Original article can be found here (source): Artificial Intelligence on Medium
Using AI to Optimize Supply Chains
Over the years, the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in supply chain management (SCM) has increased significantly across the globe due to higher demand for transparency and visibility on supply chain data and processes, along with the need to enhance customer service. The leading industries in terms of adoption of AI in SCM are telecom (26%), high tech (23%), healthcare (21%), professional services (19%), and travel, transport and logistics (18%), among others. Recently, UPS Supply Chain Solutions partnered with Softeon to design a warehouse network technology for making distribution centers smarter and more efficient by speeding up order intake as well as delivery. The aim is to minimize delays for customers by ensuring delivery on time. Uber Freight has partnered with BluJay Solutions to create a robust global supply chain based on a cutting-edge freight technology. The new technology interface enables customers to obtain prices/quotes (for booking and carrier matching) in real time, leveraging a network of more than 50,000 carriers, and, thereby, enhances visibility. These partnerships underscore the use of AI in optimizing supply chain functions. The benefits of integration of AI notwithstanding, several organizations are unable to implement it due to the following challenges: Procurement experts opine that the recent disruptions in supply chain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic more than ever highlight the need to integrate AI in supply chain for optimizing the operation. To avoid critical supply chain failure, it is essential for an organization to have complete visibility on the overall ecosystem; to accurately forecast demand and supply; and to optimally plan logistics and delivery, among others. AI, along with machine learning (ML), enables organizations to accurately foresee challenges/issues in supply and accordingly take necessary (precautionary/corrective) steps beforehand. Improving End-to-End Visibility and Response Time With the help of AI solutions, real-time and historical data from multiple connected devices and systems (including SCM, ERP and CRM systems) can be gathered and analyzed to obtain broader and deeper operational insights that are very useful for decision-makers. Using these solutions, the procurement team can get visibility on the supply chain, foresee challenges (whether within the organization, such as breakdowns, or outside, for example, delay in shipments) and make alternative arrangements to minimize the impact on supply chain. Delay in responding promptly will adversely affect supply chain and, consequently, the bottom line.
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