In this technological era it is important to understand what things like automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are, but equally what they are not.
The expectation that automation will entirely remove the need for human involvement, or that complex processes can be fully managed by pushing a button at the beginning of your day is misplaced. We would never give up control of our businesses to a single person, so why would we expect this from technology?
Where AI comes into play is as a decision support tool. AI enables us to make smarter decisions, based on a huge range of data sets, pulled together more quickly than we could possibly hope to do on our own.
It is easy to (mistakenly) assume that the task of getting parcels from A to B is relatively simple, but in fact there are multiple data points that all need to be taken into account, and as the volume of deliveries goes up, the level of complexity managed by the system grows exponentially.
Our software pulls traffic data, driver data, route data, package size, package weight, commit times for pick up and drop off, and more, so that dispatchers can focus on fine-tuning their delivery schedules, rather than having to bury themselves in mathematics.
Another often overlooked benefit of using technology to automate parts of any business is consistency. Computers can not only crunch numbers faster than us humans, but they don’t (yet) have fights with their significant others, go out and get drunk, and turn up late for work with a hangover.
And finally, there is no need to be scared of automation. When ATMs were first introduced there was uproar from bank tellers, scared that their jobs were in danger. What actually happened is that employment in the banking sector went up, as people were freed up to move to new more interesting roles.