How Generative AI Can Drive Supply Chain Transformation
Jan Burian is Head of Manufacturing Insights Europe, Middle East and Africa at International Data Corporation. Opinions are the property of the author.
OpenAI’s public release of ChatGPT in late November 2022 turned out to be an exceptional event. For the first time, everyone in the world could experience what generative AI made possible.
Open source generative AI and great language models like ChatGPT have been available for several years from companies like Google, Microsoft, Meta and others.But the democratization of technology can unlock new benefits, particularly in the world of supply chains.
The expectations for generative AI in the supply chain are high. In a globalized and data-driven business world, AI-driven technology ensures an efficient and sustainable flow of goods, components and materials. IDC predicts that by 2026, 55% of Forbes Global 2000 OEMs will use AI to transform their service supply chains. This ensures that the correct troubleshooting parts are available and in place before failure occurs.
Global organizations want more supply chain visibility to tackle issues like cost escalation, and demand volatility, according to IDC surveys. Generative AI has the power to do all that and more, helping businesses improve their transparency, efficiency, and overall resiliency.
Here are a couple of roles that generative AI could play in a supply chain organization:
Data Analyzer: Technology can analyze data from various sources — including purchase orders, invoices, and shipment tracking information — to identify patterns and potential areas for improvement. It can create unique insights through the contextualization of publicly accessible data and information from enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, warehouse management systems (WMS), and customer relationship management (CRM) systems.
Bottleneck-Free Workflow Enabler: Generative AI, which is quite good at summarization, could be used to review the material/product record and provide a succinct summary relevant to the logistics planner or warehouse operator at the point of use.This helps reduce bottlenecks that can hamper workflows.