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Why artificial intelligence and robotics boost customer loyalty

"Artificial intelligence is not just any old competitive factor, it is the competitive factor! Similar to the internet in 1996, today we can say that in the future, artificial intelligence will be the most important unique selling point of companies. Artificial intelligence is not an industry that is currently emerging, but rather a disruptive force that influences on every single industry[1]"explains Dr. Damian Borth, Director of the Deep Learning Competence Center at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence, in answer to the question whether the use of intelligent systems is already a competitive factor for companies today.

No industry has changed more as a result of the global economy than logistics: Lower costs in telecommunications, ocean freight and aviation have led to an increase in exports of an incredible 1450%[2]. Logistics has been forced to change and adapt to more complex supply chains. Contemporary buzzwords such as "artificial intelligence" or robotics evoke memories of this unprecedented feat. Moreover trends like these raise the question: Can this scenario repeat itself?

Surveys have proven that robots are finding their way into an increasingly large number of logistics properties. This comes as no surprise, since robots are included among the mega trends that, among others, the Fraunhofer working group predicts for supply chain services (SCS) for the logistics industry[3]. Experts even predict that the increasing use of robotics in production and logistics will significantly impact on picking practices in terms of speed and accuracy.

However, due to the enormous heterogeneity of the goods, “the one” perfect gripper technology hasn’t yet been found. However, it may only be a matter of time until the technical differences in shape, rigidity, strength or weight of the goods can be programmed in a way that enables robots to completely take over order picking.

Farm management of the future: Cameras meet robots

A similar vision can be developed for security and farm management: In the US, for example, robots have been developed that replace security staff in large areas such as e.g. warehouse facilities. These nevertheless (still) have slight deficits, since the robot known as "K5", in spite of its high-tech design, is unable to automatically stand up again after falling over. If computer scientists manage to automate intelligent behavior even more effectively in the near future, artificial intelligence in robots will no longer be a simple dream of the future. Straightforward tasks such as, for example, doorman services are then just as possible as tasks in the logistics and production process, also 24/7 and with consistent levels of alertness and at an ever constant level of quality. The combination of professional skin protection and the use of robots via intelligent interfaces particularly makes sense.

Synchronicity in the process: From wishful thinking to reality!

For managers of logistics processes, the use of robotic technology can reduce time and cost pressure - attributable to the increasing complexity that has long made up everyday life for every manager. And another benefit results from the use of robots: If they are connected to peripheral devices such as cameras and data loggers, processes can be monitored, analyzed and controlled. Synchrony in the logistics process will then no longer be a wishful thinking, but rather a question of process control.

If experts are to be believed, by 2055 around half of all working hours will be automated[4]. However, those who believe that robotics, artificial intelligence and automation will take away jobs from humans in times of Industry 4.0 have a short-sighted view of the situation, according to leading business consultants. One thing is clear: where old jobs disappear, new ones will be created - their creation is even necessary!  This is because increases in productivity rates can only exist where man and machines work together. 

Used properly, robots increase customer loyalty

The logistics industry can thus in this way become the victor in growing automation. Namely, when robotics creates free staffing capacities that result in a new sphere of activity in customer service or order management. Complaint processing or faster reimbursement when exchanging pallets are, however, also examples of how the use of robots across departments can have a positive effect on the workforce - and, in addition to this, boost customer loyalty. This is good evidence of the fact that more service does not necessarily have to entail higher costs. Looking at the cost of this is, of course, important, since logistics and mobility will continue to increase and define the economic growth of democratic societies in our future. A future that cannot be planned, but which can certainly be shaped.

 

Even if much of this is still a dream of the future, Big Data and intelligent process optimization via transparency is already reality today! Contact us and we will be happy to provide you with free advice on how you can benefit from the visualization of your processes



[1] https://www.aeb.com/news/de/interviews/kuenstliche-intelligenz-damian-borth.php

[2] Relevant mega trends for the transport and logistics market;https://www.springer.com/cda/content/document/cda_downloaddocument/9783834933768-c1.pdf?SGWID=0-0-45-1479517-p175239580)

[3] https://www.scs.fraunhofer.de/de/forschung/zukunftsbildlogistik.html

[4] https://www.mckinsey.com/global-themes/digital-disruption/harnessing-automation-for-a-future-that-works