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Supply Chain Graphic of the Week: Use of Process Automation and AI in Retail

Interesting View from McKinsey on What Merchandising Processes will be Most Impacted


Sept. 26, 2019


The consultants at McKinsey recently noted that much of the discussion about the future of work in retail has focused on the use cases for processes automation and AI in stores.


However, McKinsey notes, supply chain and headquarter functions (such as merchandising) will also be affected massively.


But not equally across processes.


The chart below from McKinsey looks at various processes it categorizes as falling under the merchansizing function and the degree to which process automation and AI are likely to have an impact on each.



It is intersting to note that supplier management will be little affected, according to McKinsey, while merchandise planning, pricing and promotions decisions, and inventory replenishment will all become a lot more automated.


"Automating these and other time-intensive processes will enable merchants to increase the time they spend on more strategic activities, creating value for the enterprise," McKinsey says.


Of course, that comment about focusing on more strategic activities always gets pulled out when the senstive subject of automation and jobs arises.


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