Supply chain resilience is top of everyone’s mind after the challenges from the last few years. It’s no surprise that companies want to avoid disruption, delays, and frustrated customers. To that end, they are searching for the best tools and solutions to add to their processes so that supply chain issues fade away, becoming merely yesterday’s problem. Here are a few reasons AI and Wi-Fi automation are critical for future-proofing the supply chain, and tips for how to successfully adopt these solutions.
AI Delivers Knowledge
Early adopters of AI-enabled supply chain solutions have improved logistics costs by 15%, inventory levels by 35%, and service levels by 65%. These improvements are possible because of the knowledge that AI delivers.
This knowledge is wide-ranging and depends on the selected solution. AI can:
- Predict unexpected events, like weather delays, transportation or supplier bottlenecks, or labor issues
- Forecast seasonal demands
- Predict consumer habits, both short and long term
Solutions process massive amounts of data every day and use that data to inform management teams how they can best improve demand forecasting, risk planning, supplier and customer management, logistics and warehousing. They provide a level of visibility into the entire supply chain that was previously unavailable. With a continuous influx of data from tools related to planning, logistics, production, marketing and sales, AI can help optimize company-wide operational efficiency.
Of course, this requires complete and consistent access to data, otherwise all AI-enabled predictions will be based on incomplete analytics. This is why Wi-Fi automation is critical.
Wi-Fi Automation Ensures Constant Analytics
Today’s companies, warehouses, and factories run on Wi-Fi. It’s Wi-Fi networks that connect employees to each other, to machines, and to customers. Without these networks, business comes to a halt.
This is especially true when it comes to AI. Since AI solutions depend on data that comes from Wi-Fi-connected smart devices, there can be no AI insights without the Wi-Fi. If the network goes down or has any disruptions, analytics devices can’t gather data, AI solutions can’t analyze the data, and time- and money-saving predictions can’t be made. This makes optimizing and protecting the Wi-Fi network a top priority. This is why Wi-Fi automation solutions exist.
These solutions, which also utilize AI, automate problem detection, notification and mitigation for the entire Wi-Fi network ecosystem. They deliver complete visibility and proactive problem solving so that network downtime is significantly reduced. If vendor agnostic, the solutions can analyze network activity at all points, providing holistic network visibility. Expect these solutions to:
- Identify network problems in real-time, often before user experience is disrupted
- Automatically suggest resolutions
- Consistently analyze all network activity
- Test the network and proactively identify performance problems
- Use historical analytics to identify long-term performance trends
With an emphasis on both real-time and historical data, these solutions not only support optimal performance in the present, but also address future needs. By reviewing both trends, network managers can better predict not only future network demand, but also the upgrades and updates that the network will need to optimally respond to those demands. These insights therefore result in personalized upgrade solutions that are both cost effective and efficient.
This is the visibility that is needed to transform supply chain networks, eliminate network mysteries and issues, and ensure that networks are always reliable. If the network consistently performs at optimal levels, devices will always remain connected, gathering data from machines throughout the supply chain. In turn, AI solutions will have constant access to the massive amounts of data they need to accurately make predictions that improve decision making, maximize productivity, and reduce uncertainties.
How to Successfully Implement AI and Wi-Fi Automation
The first priority is to bolster and secure the Wi-Fi network. Without its support, any AI solutions won’t deliver the expected ROI. Companies should adopt a Wi-Fi automation solution, ensure that their network is optimized and that it will support any AI solutions, and then begin AI adoption.
This process can take several months but rushing it can cause more harm than good. Before adopting any solution, network and IT managers should perform a risk assessment. Administration also must clearly identify what problem the solution will resolve. Any solution adoptions should be designed for a company’s specific business cases and growth strategies. Everyone who will use the solution should know how it will improve understanding, and answer key questions with relevant insights. These solutions should reduce complexity, not increase it.
Finally, don’t overlook cost, training time, and time to full adoption. While Wi-Fi automation solutions will begin delivering analytics the same day they are connected to the network, it will still take time for them to analyze and recognize all of a network’s typical performance metrics. Historical, future-proofing analytics will also only be formed over several months. Similarly, AI solutions will improve as they process more and more data. This takes time. Too much time from implementation to initial insights and the solutions aren’t useful, but a small transition period is to be expected.
These solutions are already helping companies be flexible, reliable, dependable and fast. Over the next few years, this support will only grow. Leveraging AI technology is crucial for companies who want to optimize supply chains.