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in Supply Chain

Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Inventory Optimization

by Vanguard Software

If you’re a supply chain business concerned about inventory optimization utilizing artificial intelligence (AI), there are several technological advancements that should be on your radar. Forbes states that 66% of CSCOs will focus on critical advances in the next few years. These advances may include:

  • Advanced analytics planning systems
  • Inventory optimization
  • New product introduction forecasting

Here’s how Coca-Cola is introducing AI into their supply chains, which is just one example of how artificial intelligence may help improve your business.

AI technology for stock displays

IDC forecasts $47 billion in growth for AI by 2020. Coca-Cola and companies like Amazon, which use AI for lead-to-cash improvements, are integrating AI technologies into their supply chain management. AI can teach itself visual classifications over time to generate its own AI models. This is visual recognition based on pre-trained image classifications with the ability to add custom classifiers.

In automating cooler display restocks, AI technology can:

  • Recognize the number of Coca-Cola bottles that are stored on display cabinets
  • Differentiate between varieties and sizes
  • Count each type
  • Refill them based on images analyzed from something as simple as a picture from a smartphone or tablet with just a few clicks

This is real-time inventory management that, when connected to a leading inventory optimization solution (like Vanguard Software), yields optimal efficiencies for a supply chain.

Coca-Cola CIO Barry Simpson has stated that with 16 million cooler displays worldwide, AI integration will help optimize inventory management and sales, which are important to global scale growth.

AI helps to minimize the need for manpower, as it can not only count the contents, but refill displays. Data can then be extrapolated to work downstream in conjunction with demand forecasting software to determine predictions that can include seasonal variations in stock inventory, future promotions, restocking orders, and even weather conditions that may affect driver delivery times or other constraints.

If you’re striving to be a market leader like Coca-Cola, you might want to enhance your set of supply chain tools by leveraging best-of-breed AI or advanced analytic platforms. Vanguard Software delivers both AI and advanced analytics in a market-leading platform known for high levels of customer adoption and strong returns on investment.

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