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Artificial Intelligence and the Supply Chain Disruptor

By LLamasoft Editorial Team  October 9, 2019

Can you see the minute changes that influence your supply chain daily?  Even the most successful companies that spend time caring for their supply chain may miss the subtle clues of change that can snowball into something big if not reviewing and optimizing your network on a regular basis.

Think of the many data inputs that feed your supply chain – customer demand information, available inventory, network configuration, distribution center location, external data such as weather and duties and risk within your suppliers. Much like a living entity, the supply chain is constantly growing, contracting and adapting as a result of internal and external factors. Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology is a key tool the most innovative companies use to keep their supply chain moving smoothly, quickly and cost-effectively – despite all the disruption.

Disruption is a broad and oft used word in technology. What exactly is this “disruption”? At its core, disruption is change – change to the way you do business, change to the customer’s buying decision, change to how you do your job, change to the way you live your life. This change/disruption affects supply chain professionals when AI and machine learning help spot trends that humans can’t quickly discern and in the future, autonomously identify and adapt processes impacted by trends that were previously managed through human labor.

This is a topic that Kevin Overdulve, Deloitte Belgium’s Director of Supply Chain and Network Operations, explores when he sat down with Supply Chain Digital magazine for ‘Think Big. Start Small. Scale Fast”. He offers a view of the disruptive nature AI has on supply chains. It’s not just about automating “transactions” that ERP systems were designed to improve, he says but “…Now we are seeing a shift towards cognitive automation, leveraging AI where today’s human decision-making processes are automated.” The vision he lays out sees an autonomous digital supply chain network that connects discrete processes with the core business function.

LLamasoft works with clients and partners to create solutions that drive the importance, strategy and insights that an intelligent supply chain delivers from the desks of the modelers, to warehouse managers and into the executive board room. Customers see their supply chain as a strategic differentiator since these complex systems ultimately touch the customer. Kevin concurs, “For a lot of companies, their supply chain is the final connection point to the customer…instead of taking a push perspective from a supply chain point of view and saying ‘this is our supply chain, these are our capabilities, this is the service we offer our customers’, we advise clients on how to adopt more of a pull perspective and listen to the customers’ needs and wants.”

LLamasoft takes an active role in creating policies and governance around emerging technology through participation in the World Economic Forum’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Like Deloitte, LLamasoft is dedicated to helping our customers reap the benefit of technology. The company’s supply chain design software enables continuous innovations beyond supply chain efficiency and drives rapid insights that bring your decisions to life – a disruptor indeed.

Learn more about disruptors:

  • Read the full Digital Supply Chain Magazine article to learn more about how Deloitte approaches the supply chain of the future.
  • How is LLamasoft’s AI approach changing the way our customers look at their supply chain? Listen to the new podcast which discusses how demand, data and advanced AI capabilities can reveal new possibilities through interconnected insights.