The smarter the data, the better the productivity
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is expected to have the most impact on industries through to 2025. In the supply chain, advanced analytics and big data continue to be viewed as the most important emerging technology areas1. Data-driven practices are an integral part of Radial’s DNA. Data serves as a driving force behind our operations, plays a crucial role in protecting our customers’ information and ensures full transparency and optimal performance of our services.
Over the following five years, a range of technologies is expected to reach the Plateau of Productivity, making hyperautomation capable of automating more complex tasks and decisions with increasing intelligence2. Hyperautomation goes beyond traditional automation methods. It involves the use of various technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), robotic process automation (RPA), and more to automate complex and end-to-end business processes. It is poised to tackle intricate tasks and decisions that have traditionally relied on human judgment, such as navigating through multiple planning scenarios. This advancement will not replace human roles but rather expand human capabilities, enhancing the precision and speed of decision-making processes.
Imagine the ability to sift through terabytes of real-time data to uncover valuable insights – a task that would be daunting and time-consuming for humans alone. With hyperautomation, these insights become accessible at unprecedented speeds, whilst quantum computing will remove computing boundaries from traditional computers. Companies reaching this level of automation will deploy humans in roles focused on controlling and orchestrating the automated supply chain while technology takes on the heavy lifting. The synergy between human expertise and AI-driven automation will revolutionise fulfilment operations, delivering newfound efficiency and precision.
I often say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day, but we have to start laying bricks”. As we journey into this era of hyperautomation, let’s first take a look at the current usage of data in Radial fulfilment operations.
AI represents a remarkable opportunity to elevate our capabilities, overcome challenges, and drive business growth. We use it to create potential scenarios and calculate and assess their associated costs, allowing us to determine the most effective and efficient methods for processing volumes. It is through data-driven insights that we are finding new opportunities to streamline our operations and drive further cost savings.
We harness data to bolster our decision-making processes. AI helps us discover patterns in the data that are too complex for human experts to recognise. This is why we are eager to implement further more and more solutions based on artificial intelligence and learning algorithms.
Driving customer success
Our client-focused business strategy seamlessly aligns with our data-driven approach. Ensuring that the information we share with our customers is authentic and presented in a readable format is of paramount importance. We offer real-time contextualization of data within our client portal. This provides complete visibility throughout our supply chain, including fulfilment events, pick-pack-ship, and last-mile delivery events. While we currently offer a self-service view of these events, we are considering the introduction of a chatbot to streamline customer access to data and enhance the customer query experience.
Robust WMS to excel in fulfilment
To excel in fulfilment, robust management systems are essential. Especially if the pivotal role in the operational framework is automation. In this context, a reliable and easy-to-use Warehouse Management System (WMS) became a fundamental requirement. We initiated the development of this system in 2021, and deployed it in December of the same year in Poland. Subsequently, we extended its usage to other facilities, including the Netherlands.
This integrated propriety WMS serves as a strong foundation for efficient management across various operations. It is also a cornerstone for connecting different types of automation, like the A-frame and goods-to-man solution, with robots driving the floor operations. Integral parts of the system are smart algorithms, which help us maximise the capacity of automation and optimise productivity.
Data-Driven Order Processing
Our key performance metric is units picked per hour. Leveraging smart algorithms, we analyse current data to determine the most efficient way of order processing. This strategic approach has led to significant improvements in the timeliness of shipments and productivity. We increased throughput for our customers. This enables them to confidently send more orders to Radial with the expectation of next-business-day shipping. Algorithms become the nitro fuel for our automation solutions.
A Testament to Quality Commitment
Radial’s customers appreciate our ongoing commitment to enhancing quality. As stated in Radials NPS’s March 2023 survey, the overall satisfaction of our customers is steadily increasing, now reaching a peak of 90%. Customers particularly appreciate our quality, assistance, flexibility, fulfilment and freight.
Data is the linchpin of Radial’s fulfilment strategy, driving innovation, efficiency, and customer-centric solutions. AI, robust systems, and data-driven insights position us to excel in the ever-evolving world of fulfilment, delivering excellence to our customers with every order.
About the author: Jan Dierckx, Radial’s Chief Technology Officer, leverages two decades of IT expertise across logistics, manufacturing, education, research, and healthcare sectors. He has worked on a wide range of projects, including the development and implementation of e-commerce solutions, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. He is also an expert in cloud computing and big data analytics. Dierckx is a passionate advocate for the use of technology to improve business performance and customer experience.
We look forward to embarking on this journey with you. Connect with us today to explore the possibilities of data-driven fulfilment!
Reports used in this article:
 “Artificial Intelligence in the Supply Chain”, Gartner for Supply Chain, 2022
 “From Automation to Autonomy: The Supply Chain 2035 Roadmap”, Gartner for Supply Chain, 2021
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