How can artificial intelligence fuel the logistics industry?

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is the buzzword of the year with many big giants in almost every industry trying to explore this cutting-edge technology. Right from self-checkout cash registers to AI-based applications to analyse large data in real-time to advanced security check-ins at the airport, AI is just about everywhere.

Currently, the logistics industry is bloated with a number of challenges related to cost, efficiency, security, bureaucracy, and reliability. So, according to the experts, new age technologies like AI, machine learning, the blockchain, and big data are the only fix for the logistics sector which can improve the supply chain ecosystem right from purchase to internal exchanges like storage, auditing, and delivery.

AI is an underlying technology which can enhance the supplier selection, boost supplier relationship management, and more. When combined with big data analytics AI also helps in analysing the supplier related data such as on-time delivery performance, credit scoring, audits, evaluations etc. This helps in making valuable decisions based on actionable real-time insights.

Here are a few ways in which AI has contributed to the logistics industry.

Enhanced Customer Experience

It’s now easy to improve the relationship between the logistics provider and customers with tailored solutions using AI. For e.g. The world’s leading logistics company DHL Parcel in cooperation with Amazon provides voice-based service in order to track couriers. This way their customers can get the shipment information using Amazon’s Alexa just by using speech recognition technology. Echo can also signal DHL for assistance in case of any problem with the shipment which can be later redirected to the customer assistance department.

Improves Production Planning and Factory Scheduling

AI works best for production planning and factory scheduling as it helps them to balance the constraints automatically. For e.g: AI can be used to reduce the supply chain latency for most popular or highly customized products. It can predict the demand and optimize the flow of those critical parts in order to keep the production moving smoothly.

Computing Power and Speed

With the development of supercomputers, AI contributes in significantly improving the processing power as well as the efficiency. The latest example is the development of the GPU (Graphical Processing Units) to expand the CPU functionalities to a great extent.

Algorithmic Advancements

The innovative algorithm of AI helps in detecting patterns and the discovery of correlations which are otherwise difficult or impossible to find by humans or conventional technology alone. This smart algorithm by AI is used to get information about the number of trucks available for delivery in real-time which can then be useful to know the price and approximate time frames for future deliveries.

Intelligent and Automated Warehousing

In England, you may find large warehouses that have automated operations run by robots who are able of completing around 65,000 orders (nearly 3.5 million grocery items) over the course of a week.

Using the operational capacity of the “hive-grid-machines” designed by the British online grocer Ocado, these automated warehouses are capable of moving, lifting, and sorting grocery items, which are then packaged and sent out for delivery. This hugely reduces the amount of time it takes to complete the majority of the company’s online orders.

In Nutshell

The increased data reliability introduced by these new technologies might cover the way for the back office AI in logistics. The digitization of transaction data is becoming more secure and widespread which allows AI to take over menial but as well as technical paperwork. Banks, accounting firms, and insurance companies are already using this type of technology to streamline the processing of client data and the logistics industry is making its moves to take benefit of this tech as well.

AI when coupled with other intelligent technologies and the vast amount of features it brings along is all set to redefine the entire global supply chain while creating sustainable value. AI is still in its nascent stage but when compared to the prevailing technologies and process in the global supply chain, it can be the salvation for the industry.

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5 Trending Mobile App Design and Development Principles

Mobile Apps Design & Development

As said by Steve Jobs “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. The design is how it works”.  This quote points to the significance of a good user interface design also to the rich user experience.

The design of your mobile app plays a very important role. It can literally make or break your mobile application development. So in order to make your mobile app success, it has to be gorgeous inside and out.

Below are some best UI design principles that can enhance the usability and appeal of your app.

Focus on the customer benefit

Remember always customer first. Keep their benefit in mind before you design anything. Never design something simply because you can reuse a pattern or component for another feature. Create design patterns that help ground us as a system and unify the experience across an ecosystem of products, but they should by no means be the first or last stop in the design process.

Simple Registration

It is always advisable to allow your user to look around as a guest first and then register on their own terms when you are ready or when functionality requires some minimal data. Show them the value registration will provide such as saving the liked items or better experience across platforms. And if you don’t want to go for registration then you can use social login to allow users to enter with their existing Facebook or Google ID.

Make your UI platform specific

When you design an app for a user interface, you do not want to use the exact same design layout for your mobile app if it will be released on different operating systems (OS).  The different versions for Android and iOS should each have unique details that are in-line with their respective OS. The look and feel of your app should flow with the different operating systems it will be available for use on.

Cut the clutter

Mobile apps generally work best when focused on a limited number of tasks and the ability to accomplish those tasks easily. To do this, you do not want to overwhelm your users with options or unnecessary elements as they will merely distract and impede them. Take time to focus on the content and features on each screen of your app, retaining only the most important, relevant and necessary functionalities. Each screen should only display to users the options that they require to accomplish their intended task. Filling the screen with unnecessary clutter confuses users and reduces the quality of the user experience.

Minimize the Need to Type

Keeping the typing requirement to the minimum can be very comfortable and is often error-prone. Try and keep forms simple with necessary information asked and use auto-complete wherever applicable. You can customize the keyboard with the type of query. So, all you have to do is display a numeric keyboard when asking for a pin, showing a search button in place of entering when searching, and including ‘@’ and ‘.com’ buttons when asking for email IDs.

Bottom Line

These are few guidelines which will get you started on your mobile first design process, especially for native mobile. Trust your gut, follow your instincts, but always remember to respect the platforms, focus on the customer benefit, and think device first. Do not resign from a cubicle of your workplace instead of design with your end user in mind. Avoid too many features in your app, it should have one primary purpose and solve it with perfection.

If you want to discuss and know more about the UI/UX principles, get a quote from our experts.