Unlocking the secrets of the global supply chain
December 6, 2017
Supply chains are becoming ever more complex as organisations respond to the demands of an eCommerce dominated world. In a bid to retain control, organisations are now collecting huge amounts of data as products are tracked from one end of the globe to another. But how is this data set to provide the perfect platform for Artificial Intelligence (AI)?
A recent study by Gartner suggests that by 2020 30% of CIOs will include AI in their top five investment priorities. Today’s supply chains are increasingly monitored in minute detail. Products are tracked and operational performance monitored as organisations look to drive the continual improvements in efficiency required to meet escalating demands. Add in the adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) to deliver even more detailed, real-time location and performance data, and your organisation should be able to achieve new levels of agility and responsiveness.
Yet much of this granular data remains unused – it is simply impossible using traditional manual data mining tools to pull valuable insight from such vast data resources in a timely and cost effective manner. The arrival of AI and machine learning is set to change all that; organisations will be able to unveil essential information about operational performance. But what does this mean for your supply chain?
The ability to rapidly harness insight from a mass of data – both internal and external – creates the opportunity to reconsider supply chains both tactically and strategically. Potential operational risks can be predicted, enabling companies to introduce the right corrective measures. And global data insight can be mined to not only forecast the likely impact of a weather event but also rapidly reconsider alternative supply routes.
The uncertainty lingering around Brexit is currently causing a lot of companies concern, but these enhanced insights could prove key to easing any Brexit worries. Organisations who are trying to determine how best to trade in a post Brexit world, will find that this extended insight can drastically reduce the risk associated with embracing new suppliers, freight operators and border crossings. The ability to use AI to mine a mass of market data will be transformative – providing insight into essential aspects of performance and operations across new markets and routes that can improve the quality of – and confidence in – decision making.
The introduction of AI is about decision making: it is about automating the supply chain with a better decision. And as the pressure to create the perfect supply chain continues, human processing alone will very soon not be good enough: those organisations that embrace AI and add intelligence to decision making will be best placed to both respond to the inevitable disasters and plan for a very different, very profitable, future.
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Customer Success Stories
We have found them to be an excellent business partner. Through the implementation of both their supply chain and sourcing software they have more than proven themselves in giving us a product that functions the way we need it to. LIMA has been a fantastic supply chain visibility tool, calculating real accurate landed cost position throughout the order lifecycle. The LIBERTY software matches our product sourcing business needs perfectly. PLM systems I’ve previously used, often bring lots of issues through implementation, but these guys managed this and I’ve got highly satisfied users.John Amm - GM Global Sourcing, Myer
The solution has realised more benefits than we initially thought possible. Claims notifications are being handled in a fraction of the time. Suppliers are making fewer calls into the office and quality scores have increased dramatically. All of this can only have had a positive impact on the customer experienceMartin Ashfield, head of commercial property claims, AXA
The system alerts us to exceptions against our plan, allowing us to focus our attentions on solving the real issues in the supply chain. Having a comprehensive audit trail of events for everyone to see has resulted in significantly improved service levels from our suppliers and agents.Darren Walker, head of generics buying and UK trading, Alliance Healthcare
Now our buyers can exchange photographs with suppliers and have a real-time dialogue as they develop styles, while buyers out in the Far East can send detailed and accurate information back to their teams in the UK. It has certainly cut lead times and reduced errors.Maxine Walter, supply chain co-ordination manager, New Look
The time it takes to compile reports has been significantly reduced; a report which used to take five whole days to complete is now accomplished within a single day!Sam Brown, Responsible Sourcing Co-ordinator - John Lewis.