The influence of Artificial Intelligence on the supply chain

In a context in which new solutions are demanded to make the supply chain more efficient and agile, the digital technological group Vector ITC through Agora, its company specialized in supply chain solutions, emphasize the importance of Artificial Intelligence in achieving this objective.

The data and information required and generated by each process of the supply chain, often available in different integrated information systems, represent an important challenge for the logistics sector, as the new business models require shorter and shorter supply cycles and final customers with more influence on the quality of service and products.

All this entails the need to optimize the value chain according to multiple factors such as delivery time, responsiveness, product complexity index, supply chain, inventory, etc.

In this sense, Artificial Intelligence is already playing an essential role: AI is not a new phenomenon in the supply chain. There are automated warehouses with robots that are able to identify and move goods completely automatically. The AI is, rather, the answer to the need to optimize the value chain according to multiple axes, which range from the use of space, the categorization of products, the supply strategy, transport logistics, storage, etc. says Aaron Ranson, Director of Solutions at Vector ITC.

The increasingly palpable influence of Artificial Intelligence on distribution and retail, as well as the exploitation of the infinite amount of data currently available in the supply chain in its structural form, raises many questions about the value and optimisation of these data. “Is all this information being exploited? Are the models that have so far been used for supply chain planning upgradable?”  Today they continue to govern linear predictive models and in-store experience, as sometimes the algorithms used in Artificial Intelligence have not achieved the expected results. The aspiration is that the new artificial intelligence models improve business processes, especially delivery, within the retail sector.

The idea is to know the degree of confidence in these models, if they could be complementary, capturing additional improvements for the business, and know the ROI of these projects. Adds Aaron Ranson, Director of Solutions at Vector ITC

The specialists say that we need a lot more data than we handle and that we should take a holistic view and not focus so much on historical data, including data that are not part of our business but are key (external events that can change everything, such as an action on social networks or unexpected weather changes). Business logic comes from data and not the other way around.

Finally, it should be pointed out that AI does not eliminate jobs, but extends the professional capacity of the operating groups, both in Retail and in other sectors of the Industry.