Shipping and logistics professionals already know what AI can do. But how can they prepare their teams to make the most of the promising technology?
Supply chain managers throughout the shipping and logistics industry are well aware of what emerging capabilities are on the horizon. From Internet of Things (IoT) networks to blockchain technology, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t read about revolutionary tech in one industry publication or another.
While discussions about these tools center on what they’ll do for your warehousing strategy and how they’ll boost your supply chain efficiency, it’s important that you don’t put the cart before the horse. Before emerging technology can drive value for your business and improve operations throughout your facilities, you need to be sure that your team has done its homework.
When it comes to artificial intelligence, for example — an emerging technology projected to boost labor productivity in the United States by 35% over the next fifteen to twenty years — you’ll have to prepare your workflow if you hope to reap the benefits. This due diligence doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel, however. Instead, leveraging everything AI has to offer — especially when it comes to streamlining modern warehousing — is a matter of organization, education, and relationship building.
Improved Data Governance
Artificial intelligence depends on well-organized stores of data in order to process information clearly and automate strategic decisions effectively. Before AI can make those decisions, however, there needs to be a level of standardization across information management platforms.
In modern warehouses, for instance, logistics professionals rely on a wealth of systems to keep tabs on equipment, manage their team, and gain greater visibility into their supply chain. From warehouse, labor, and transportation management systems (WMS, LMS, and TMS) to enterprising resource planning (ERP) platforms, these tools process high volumes of information from various points throughout your facilities.
For artificial intelligence to be able to identify pain points, suggest improvements, and act on those suggestions, information from these systems needs to be entered in a standardized way. Similarly, this data needs to be optimized for easy integration into whatever AI platforms you’ve decided to invest in.
Strategic Talent Acquisition
Preparing your warehousing strategy for AI calls for investing in well-trained talent just as much as well-organized data. If you’re serious about enjoying the benefits of emerging technology then you should develop a training and talent acquisition action plan to match.
By taking stock of who on your team is prepared to organize proprietary information for AI programs — whether that involves standardizing data or preparing it for integration with various platforms — you’ll be better positioned to understand what you need to do to build out your IT team accordingly.
Indeed, with modern warehouses outfitted with such a wide array of management systems designed to optimize picking, packing, and shipping, it’s vital that trained professionals be available to solve your IT needs. Whether they’re within your current operation, brought on as a new hire, or engaged as an external consultant, they’ll have the bandwidth needed to do the job well.
Experienced Logistics Partnerships
In an increasingly competitive e-commerce landscape, AI may be just what businesses need to gain a competitive edge. However, small and mid-sized companies may find themselves without the funds to make the costly capital investments needed to completely revamp their facilities or hire full-time data analysts.
Accordingly, companies may decide that forming strategic relationships with experienced logistics providers is the right move for them. By leveraging everything that third-party logistics (3PL) partners or integrated logistics services providers (ISPs) have to offer, businesses can reap the benefits of AI without going into the red to do it.
Thanks to over two decades of experience in shipping and logistics, Primary Freight is tactically positioned to drive value for businesses of any size and budget. With an award-winning customer service team, state-of-the-art facilities across the country, and sophisticated technological platforms, we have the infrastructure companies need to scale in the e-commerce economy. Curious what a custom logistics solution might look like for your operation? Primary Freight is standing by.
If you’d like to learn more about how Primary Freight’s award-winning shipping services, contact us today at (800)-635-0013.