines much quicker than humans can.

Enhanced Safety

    • Automated tools provided by AI help monitor work environments throughout the supply chain to ensure worker and workplace safety.

Reduced Operations Costs

    • AI can work for a longer duration without error. Warehouse robots can provide greater speed and accuracy as well to increase levels of productivity.

How AI can Hurt Supply Chains

Complex Systems

    • AI systems are usually cloud-based, thus requiring expansive bandwidth. This then requires specialized hardware to access the capabilities that AI offers. These systems can be quite an expensive investment initially.

Cost of Training

    • Adoption of AI into a warehouse and into the supply chain effectively will require personnel training, this adds to time and money needed to implement AI.

Operational Costs

    • AI-operated machines will require maintenance and replacement over time. This also proves as a high investment cost for operation.


Overall, AI is a value added that can be implemented into supply chain. However, it is dependent on the investment willing to be made to take these strides. AI is a great tool and resource, and some people believe it should be seen as a helpful tool and not a threat.


What are your thoughts of implementation of AI into supply chain?




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