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Conversational AI for Supply Chain Management: 8 Applications
With conversational AI, you can optimize all aspects of supply chain management operations, from employee management to customer service and beyond.
Supply chain management is experiencing a major digital transformation. Modern supply chains require automation, artificial intelligence, and a wide array of digital tools to keep up with demand. But, as supply chain demands continue to grow, companies must look outside the box to stay competitive.
Conversational AI enables businesses across multiple industries to make better decisions with greater speed and scale, equally needed in supply chain management. With intelligent automation, conversational AI can close supply chain management gaps, create revenue, and expose cost savings opportunities.
1. Increased Supply Chain Performance and Productivity
Conversational AI can increase productivity and effectiveness by improving inventory management, customer service, and warehouse operations. It can also ensure that the right products are shipped as quickly as possible to the right customers and automate your supply chain processes.
2. Better Customer Engagement
Customer service is essential to supply chain management, and conversational AI can support this. In logistics, conversational AI agents are often used to interact with customers, offer assistance, and answer questions about products and services. Conversational AI for logistical customer support can also provide feedback on products and services, enabling businesses to improve product quality and customer experience.
Customers evaluating a specific supply chain management solution anticipate a continuous cycle of personalized engagement that directly addresses their questions and needs. Conversational AI has the capacity and volume to address these needs with nuance and specificity.
A conversational AI solution can perform a significant portion of the high-touch execution tasks required of a sales representative. Multiple virtual AI assistants operating in unison can help fill in gaps in staffing shortages, allowing for a greater emphasis on product optimization and delivery.
3. Improved Customer Processes
A growing supply chain management organization will have limited resources to allocate to its expanding customer base. Conversational AI can address these issues at scale and provide organizations with data and predictions to help them achieve the desired outcomes.
Voice recognition-enabled conversational AI can respond automatically based on what was asked before or after each new question during a phone call (without manually typing anything). This can either serve as a stand-alone solution or be used to support human agents in customer service interactions.
You can also ensure that customer orders are delivered on time by tracking their location and sending automated notifications. The system will automatically update as products move throughout the supply chain, keeping customers and team members informed and up-to-date on product whereabouts.
4. Enhanced Employee Experience
Historically, the supply chain management industry has been plagued by high turnover and recruiting difficulties, which can become costly. Frequently, staff members in transitional phases perform tasks that can be automated and executed by conversational AI; the right programming and applications can help identify labor gaps.
Additionally, while the conversational AI assistant performs more tedious and repetitive tasks, your team members can dedicate their time and energy to more value-added tasks. As such, you can double your workforce while putting employees' skills to the best use.
5. Real-Time Inventory and Supply Administration
As the name suggests, supply chain management is centered on supply and demand and keeping pathways open and moving. Those who rely on manufacturers must constantly be aware of their current supplies, inventory, and requirements to fulfill deliveries and orders on time.
Nonetheless, it's common for businesses to experiment with losses due to prematurely generating supply and stockpiling inventory when demand cycles are out of sync.
Conversational AI can keep a targeted, up-to-date inventory and supply needs log through a messaging platform that integrates with the legacy customer and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. This allows the system to provide the required information quickly, saving significant human capital in inventory and supply management processes. As such, supply chain management leaders and warehouse management can make accurate decisions regarding inventory and supplies while drastically reducing human error.
6. Personalized Product Suggestions
When you, as a manufacturer, have numerous multifaceted product offerings, SKUs, and product variables, your customers may feel overwhelmed by product selection. When dealing with tens or hundreds of customers who must all make these decisions, it can be a Herculean task for sales representatives to navigate effectively with each customer.
Fortunately, conversational AI can deliver customized recommendations at scale based on customer preferences. Instead of asking a sales representative to mitigate confusion for each prospect, which is bound to result in biases and errors, a conversational AI agent can provide comprehensive answers (and infinite patience) to help customers find the right product for their needs.
Conversational AI can use historical data, customer profiles, and purchasing preferences to develop a model of the ideal products for that customer, guiding them to a more informed choice. This can significantly save a company's human capital and allow sales representatives to focus on higher-level tasks such as relationship building.
7. Automated Inventory Control
By reducing human error, warehouse automation enables you to manage your operations more efficiently, helping you save time and money. Inventory management virtual AI assistants also enable:
- Increased productivity by tracking inventory as it moves between departments.
- Improved customer service through proactive notifications about delays or problems with shipments.
- Improved accuracy of inventory management by ensuring that products are always available and in stock regardless of how busy your facility is.
- Reduced waste by automating repetitive tasks such as restocking shelves and reporting timely supply and demand updates.
“The automation of activities can enable businesses to improve performance by reducing error and improving quality and speed, and in some cases achieving outcomes beyond human capabilities.” The McKinsey Global Institute.
8. Provide Employee Assistance
Through automation at scale, conversational AI can help deliver a streamlined and efficient employee experience across multiple departments and locations. Managing complex IT and HR communications between departments can quickly lead to bias, human error, and other complications, but conversational AI mitigates these issues at a high rate and volume.
Facilitating employee interactions with the help of a conversational AI assistant entails automating and streamlining recruitment, onboarding, training, and complaints. It can also facilitate general inquiries and provide comprehensive assistance to enhance the employee experience. Ultimately, conversational AI can significantly scale human capital in supply chain management by assisting with developing new devices, configuring system access, and correcting code errors, among other tasks.
Optimizing Supply Chain Management with Conversational AI
With cutting-edge tools and machinery resulting in unprecedented productivity gains, it's only natural for conversational AI to be incorporated into modern businesses' supply chain management procedures. Conversational AI extends to all supply chain operations, from employee management to customer service.
Supply chain management is complex, requiring several steps, including customer interactions, design, troubleshooting, product construction, delivery, and maintenance. In supply chain logistics, conversational automation can help businesses achieve their goals more quickly, effectively, and affordably. As more industries adopt it, you can expect more businesses from retail to healthcare–and everything in between–to (literally) join the conversation.
If you're interested in learning more about DRUID's conversational AI solutions for supply chain management, book a demo with one of our experts.