What is the role of artificial intelligence going to be in logistics and how will it affect DHLC?

Jack asked on Aug 28, 2018

Hi DHL Consulting!

Obviously, the effect of AI on management consulting is currently a hot topic. I would like to know your point of view on this, with focus on AI and logistics.

How do you think AI will affect your company?

Looking forward to hearing back from you!

Jack

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Anonymous updated his answer on Aug 29, 2018
Consultant

Hello Jack,

Thank you for your questions. Indeed, AI is one of the current hot topics and a lot can be said about it since it covers many topics such as virtual assistants, intelligent route optimization, predictive demand and capacity planning, etc. For logistics, I think it would add value by optimizing operations, improving the customer experience, and creating new products.

Narrowing down to Machine Learning and how it impacts our work as management consultants: I think that the nature of the questions we are trying to answer is changing from backward-looking to more forward-looking - from descriptive and diagnostic analytics to more predictive and prescriptive analytics. It does not require us to become coders, but it does require us to have enough background knowledge to work closely with data scientists.

On the other hand, the core skills of a management consultant will still be needed. Machine Learning is excellent in discovering new patterns in large sets of data (terabytes of data, which is becoming more prevalent). However, it is not able to derive the "whys" of these patterns, which would be our task as management consultants - developing and validating hypotheses and providing insights to our clients.

Hope this gives some light to your question. DHL's whitepaper "Artificial Intelligence in Logistics" provides more details on some use cases of AI in logistics: https://www.logistics.dhl/content/dam/dhl/global/core/documents/pdf/glo-ai-in-logistics-white-paper.pdf

Best regards,
Noel

(edited)