Inventory Management

Why AI for Inventory Management Could Be The Next Big Thing

May 24, 2024 • 5 min read

In recent years, many industries have seen remarkable business results brought on by advances in artificial intelligence. In this article, we’ll zero in on how artificial intelligence may soon play a major role in optimizing inventory management for businesses of all shapes and sizes. 

Of course, modern inventory management software is already a powerhouse of cutting-edge tech. Inventory software like Sortly helps businesses transform their inventory with intelligent features like mobile barcoding, low stock alerts, automated reporting, and more. In recent years, this technology has become even more intuitive and easy to use.

In the near future, AI may play a bigger role in inventory management and allow businesses to further optimize their inventory strategies. Read on to learn six ways artificial intelligence may influence inventory management sooner than you think.

6 ways artificial intelligence may soon assist with inventory management

There are several ways artificial intelligence may soon help businesses better manage and automate their inventory.

1. Virtual AI assistants for inventory

Imagine a world in which you never have to manually search for inventory information in your system. Instead, you would simply ask the AI assistant in your inventory software, “How many units of PVC pipe do we have in stock?” or “When do I need to re-order more surgical masks?” or even “Who was the last employee to use the laser cutter?” 

AI language models are becoming increasingly conversational and, once applied to your inventory system data, can make finding inventory information as easy as having a conversation with a friend (albeit a very well-informed one). We predict that virtual assistants will soon become the norm in inventory management software and will make managing inventory digitally even easier and more convenient for business owners.

2. Smarter reordering

 Knowing exactly how much inventory to order is both an art and a science. After all, optimized reordering requires a complete understanding of not only what inventory is currently on hand but when that inventory may expire or fall into obsolescence, where it’s stored, where it’s needed, how long it will take for new orders to be fulfilled by suppliers, and so much more.

While there are already several best practices for practicing airtight inventory control, experts believe that artificial intelligence will make reordering even easier. Because AI can seamlessly marry multiple data points (i.e., safety stock, reorder point, lead time) with all technical inputs and weigh them against cash flow and demand forecasts, businesses utilizing AI for inventory management would be able to place orders more confidently than ever before.

Employee using AI for inventory reordering

3. AI-enhanced demand forecasting

Artificial intelligence may also play a significant role in inventory forecasting. Also known as AI inventory forecasting, this feature will soon allow businesses to combine data about past inventory usage with current market trends to pinpoint precisely how much inventory they may need in the coming months or years.

While demand forecasting has been improved with artificial intelligence and other software for years, expect to see more affordable, accessible ways for even the smallest of businesses to integrate AI into demand forecasting. 

4. Improved supply chain optimization

Artificial intelligence will also help improve logistics at every touchpoint along the supply chain, as AI can enhance visibility and efficiency in a variety of ways. Most notably, artificial intelligence will help businesses with limited time and resources closely monitor changes to their supply chain. 

These new insights should help businesses better understand transportation logistics, supplier performance, production schedules, and more. The benefit of AI here is clear: by providing more transparency, companies will employ more informed decision-making than ever before.

Related: Why Supply Chain Traceability Matters to Small Businesses

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5. Improved data and analytics usage

If your business uses inventory management software to optimize and track its inventory usage, it already has a host of data and analytics at its fingertips. That being said, it’s one thing to have all these numbers and figures and another to know exactly what to do with them. Artificial intelligence can help businesses do so much more with the information they already have on hand.

For example, artificial intelligence can analyze enormous data sets to uncover critical insights about inventory trends a business would have likely never discovered on its own. The same goes for details about supplier performance and customer behavior. Buried underneath data is a treasure trove of information that can help your business make more informed decisions, month after month and year after year.

6. Warehouse automation

Finally, artificial intelligence will continue to streamline warehouse operations. While warehouse automation has been popular for decades now, artificial intelligence will continue to integrate with warehouse management systems to improve automation in picking, packing, and shipping. 

The goal is to reduce human error while boosting efficiency and fulfilling orders more quickly. This can help improve everything from customer experience to a business’s bottom line.


Sortly is a smarter inventory solution

Sortly is an inventory management solution that helps you track, manage, and organize your inventory from any device, in any location. We’re an easy-to-use inventory software that’s perfect for large or small businesses. Sortly builds inventory tracking seamlessly into your workday so you can save time and money, satisfy your customers, and help your business succeed.

With Sortly, you can track inventory, supplies, parts, tools, assets like equipment and machinery, and anything else that matters to your business. It comes equipped with smart features like barcoding & QR codinglow stock alertscustomizable foldersdata-rich reporting, and much more. Best of all, you can update inventory right from your smartphone, whether you’re  on the job, in the warehouse, or on the go.

Whether you’re just getting started with inventory management or you’re an expert looking for a more efficient solution, we can transform how your company manages inventory—so you can focus on building your business. That’s why over 10,000 businesses globally trust us as their inventory management solution.

Start your two-week free trial of Sortly today.