AI-based Video Analytics Making Supply Chains Smarter The use of video is becoming vital for businesses to ensure better management of their inventory

By Abhik Mitra

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The growing use of artificial intelligence (AI)-powered video analytics over the years has radically altered and improved the operations of many processes, across industries and continents. The findings of the IHS Markit Video Surveillance Intelligence Service shows that there has been a consistent growth in the global professional video surveillance equipment market, with the worldwide market revenue jumping up from $18.2 billion in 2018 to $19.9 billion in 2019.

Supply chain management, which basically refers to the handling of various processes comprising the production flow, all till the end product is finally delivered to the customer, has become smarter using the next-gen video analytics technology. Devices that are intelligently embedded with the technology, such as CCTV cameras, are automatically able to gather crucial data in real-time through video feed. The AI-based system then adds intelligence to these devices, which are also able to carefully analyse this data, recognize any kind of critical or abnormal events during any leg of the supply chain, further sending automated alerts in real time. These crucial insights minimize the risks of any mishappenings, or perhaps completely avoid any undesirable scenarios, thereby leading to better outcomes, and of course, efficient management of supply chain.

At present, when COVID-19 has brought about ripples of turbulence for almost all businesses, requiring them to practice and adopt enhanced safety measures, video analytics has truly been playing a quintessential role by ensuring that all safety precautions are being duly undertaken to limit the spread of infection. The CCTV cameras equipped with video analytics are able to closely monitor the movement of people, making sure that social distancing norms are strictly followed and face masks are mandatorily used. In case of any violation of any of these norms, the system automatically triggers alerts, which allows for appropriate action to be taken.

Moreover, the use of video is becoming vital for businesses to ensure better management of their inventory. There are often instances of damage, theft or pilferage of goods, either when they are in the warehouse or in transit. To overcome these challenges, CCTV cameras backed with video analytics are being employed, which can efficiently and instantly track and detect any kind of suspicious activity and further send alerts to the server over the network. The supply chain managers are then able to take prompt action to ensure uninterrupted supply of the products.

Further, while during road transport, when goods are transported in bulk from one place to another, the use of video analytics makes it possible for businesses to analyse the truck utilization patterns on a daily basis and gain a view of loading/unloading activity details, load per cent capacity, etc. This aids the supply chain managers to keep a check on the overall productivity of their fleet, and make changes whenever necessary. Also, there are other KPIs like facial recognition, driver wellness, etc., that can be efficiently monitored to ensure control and optimization of the supply chain.

Needless to say, advances in technology have paved the way for many exciting opportunities for businesses. Besides bringing in visibility and transparency, video analytics has proved extremely helpful in ensuring safety, quality, timeliness, performance and productivity for businesses. By seamlessly integrating with the existing video infrastructure, the technology has been successful in increasing the supply chain efficiency, eventually translating into increased customer satisfaction and improved business profits. Isn't this disruptive? Yes, it certainly is!

Abhik Mitra

MD & CEO SPOTON Logistics

Abhik Mitra, Managing Director for SPOTON Logistics Pvt Ltd, has over 28 years of experience in the logistics, entertainment and consumer products industries. His service as the Managing Director of TNT India contributed significantly in the growth of Indian business. Prior to this, he has held several senior executive and board positions at leading organizations such as Hindustan Unilever Ltd. Under his guidance and supervision, SPOTON is making diligent efforts towards becoming India’s No. 1 Logistics Company.

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