The world is moving towards automation at a steering rate, and retail inventory management is no different. While the usefulness of automation and artificial intelligence is not worth the cost in some areas of the industry, inventory management seems to be the exception. With the increasing size of retail stores and more products being sold each year, keeping track of it all is beyond a human. There are so many details that need to be precise; otherwise, the whole system will fail.
The inventory management and replenishment systems today are more robust than you think. (You can learn more about them by clicking here). Here are some real-world benefits of integrating them into your business:
It’s just faster:
You could hire the most skilled inventory manager, but they will still be beaten by an average system, much less an AI-powered one. Automatic inventory replenishment systems have direct access to the data collected by your sales system. It notices every single sale and reacts accordingly in an instant. Human intervention is still necessary to authorize some large orders etc., but it is still blistering fast.
It’s much less prone to mistakes:
As mentioned earlier, human error can lead to some stress at best and total system failure at best. Sure, people learn with experience and get more and more vigilant, but they are still human. Computers, on the other hand, are not susceptible to the same errors a human will make. It will never mistake a six for an eight. This is not to say that the coding of these tools is perfect; it isn’t. But the developers have built self-correcting functions that ensure one hundred percent accuracy 99.99% of the time.
It makes predicting the future easier:
Predicting human behavior is hard, at least for us humans. Machines, on the other hand, with their heaps of processing power, can spot emerging trends and act accordingly in a matter of minutes. We like to think that humans are unpredictable, but we really aren’t. We repeat things and follow trends, consciously to subconsciously. AI-powered inventory systems can spot emerging trends and order excess of the product that will be selling during the trend.
The only thing that the machine will struggle with is internet trends. They are fast, abrupt, and come out of nowhere. If a video of a kitten with a hat goes viral, all of a sudden, there are way too many people looking to buy tiny baby hats. The computer had no way of knowing this surge. But with these few exceptions, these systems do a really good job of staying ahead of the curve.
It makes the whole process efficient:
The modern inventory management systems are not just a buy-now button. They offer facilities for the whole process of reviewing the product from the supplier to stocking it on the shelf. These automated systems take out the guesswork and leave workers with clear instructions on how to execute a restock with the most efficiency. Bonus points if the supply chain includes robots controlled by these management systems.