Kroger Robot centers coming soon

by Maria Hartas, DCMME Center Graduate Assistant

Kroger Co., the largest U.S. grocery retailer, in partnership with Ocado, a dedicated online grocery retailer, will be opening two high-tech customer fulfillment centers (CFCs) in the Central Florida and Mid-Atlantic regions. The facilities will be equipped with digital and robotic capabilities following Kroger’s first CFC, also known as a “shed”, which will be operating in Monroe, OH.

Kroger and Ocado are changing the retail-service industry by leveraging robotics technology in response to growing e-commerce purchasing habits. AI-enabled robots capable of quickly fulfilling high volume orders will efficiently supply click-and-collect orders, presumably in a more accurate, timely, and cot efficient assembly process.

With a commitment to build 20 CDCs, powered by Ocado, Kroger plans to advance the company’s ability to provide customers with anything, anytime and anywhere through the applications of AI and robotic technologies.

Can robots go grocery shopping?

How does AI advance e-commerce?

What is driving retail-service industry wide changes?

Sources:

https://www.supplychaindive.com/news/kroger-announces-2-more-ocado-sites/548712/

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/kroger-and-ocado-announce-two-additional-sites-for-high-tech-customer-fulfillment-centers-300797898.html

Disruptive Innovations and their applications in Supply Chain Management – by Abhilasha Satpathy, DCMME Center Graduate Student Assistant

Procurement and supply chain are at the cusp of a disruption with AI, IoT and blockchain technology. A digital transformation is ensuing with the promise of greater efficiency in business processes, operations, transparency and security.

Spend analysis

Spend analysis used in strategic sourcing, needs a shift from the traditional descriptive analytics model to more predictive and prescriptive analytics. Organizations can develop tools to enhance their spend analysis with public domain data — from social media, weather data, demographics, suppliers, competition and logistics to name a few — to help uncover insights that can save money and improve supply chain.

 

Supplier lifecycle management

The traditional supplier lifecycle management platform, when augmented by big data from the public domain, can offer meaningful information on suppliers and supply chain risks. An IoT solution can be employed to track the quality of the product at various stages of the supply chain thus improving the efficiency in the process and providing the metrics for supplier evaluation.

 

Strategic sourcing

Supplier bids are collected using online sourcing events, but a large part of the sourcing evaluation and award process is manual in nature. Using blockchain for through all steps of the process — proposals, quotes and bids — or auction, can offer greater efficiency and transparency.

 

Contract management

A blockchain platform and its smart contract framework coupled with IoT and AI, can help facilitate greater efficiency in compliance and obligation management. AI can help develop smart wizards to build contracts based on responses to specific questions and can further be enabled for pattern recognition to identify changes to standard clauses or introduction of non-standard clauses.

Order management

The traditional order management system is internal to any organization and facilitates the fulfillment process. Blockchain platform powered with AI and IoT can drive greater efficiency in orchestrating and streamlining purchase orders, shipment details, trade documents, goods receipts, quality assurance documents, returns and accounting.

Logistics

The logistics industry is an early adopter of AI, IoT and Blockchain, and is already reaping great business benefits. IoT in the logistics ecosystem can provide great insights on inventory management, shelf life, storage temperature, delivery routes, real-time tracking of freight and more

 

Reference:

https://www.ibm.com/blogs/blockchain/2018/04/digital-transformation-next-gen-procurement-and-supply-chain/

 

Questions:

  1. How are AI, IOT and blockchain transforming the logistics industry?
  2. How is blockchain helping in order management?
  3. How can AI help in contract management ?

How Increased Global Volatility in 2019 Will Change your Supply Chain

As we move into 2019 it is easy to see that this is going to be a challenging year as there is more volatility than normal because of the geopolitical climate we are in. From the trade war with China, tariff increases, and a less stable US economy on top of the standard sources of risks – natural disasters, labor disputes, etc. – 2019 is going looking to bring new challenges to supply chains and procurement teams. According to the article “Global Volatility & AI: How It Will Affect Your Supply Chain” by Rajesh Kalidindi, these additional risks are going to lead to several changes in how a procurement department and supply chain are run.

Firstly, you are going to see a shift towards scenario planning from procurement, or in other words “What If” analyses are going to be in higher demand for helping make procurement decisions that mitigate the impact of these growing risks. Next, you are going to see a shift in procurement priorities from straightforward, consistent cost reduction to ensuring continuous supply and limiting price increases – especially as tariffs, wages, and interest rates continue to rise. In order to help achieve these changes, organizations will begin to rely on predictive and AI-enabled technologies to fill the gaps in their current capabilities and what is being asked of them. This is the first step I moving towards AI-led business. Those who already have this technology in place with begin using it in conjunction with product design to provide new insights into New Product Introduction (NPI) that will enable companies to optimize the life cycle of their products by addressing supply risks from the get-go. All of these changes will lead to a need for new procurement and supply chain employees with greater digital literacy. All of this will lead to changes in the way supply chains and procurement departments look, and it all starts with the increased market volatility being seen in 2019.

 

Source: https://www.industryweek.com/technology-and-iiot/global-volatility-ai-how-it-will-affect-your-supply-chain

 

Questions:

  1. How long until we see the majority of supply chains using AI-enabled technology?
  2. With the onset of AI-led business, how will the role of a procurement officer change in a company?

What will happen to those companies that are behind the trend of predictive and AI-enabled technologies? Will they become insignificant or still have a role to play in the market?

AI transforming driving for hearing-impaired drivers

Multinational automotive manufacturer, Hyundai, is currently testing an artificial intelligence-based technology that aims to aid hearing-impaired drivers.

Sounds are converted using software and hardware into visual and tactile cues that drivers can read. Sounds patterns are analyzed using AI and sent to two systems: the Audio-Visual Conversion (AVC) and the Audio-Tactile Conversion (ATC). The first system, AVC, converts sounds into pictograms on the head-up display of the car, while ATC transforms sounds into physical cues, such as sending vibrations through the steering wheel.

The first hearing-impaired taxi driver test has been ongoing as of December 2018 in Seoul. Hyundai is in the process of adapting technology to help drivers overcome an impairment, expanding the use of systems from complementing driver experiences to enhancing and promoting driver safety. 

How can automotive manufacturing companies benefit from AI?  

How is technology solving problems in the automotive industry?

How does AI improve driver safety? 

https://www.hyundai.news/eu/technology/hyundai-reveals-technology-to-assist-hearing-impaired-drivers/

https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/hyundai-tech-converts-sound-visuals-vibration/