Are logistics solutions suffering from a lack of state-of-the-art advancements? Tony Morgan, consumer industries chief technology officer for IBM UK, investigates.
The supply chain innovation gap is real and is impacting customer experience and sales.
While retailers are developing new ways of engaging with their customers and implementing cutting-edge AI in their distribution centres, supply chain management is often ignored.
Supply chain professionals understand the value of their organisation’s investments in customer-facing innovation and in automating aspects of the supply chain, but they harbour a nagging fear that the critical area of the business they work in risks being left behind.
“Machine learning is already driving customer insight and engagement solutions. The same technology should be applied to the key challenges faced by buyers, merchandisers and logistics teams”
For some organisations, this has long been an area of significant under-investment and many teams continue to find themselves lost in a fog of spreadsheets and/or multiple IT systems.
As online and store deliveries become increasingly near real time, the need to address this imbalance in focus has never been greater.
Machine learning is already driving customer insight and engagement solutions. The same technology should be applied to the key challenges faced by buyers, merchandisers and logistics teams.
It can continuously improve supply chain operations by analysing information from multiple internal and external sources, identifying trends and patterns in data, and flagging issues.
Increased investment and adoption of AI enables a more intelligent, demand-sensitive and customer-centric supply chain.
IBM Watson Supply Chain Insights is an intelligent adviser for supply chain professionals – alerting them to potential disruptions and providing insights into estimated time delays and financial costs of any issues.
It can even recommend relevant experts to join and work with IBM Watson supercomputer technology in a virtual workroom, linking colleagues across the globe to quickly solve the problem.
Should a weather event anywhere in the world present a threat to supplies of a key Christmas product, IBM Watson Supply Chain Insights can be used to predict the risk to success.
“Should a weather event anywhere in the world present a threat to supplies of a key Christmas product, IBM Watson Supply Chain Insights can be used to predict the risk to success”
It would identify the key personnel required, invite them into a collaborative workspace and assist the team in finding an alternative supplier to provide the order.
Considered investment in the right technology can significantly improve the efficiency of the supply chain and ultimately lead to greater customer satisfaction and increased chance of business success.
Tony Morgan, consumer industries chief technology officer, IBM UK