AI and FMCG Supply Chains in a Recessionary environment
Updated: Nov 7, 2022
Omnichannel fulfilment essentially means thinking of fulfilling an order from end to end. Obviously, at the bottom end of the funnel, no sales can be made unless the products you are selling arrive at your store and at the top end, nothing can be made in a factory and delivered to a warehouse if materials aren’t available. With global conditions and customer needs changing quickly, as well as shrinking and, in some cases, unstable economies across much of the world putting pressure on FMCG companies and their consumers, we need to think of the supply chain as a whole now more than ever.
No person can realistically do that. There are too many moving parts. AI-based solutions can.
How AI is Essential for Omnichannel Fulfilment in a Recession
The real-time data AI like CatmanAI offers means cost and speed can constantly be weighed using simulation. Is one supplier cheaper per unit but slower to deliver? When something is flying off the shelves, it may make sense to go with it faster to avoid disappointed customers who won’t return and maximise profits even if you are getting a little less profit per purchase.
In this way, AI makes omnichannel fulfilment not only easier but cheaper. When you know everything costs in real-time, you can keep a close eye on cost-to-serve and predict and minimise fulfilment costs.
How AI-Enabled Omnichannel Fulfilment Increases Your Capacity - and Your Ability to Pivot
AI tools mean your fulfilment strategy can be completely flexible. Whatever happens, you can quickly scale or drop your inventory levels by automatically changing what you’re ordering. As things become more unpredictable, and ‘omnichannel’ means more moving parts (from materials to manufacturing to warehousing to delivery), ever being able to pivot is increasingly important. You may suddenly need to stock large amounts of ice cream and much less hot food when a heatwave is predicted - in the past, this could have taken weeks of planning. It can be arranged as soon as a weather forecast is put out.
Finally, you can make these crucial changes using AI without a department dedicated to making supply chain predictions and following trends. As a retailer or marketer, you can remain completely agile in every part of the omnichannel supply chain if you employ AI to help.
Customers Expect Omnichannel
Customers expect their buying journey to be joined up. This means they expect the fulfilment journey to be omnichannel or joined up. They don’t know it, but they’re used to quality omnichannel fulfilment. Investing in supply chain AI early puts you in a competitive position during a difficult time. Why wouldn’t you at least sign up for a 30-day free trial of Catman AI?