AI has been the hot-topic for the past year, and with good reason.

Open Linked In or Twitter and you’ll find thousands of incredible use cases, from designers creating entire websites and apps using only AI, to the way its changing customer service, research, data analysis and beyond.

Many bricks and mortar businesses like retail, offices and warehouses tend to think that AI won’t impact them. Or if it does it won’t happen for many years, some time in the future (when its someone else’s problem to think about).

But the future is now, and it’s already here.

Here how AI is being put to use by brands with physical locations to save time, money, energy and make the work place safer and smarter…

  1. Predictive Maintenance: AI has the power to analyze real-time data from sensors and inform managers of possible issues. By monitoring elements such as energy consumption, equipment performance, and environmental conditions, AI algorithms detect anomalies and predict potential failures. This technology is giving brands the power to do predictive maintenance scheduling, reduce downtime and minimize the risk of unexpected breakdowns or safety hazards. It can eliminate problems before the even appear.
  2. Energy Management: AI systems can optimize energy usage in facilities by analyzing data from smart meters, HVAC systems, lighting controls and other connected systems. AI algorithms identify energy inefficiencies with ease, then recommend energy-saving (read: “cost saving”) measures while automatically adjusting the system for optimal energy consumption. Imagine reducing your energy costs and improve sustainability… all while doing less
  3. Facility Monitoring and Security: AI-driven surveillance systems can monitor facilities in real-time, 24-7/ 365. Computer vision algorithms are able to detect suspicious activities, monitor crowd density, and identify safety hazards in the blink of an eye. They can send alerts to human security staff in case of potential threats, which gives you a faster response time and lower overall security costs.
  4. Space Planning and Optimization: AI is able analyze customer flow patterns through your store, review mass-quantities of sales data and find insights humans would miss, and look at demographic information to optimize store layouts. By considering factors such as foot traffic, product placement, and customer preferences, this technology can recommend optimal store configurations and product arrangements to maximize sales and improve the overall shopping experience.
  5. Customer Experience: Chatbots and virtual assistants are becoming more complex and “human”. They can be deployed in retail facilities to provide instant customer support. These systems answer frequently asked questions, provide product information, and assist with inquiries. All of which reduce the workload on
  6. Inventory Management: AI can analyze historical sales data, market trends, and other factors to optimize inventory levels and prevent stockouts or overstocking. AI can provide accurate demand forecasting, enabling retail brands to maintain optimal inventory levels and improve supply chain efficiency.

There’s nothing to be gained by avoiding AI or waiting to “see what happens”. Savvy teams are already making use of it across all areas of business, on and offline.

By leveraging AI, retail and other brands can streamline facility management processes, enhance operational efficiency, improve customer experiences, and reduce costs.

Food for thought.