Gen AI in supply chain is about "doing things you already do better, and doing things you didn't even know how to do before", one of Deloitte's top SAP experts has said.
Howells -- responsible for driving SAP’s supply chain management and IoT solutions -- hosts the Future of Supply Chain podcast, where guests discuss the latest innovations around delivering a risk-resilient and sustainable supply chain.
Mathew told the podcast that “supply chains of the future will be steered by human creativity but powered by AI and intelligent technologies”.
Howells feels this and other insights from Mathew is a clear indicator that Gen AI is the logical next step to automate supply chains and “empower employees to become far more efficient than they are today with traditional tools”.
Subit went on to say that “AI is about doing things that you did before differently and doing different things that you didn't even know how to do before”.
Subit told Future of Supply Chain that he believes companies need to segment their AI strategies into three different categories:
- Improve efficiency – AI does things it already does today, only quicker
- Improve the user experience – to provide contextual information
- Deliver new processes and innovation
Subit points out that many companies are looking at establishing an AI centre of excellence to examine the possibilities “from multiple perspectives”.
Gen AI centres of excellence 'on the rise'
He added that such a centre should be able to answer questions including:
- What is the right governance model around AI initiatives?
- How to prioritise the many use being considered
- How to quantify the value of AI objectives?
- The technology mix most likely to accomplish AI goals?
"This is the value of where an ERP platform such as SAP comes in,” said Subit. “If you combine them with some of the large-language models out there it opens itself up to doing really remarkable things.”
He also went on to tell Howells that effective deployment of Gen AI is about augmenting the workforce to do things better.
The question, he says, is “can you free up capacity for folks to focus on value-add activities and let the platform run with everything else”.
The view that Gen AI is set to see massive traction in supply is borne out by a recent Gartner survey, showing half of supply chain leaders plan to embrace Gen AI in the coming 12 months, and that a further 14% are already implementing such solutions.
It also revealed that chief supply chain officers (CSCOs) are dedicating 5.8% of their budget to Gen AI, and that CSCOs see it as “supportive of their broader digital transformation objectives”.
Gartner surveyed 127 supply chain leaders on their plans to leverage Gen AI in 2024. Just 2% of respondents say they have no plans to do so.