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Unlocking the secrets of the global supply chain

December 6, 2017
Posted by Whitney Armstrong


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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Whitney is a key member of the commercial team within Adjuno, based in the UK, she is responsible for assisting with the sales and marketing of its supply chain solutions. Whitney has a range of experience from working within compliance at a global healthcare company, to customer service for various companies in the retail industry.