The fourth industrial revolution has brought several drastic changes to supply chain management processes. With the advent of cross-industry IoT applications, supply chain and logistics operations are becoming increasingly complex. However, the widespread adoption of several innovative technologies has brought significant improvements in supply chain processes due to automation. Artificial intelligence (AI) is improving the management of inventory movements with advanced analytics and real-time tracking. Chatbots and virtual assistants are the most recent AI applications that are improving supply chain processes.
In this blog post, we will discuss how chatbots improve day-to-day communications in the supply chain.
The traditional information-gathering process in supply chain management requires person-to-person interactions. For instance, if a routing problem arises, a forklift operator approaches a warehouse manager through a wireless headset. With the forklift being idle, the manager then assesses the problem, looks at other scheduled work and suggests an alternate route. These person-to-person interactions are time-consuming and prone to errors.
With chatbot software in place, the forklift operator can simply speak a question into a headset. The chatbot then analyzes data from across the warehouse in real-time to notify the operator of the best action. It accelerates decision-making ability for improving processes across the entire supply chain.
Advanced Inventory Management
Traditional inventory management systems have several shortcomings like inappropriate tracking methodologies, superfluous inventory, and human errors leading to several discrepancies. AI-powered chatbots provide accurate information to warehouse managers about their existing stock and inventory movements.
Order and Tracking Related Issues
Situations may arise when a customer wants to cancel an order or modify it to add or remove some products. A chatbot can process such requests by using the information like tracking IDs and integrating it with the unique customer ID. Chatbots can also assist in tracking multiple shipments. Customers simply need to enter their tracking ID to access the shipment details on the go.
Chatbots can gather, analyze, and process a large amount of customer data. It includes customer habits, their product preferences, frequency of queries, the percentage of fulfilled orders, supplier’s location, and so on. The data collected by chatbots is evenly segregated using customer ID and tracking ID for easy retrieval and accessibility. Analyzing customer data enables various organizations to understand their customers’ preferences and predict their future requirements. It further enables them to strengthen their customer relations.
Using predictive analytics and ML, chatbots can effectively forecast the demand for a particular product. It can also predict potential changes in trends and keep suppliers and manufacturers in sync with their strategies.
Feedback and Surveys
Feedback and surveys are essential to align business operations in-line with customers’ requirements and expectations. To improve their products and services, businesses must seek feedback from their customers. Using chatbots is the most convenient way to obtain customer feedback without wasting effort.
Businesses often conduct surveys to categorize their customer base and gain insights into their personal habits and shopping preferences. However, a majority of customers don’t have time to participate in these surveys that typically take 5-10 minutes. Chatbots can be extremely useful in conducting surveys as they eliminate the need to fill extensive online forms. They can simply obtain the required information by indulging in human-like interactions with the customer.
Companies rely heavily on drivers for delivering and procuring goods. Supply chain managers can use chatbots to retrieve real-time information about drivers and vehicles in transit. The real-time information enables them to manage deliveries as per the availability of vehicles and manpower.
Chatbots can significantly improve supply chain processes with effective strategies for tracking, monitoring, and performance optimization. The use of chatbots in the supply chain industry is increasing manifold with innovative functions designed to handle the growing complexities. It significantly improves the day-to-day communications and reduces human efforts so that businesses can focus on their core operations and services.
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