The Impacts of Machine Learning for Warehouse Management

It’s no longer enough to fulfill demand – you must anticipate it, predict it and make smarter, faster decisions. – HighJump

Machine Learning is set to revolutionize warehouse and logistics management by creating greater efficiency and inter-connectivity while reducing the risk of human error. This will allow for better allocation of resources, improving productivity and increasing profitability.

What is machine learning?

Machine learning is a sub-field of Artificial Intelligence that refers to computers that are quite literally programmed to ‘learn’. These machines generate meaningful information for their operators using self-teaching algorithms to analyze high data volumes. They can also use received data to adapt their own processes and task execution. All of that without the need for human interaction!

Many industries have benefited from machine learning such as healthcare, law, and automotive, to name a few. In law, the technology can filter through large amounts of important information in a short time span, reducing hours of work that can then be spent on other tasks. In healthcare, it’s being used to for faster diagnosis for patients, while also predicting future problems a patient may face. In automotive… well, think of self-driving cars!

 

How does it apply to warehouse management?

There has been a significant increase on warehouse and supply chain automation over the past few years. This shift has brought sizable economies of scale by improving stock keeping accuracy and efficiency.

Machine learning, through data collection and analysis, will further improve distribution centers and warehouses by:

-          Creating better logistics schedules;

-          Forecasting ideal inventory quantities to meet clients’ demands, reducing overstock and allowing companies to better prepare for busy periods like Christmas, Black Friday and Cyber Monday;

-          Generating better analysis of risk factors that affect product pricing, allowing managers to secure higher profit levels;

-          Higher shipping accuracy and speed (by calculating the best routes incorporating traffic information);

-          Ability to report on consumer trends, allowing managers to better match their product offerings with their customers’ needs

Machine learning will exponentially improve report generation and fill many previously blank gaps for managers, allowing better allocation of resources and resulting in higher profitability.