Each decade we are blessed with technology that can transform the way the world operates ranging from the wheel, electricity, telecommunications, and internet, to smartphones. Artificial intelligence (AI) can be touted as the next big thing along the line which can simulate human thinking process and which enables the machine to process large data sets and provide accurate decision-outcome. A majority of the companies believe AI to be the next step in the industrial revolution which has a huge potential for complete automation with minimal errors. Businesses have realized the power of AI in improving their efficiency and profitability, as a result of which they have started using AI in the field of robotics by automating tasks from production to delivery. However, businesses are exploring ways to leverage AI into their supply chain planning process including demand forecasting, production planning, and logistics planning.
Streamlined Process in Supply Chain Planning
The businesses relying on mechanical ways of handling their supply chain planning process are facing consequences of a tedious distribution management systems that handles multiple operations prone to human error. The process of manually identifying stock levels, estimating optimal replenishment cycle, and fulfilling orders are highly erroneous and inaccurate. AI systems would be able to scan through colossal amounts of historical data to streamline every aspect of supply chain planning from demand to inventory to supply.
Handle Supply Chain Disruptions
Supply chain professionals are humans after all, and humans tend to stick to things that are familiar to them. On the contrary, AI would not be bogged down with any pre-conceived notion, and act purely on the basis of data available to them and past-outcomes of decisions. For instance, IBM recently launched Watson Supply Chain, which considers infinite sources of information including social media, weather forecasts, historical data, and newsfeeds, and uses cognitive technology to track and predict supply chain disruptions to suggest the best course of action.
Apart from forecasting and scheduling functions of supply chain planning, companies are looking to incorporate AI into technologies such as driverless cars to optimize the process of logistics planning. The advent of autonomous vehicles could significantly improve accuracy, decrease lead times, reduce transportation costs, and save human labor costs. For instance, AI technology of TransVoyant is able to collect data from satellites, radars, sensors, and smartphones to track real-time movement of goods and estimate the time of arrival by factoring in weather conditions, port congestion, and natural disasters.
For more information on how your organization can leverage on AI technology to perfect the supply chain planning process: