A recent Gartner survey shows that 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.
The survey also reveals 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”, says Noha Tohamy, a Distinguished Analyst with Gartner’s Supply Chain Practice.
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.
The survey shows that the most impactful supply chain Gen AI use cases include:
- Code augmentation
- Insight into supply chain key performance indicators
- Staff assistance chatbots
Tohamy notes, however, that the findings show supply chain is lagging behind other business functions – such as marketing and sales – in its adoption of Gen AI.
But this, she says, does present CSCOs with an opportunity to be “fast followers”, by capitalising on the Gen AI learnings of other business functions.
Kraft Heinz & Colgate-Palmolive embracing Gen AI
Bearing out the report’s findings, food and beverage multinational Kraft Heinz is building a Gen AI app called KraftGPT, which is designed to give employees quick insights across its operations.
KraftGPT comes at a time when the company is looking to digitalise and automate its operations across the board. Last year the company announced it is to invest more than $400mn in a new automated consumer packaged goods (CPG) distribution centre in the US.
Located in Illinois, the facility – slated to be completed by 2025 – will feature automation tech designed to drive supply chain efficiencies.
Coupled with its Gen AI solution and other digitalisation initiatives, Kraft Heinz is in essence seeking to build what Kraft Heinz Head of North America Operations Helen Davis calls a “self driving supply chain”.
Speaking to Consumer Goods Technology (CGT), Davis adds that this vision includes “implementing technologies that let factories predict when a line will go down and to “better understand data from their customers”.
It is the latter part of this goal that Gen AI can prove especially useful, as it is able to offer sales insight across the company’s product lines.
CTG also points out that another major CPG company also embracing Gen AI technology is Colgate-Palmolive, which is trialling a Gen AI chatbot to interrogate the e-commerce performance of not only its own products but also those of rival brands.
It is based on the Ask Profitero AI assistant, which draws data from an estimated 1,000 retailers across 50 countries. Upon interrogation, details it can provide include data around price, search rank, availability, video and imagery and customer reviews.
Colgate Palmolive has a 20-strong team – based both in the UK and US – working on Ask Profitero.
Colgate is among the world's top digital supply chains, with other businesses including Schneider, Cisco Systems and Johnson & Johnson.
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