Unlocking the benefits of Generative AI to build a resilient, data-driven supply chain.

Tom Broome
8 July, 24

In an era where the resilience of supply chains continues to be tested by unpredictable demands and disruptions, finding a comprehensive solution to enable resilient strategies has never been more critical. In the first few months of 2024 alone, supply chain leaders have faced several global disruptions – from the earthquake in Taiwan having potential implications on the tech sector and the Baltimore Bridge collapse affecting the automotive industry, to the vessel attacks in the Red Sea continuing to have a significant impact on global trade. 

Supply chain resiliency has transitioned from a mere ‘nice-to-have’ to an essential business strategy. Fortunately, recent technological advancements, especially in Generative AI, offer promising solutions for navigating these complexities. Generative AI has the potential to revolutionize supply chain management across various organizations – from streamlining manual processes, effectively handling exceptions and risks, and providing invaluable insights. Furthermore, they enable autonomous self-repairing capabilities and enhance the assessment of complementary datasets throughout the supply chain process.

So, how can companies get started on this Generative AI journey? And how can these technologies be utilised to gain access to vital business insights?

Start with data enrichment

Until now, only organisations with big budgets, scaled infrastructures, and deep technical and security expertise could build the sophisticated foundation data models upon which Generative AI-driven supply chains must be built. For many enterprises, supply chain data remains fragmented, inaccessible, massive, and incomplete. These factors combined make it extremely difficult for supply chain leaders and their teams to make the decisions necessary to act quickly and confidently for true resiliency.

Yet, companies could gain a massive amount of strategic advantage by consolidating and standardising this insightful supply chain data to make critical business decisions. Since every Generative AI journey starts with data, the datasets to standardise and enrich include mainframe computers for tracking inventory and orders, distributed computing & LANS to decentralise supply chain management systems, ERP systems to integrate all aspects of operations, and eCommerce data to view orders and shipments in real-time.

As a standalone activity, data standardisation can be a highly complex and costly activity, so supply chain leaders should look for a tech provider that can enable this data enrichment and connectivity layer via a GDPR-compliant platform for a ‘single source of truth’. With AI and ML being core components of this platform, anyone responsible for supply chain management would have access to, and the ability to withdraw, standardised data to make better decisions and meet real-time operational needs.

Turning insights into action

By connecting siloed information across the supply chain, organisations can then transform their global operations with advanced insights and analytics to improve overall performance. With a Generative AI-enabled supply chain management platform, particularly one with predictive analytics capabilities, companies will be able to explore their enriched data to discover trends in performance, determine if issues are isolated or systemic, and take swift action to deliver unprecedented business value.

Predictive analytics offer the potential to identify patterns and uncover exceptions before they happen. It would, for example, be possible to determine whether a carrier is having a one-time issue or if it is likely to become a common or repeat cause of delayed shipments. At the same time, predictive analytics would make it possible for supply chain teams to evaluate historical shipping lane performance to better inform carrier assignment and overall supply chain planning. Another potential use case is analysing both computational and statistical data to provide the most dependable arrival predictions for customers to improve their experience and increase satisfaction.

In a world over-flowing with data, the transformative potential of AI in supply chain management cannot be overstated. It offers a powerful means to convert raw data into actionable insights, crucial to effectively manage the unpredictable disruptions we now face every day. Historically, the advantages of Generative AI have been reserved for organizations with substantial resources. However, access to these benefits is being democratized by working with a supply chain technology partner, who can help transform your supply chain from a cost center to a revenue generator.

Through solutions like predictive tracking and ETAs, as well as accurate, secure handling of big data to provide a single source of truth for transportation data, collaborating with supply chain technology experts empowers organizations of all sizes to harness the full potential of their supply chain – streamlining operations, enhancing decision-making, and achieving high-velocity.

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