Walmart is equipping Canadian corporate employees with an AI tool.
All Walmart Canada home office associates are getting a generative artificial intelligence (AI)- based personal assistant.
The retailer, which includes a generative AI-based chatbot feature called “MyAssistant” in the Me@Campus “super app” it provides to tens of thousands of U.S. corporate employees, is now offering MyAssistant for secure internal use for all home office-based associates in Canada.
MyAssistant is designed to help free up time for corporate employees from daily manual tasks. Walmart Canada says the tool will provide AI-based support such as speeding up the drafting process, summarizing large documents or meeting notes, or serving as a collaborative partner, allowing associates to shift focus to more complex operations.
Generative AI is based on machine learning (ML) and can create new content and ideas, including conversations, stories, images, videos and music.
According to Walmart Canada, its goal for MyAssistant is to eventually have the solution serve as more of a self-service tool for associates, with full integration with the company’s intranet and HR platforms, to serve as a single source for corporate associates to gain access to information on demand.
“As a people-led, tech-powered omnichannel retailer, we’re always looking for ways to integrate technology into our daily lives to help simplify and modernize our ways of working,” said Michon Williams, CTO, Walmart Canada. “We want to lean into this technology to help our associates simplify tasks in their day to day.”
“We’re excited to embrace this new technology,” said AnnMarie Mercer, chief people officer, Walmart Canada. “For Walmart Canada, Gen AI is not a replacement for human work or thinking. It’s a tool associates can leverage to complement the way we work and improve our productivity.”
Walmart Canada also utilizes AI and machine learning (ML) across its supply chain and stores to support inventory management, forecasting, storage profiling, and routing optimizations.
Walmart leverages AI across the enterprise
Walmart Canada parent company Walmart has been actively integrating AI into its enterprise. In June 2023, the company rolled out the Walmart GenAI Playground, an early-stage internal generative AI tool where employees can explore and learn about the new technology.
Walmart also utilizes applied AI to identify when an item purchased online can be fulfilled from one of its 4,700 stores instead of fulfillment centers. This step is intended to reduce both the number of miles driven and the number of boxes used for shipping.
To ensure that items can more sustainably travel from stores to customers’ homes, the retailer combines multiple orders on single delivery routes and delivers them using electric vans. Other examples include the retailer utilizing advanced AI capability and employee expertise to streamline digital product discovery for Spanish-speaking customers.
At the kickoff of its 2023 Investment Community meeting earlier this year, Walmart unveiled a plan for what the discounter says is “a new more connected and automated supply chain which will improve the experience for customers and associates and simultaneously increase productivity.” Over half of Walmart’s fulfillment centers could be automated within three years. The retailer expects the outcome to improve in-stock levels, inventory accuracy and flow across all fulfillment channels.