Artificial intelligence is a warehouse "game changer," but organizations are struggling to use it optimally, according to market study insights released Thursday from Lucas Systems Inc.
The study, which examined AI’s use, perception and value, was implemented by market research firm Vanson Bourne and commissioned by Lucas Systems, an AI-based software company. Survey respondents, which included executives, directors and warehouse managers from 350 U.S. and U.K. organizations, said they’re mostly using AI for inventory management, and expressed challenges with using the technology more broadly.
Executives are optimistic about AI — counting on quick and generous returns from their investments and expecting an average ROI of more than 60% within five years, the survey said. Despite this optimism, 99% of organizations say they face challenges to use AI more effectively. Top reasons included perceptions of high costs compared to benefits; concerns about risks and control of operations decisions; cost and time for training and a lack of understanding for implementation.
Nearly 90% of respondents, regardless of industry, admitted to needing more expertise and information when it comes to implementation and use.
“There’s a belief that AI is a heavy lift — that it’s difficult to use and risky or expensive,” said Ken Ramoutar, chief marketing officer at Lucas Systems. “This thinking prevents widespread adoption in the warehouse and the ability to tap AI’s true potential.”
Implementing AI-based systems can have a profound effect on management effectiveness, safety and ergonomics, picking accuracy, labor costs, employee satisfaction, and throughput, according to Lucas Systems.
“DCs are target-rich environments for using AI to optimize performance. When applied in the right places, AI is a distribution center game changer,” Ramoutar said. “AI can drive significant operational and customer experience gains.”
Timely, incisive articles delivered directly to your inbox.