Artificial Intelligence (AI) extends into the lives of millions of people. It exists in smartphones, on factory floors, and anywhere else connected to the Internet of Things (IoT). However, applying AI in retail facilities management can optimize processes and enhance operations in profound ways. Facilities Managers seeking to take advantage of automation and AI need to know a few things about how to make the most of it.
AI in Retail Facilities Management Is a Game Changer
AI relies on a strong database, and modern retailers are generating more data through the use brick-and-mortar loyalty programs, e-commerce platforms, and even mobile apps. This information can be used to improve facilities management in locations with higher traffic or problems that are being discussed through social media or by reviewing past purchases and consumer activities.
Using AI in retail facilities management will increase customer retention rates, reduce problems encountered during the shopping experience, and reduce disruptions, explains Daniel Faggella of TechEmergence. Imagine a malfunctioning HVAC compressor. If it overheats during business hours, it could result in the loss of thousands of dollars in product and sales. However, AI-based systems could identify the issue before it disrupts operations, generate a work order upon identification of the issue, schedule repairs to take place during vacancy hours, verify the repair after completion, complete payment processing to the appropriate field service vendor, and adjust the capital budget as necessary.
It Enhances Logistics and Delivery, Critical Components of Omnichannel Sales Strategies
It is important to consider the effect of AI in retail facilities management outside of the brick-and-mortar storefronts. Using AI in manufacturing and warehousing facilities can reduce the costs associated with producing each product. This results in lower product price points, and by optimizing space utilization and logistics, product cycles decrease.
In the omnichannel supply chain, which combines all channels into a seamless experience for customers, using AI to reduce delays and get product to the right place, at the right time, and at the right price, as noted by Cerasis, will improve profitability. In turn, more attention can be placed on creating positive customer experiences, regardless of their preferred shipping or shopping method, even though e-commerce experiences may take place from start to finish in a virtual environment.
AI Powers Robots in Retail From Manufacturing to Purchase and Beyond
Any discussion of AI is incomplete without touching on the use of robots, but robots go further than the Sci-Fi imagined characters working in a store to ring up purchases. Robotics could be used to deliver goods and services by drone (driverless cars or even flying drones) or complete everyday facilities management tasks, like cleaning the facility or restocking merchandise.
AI Permeates Everyday Households, Although People May Not Even Realize It
AI is everywhere. It is embedded in smartphones, but many do not realize these systems are a type of AI. In retail facilities management, such systems could be used to provide a connecting point to facilities management controls, like automated alerts for emergencies, creating work orders and more. Simply using a payment processing app on a smartphone represents another application of AI in retail facilities management. This is due to the need to maintain the system and connect it with other systems in a given establishment, like the point-of-sale system.
AI in Retail Facilities Management Is Already Here; Start Using It to Boost Operations
AI in retail facilities management is integral to using next-generation shopping and personal assistants, and as Google, Cortana, and Alexa move forward, AI will grow in importance as part of the overall shopping and guest experience. Find out how your organization can take advantage of AI in retail facilities management by maximizing the data integrity of your systems, bringing disparate systems together and embracing digital technologies for facilities management.