As AI tools are becoming more accessible for companies, businesses should evaluate existing possibilities to efficiently exploit the opportunities AI offers. Artificial intelligence is getting more significant role in automation, data analytics, and natural language processing, however making the most out of the available technology can be challenging. Our Digital Lab developed solutions to answer the special needs of retails, focusing on warehouse inventory and a digital platform for small and medium retail businesses.
1. Automatic inventory
Warehouse inventory is a tedious task that can halt everyday operations. Besides it often requires the rental of specialized equipment and the recruitment of employees and for a large business it can mean significant costs. In this case, an AI-powered inventory tool can fundamentally change the inventory process by taking over much of the routine.
How it works
An automatic warehouse inventory system is installed on a standard forklift or a reach truck. It scans the barcodes on the pallets and logs the data into a spreadsheet in real-time. The scanning speed and accuracy are impressive: 2.5 seconds per pallet with 99.9% accuracy. The inventory tool requires neither any special equipment nor changes to the room. It supports various types of pallets and multiple barcodes even under the film. The system independently calculates the height of cargo on the pallet. The tool is launched and operated through a mobile app installed on a tablet.
Here you may ask a rational question: where is the artificial intelligence? However, inventory in practices often includes non-standard tasks that cannot be solved by a regular barcode reader. For example, determining where one cell ends and another begins (one cell can contain two half-pallets with different numbers of layers). A system without AI and computer vision would be unable to distinguish between these two half-pallets and understand that they stand on the same cell.
Experience shows that the implementation of such a system takes about 2 weeks after its delivery. The project implementation team consists of only 3 people: an operations engineer, a software developer, and a project manager.
Such an inventory system implemented for one 3PL operator exceeds manual inventory in all key indicators by almost two times:
The cost of one inventory, $
The cost of inventory 1 place, $
Time of inventory of one pallet, sec.
Total time of inventory, hours
2. Platform for retail
Large retail chains have long started their digital transformation journey. They spend considerable resources to create in-house solutions or buy ready-made solutions. Advanced technological solutions grant large retailers a competitive advantage over medium and small businesses. These solutions leverage big data technologies, artificial intelligence, machine learning, computer vision, and the Internet of Things.
Softline gained experience in the implementation of IT solutions to optimize processes and create added value at large, federal-scale networks. As a result, we have developed a single platform with dozens of tools for the digitalization of small and midsize retail chains.
How it works
The platform for stock inventory and control on store shelves now offers the following tools: Accounting (identifying virtual stock, cleaning the catalog), Supply Chain (sales forecast for the week, order recommendations), Promo Management (forecasting demand for promo goods), and Analytics (online store discipline dashboards, stock availability, anomalies, and key metrics for executives).
Softline’s Digital Lab combines a unique set of digital competences and modern methods to support the digital transformation journey. Our experts can create solutions according to your specific business requirements and put them into action as quickly as possible. After analyzing some of the most common challenges experienced in the retail industry, we have collected a series of solutions that can improve efficiency and contribute to business growth. Learn more about the possibilities for your business by contacting our colleagues in the form below.
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