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AI Trends in Supply Chain Distribution

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has increasingly developed a presence over the past few years. Whether you’re viewing suggested items on Amazon or recommended shows on Netflix, you’re interacting with AI. Moreover, AI trends are not just tools for major enterprises, it’s available to nearly every vertical from SMB’s to Fortune 500 companies.

Here are a few ways distributors are leveraging AI to save resources and advance sales and their bottom line.

The Impact Of AI Trends On Customer Orders

Distributors and third party logistics (3PL’s) use massive amounts of customer data. AI programs can read and find patterns in order to aid in customer purchasing. This analysis coupled with predictive analytics creates a customer profile. With this information, you can recommend not only what to purchase but when to purchase it. For all distributors, large amounts of customer purchase data are available to be manipulated and analyzed. Realistically, not every distribution company is going to have a widely used web interface like Amazon. Nevertheless, these predictive AI trends can be given to sales teams in order to target the right customers at the right time.

Distribution Hub Inventory

Within distribution networks, inventory is shipped directly to distribution hubs. How do companies estimate the right volume of items to ship to hubs at certain times of the year? With AI, inventory and demand schedules can be proactively predicted to make sure that resources are allocated efficiently. This enables operations personnel to ensure their supply chain is running at maximum efficiency. For growing SMBs, having access to this information can be vital to the success of customer growth and retention.

Predictive Analytics for Supplier Selection and Relationship Management

Unfortunately, simply selecting the wrong supplier can be damaging to your business. PR issues stemming from lapses in available supplies can arise and cause operational and reputation problems. AI suppliers are selected through available supplier interaction data. This is to ensure they are statistically the best fit. This may sound like more of a big business practice. But on the contrary, this is critical for SMB’s to pay attention to because having a PR issue could be detrimental to a growing band.

It is important to realize that these tools of technology are not the future. They are impacting our lives more than we know already. AI and machine learning can be the difference between growing at a steady rate or performing at the next level.

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