The role of AI in supply chain

Judelyn Gomes

09 Sep 2019

The role of AI in supply chain

The term Artificial Intelligence has been airing in the technical world in recent times. It has revolutionized every industry. But have we ever pondered on what exactly does AI do? Where is it being deployed? According to an HBR study, most of the application is in IT, with IT security and IT troubleshooting being the two biggest areas. But AI is being deployed in every imaginable industry, from eCommerce to finance, and from telecommunications to manufacturing.

 

Here is a look at the five scenarios in the supply chain ecosystem where AI has already begun to have an impact.

 

1 Planning

 

In a volatile landscape, planners need to consider every imaginable variable and external influence to orchestrate a complex symphony which pertains to the modern supply chain. Powerful algorithms can deliver valuable insights that no humans could, because not all humans can access and evaluate all the available data.

 

2 Procurement

 

Conversations with multiple stakeholders and addressing minor issues on a day-to-day basis is something that is being farmed out to chatbots, while the humans focus on the big picture. AI is also being used to manage governance and compliance, payments, invoicing, and other documentation. This secured documentation of important information paves an established way for a futuristic business venture.

 

3 Forecasting and Warehousing

 

On completion of procurement the bigger question that lingers is, how do we manage the supply and inventory? This juncture is somewhere that AI can bite its teeth into. The power to crunch big numbers means an algorithm can track hundreds of individual pieces of inventory, calculate usage, forecast demand, and even respond to fluctuations in the manufacturing process itself.

 

4 Logistics efficiency

 

With autonomous vehicles set to become a reality soon, the potential for supply chain AI to work with Transportation AI can be bridged by helping manage global trucking and shipping 24×7. This efficiency results in cleaner vehicles with appropriate goods safety and undoubted delivery.

 

5 Breaking language barriers

 

The advent of Natural Language Processing (NLP) has enabled teams that don’t speak the same language to communicate and collaborate more easily. According to a GreenBiz report, “this not only helps break down barriers that hinder the supply chain process, but also streamlines auditing and compliance processes.”

 

In a fast pacing world, AI emphasizes on bringing to light the amazing creation of intelligent and smart machines that are efficient to work and react like humans. Artificial Intelligence is an ever-evolving branch of technology that involves a wide array of research which redirects to robots, data mining, control systems, and many more. In a nutshell, AI can acumen on the given input and explain the same on the output.  


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