JDA to develop supply chain innovations with Massachusetts Institute of Technology
JDA has signed a multi-year collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) focused on joint research to create new and innovative capabilities within the supply chain.
The partnership will focus on the utilisation of intelligent edge technologies like machine learning, AI, IoT and advanced analytics.
In a release, JDA said it will work closely with MIT’s Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS), a world-class research and innovation team.
MIT’s team will be led by Dr. David Simchi-Levi, professor of engineering systems and renowned supply chain expert, to develop new solutions that predict supply chain demand, increase cognitive responses and embrace the intelligent edge.
“It is more critical than ever to infuse innovation into every aspect of the supply chain, as edge technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) are essential to digitally transforming supply chains,” said Desikan Madhavanur, executive vice president and chief development officer, JDA.
“We are excited to be working on the future of supply chain with MIT to double-down on researching enhanced, innovative and value-driven supply chain solutions.”
The research will be conducted in concert with JDA’s product development team as well as JDA Labs team, a dedicated research and development group committed to delivering patentable innovations and new products to the market.
JDA and IDSS will create real world use cases to expand predictive demand, intelligent execution and advanced supply chain and retail planning that will yield a unique, prescriptive supply chain.
These use cases will explore new data science algorithms for predictive behaviour and prescriptive cognitive optimisation that go a step further than current processes by not only taking into account past behaviours.
The work of JDA Labs and JDA’s has resulted in over 400 patents granted and pending for the supply chain – the largest patent portfolio of any company in the field of supply chain management.
In addition, JDA is the only company to have been named a leader in all five Gartner Magic Quadrants focused on supply chain and retail.
Pandora and IBM digitise jewellery supply chain
Pandora has overhauled its global supply chain in partnership with IBM amid an ecommerce sales boom for its hand-finished jewellery.
The company found international success offering customisable charm bracelets and other personalised jewellery though its chain of bricks and mortar retail destinations. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak forced physical stores to close, Pandora strengthened its omnichannel operations and doubled online sales.
A focus on customer experience included deploying IBM’s Sterling Order Management, increasing supply chain resiliency and safeguarding against disruption across the global value chain.
Pandora leverages IBM Sterling Order Management as the backbone it its omnichannel fulfilment, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud powering its ecommerce. Greater automation across its channels has boosted the jeweller’s sustainability credentials, IBM said, streamlining processes for more efficient delivery. It has also given in-store staff and virtual customer service representatives superior end-to-end visibility to better meet consumer needs.
Jim Cruickshank, VP of Digital Development & Retail Technology, Pandora, said the digital transformation journey has brought “digital and store technology closer together and closer to the customer”, highlighting how important the customer journey remains, even during unprecedented disruption.
"Our mission is about creating a personal experience and we've instituted massive platform changes with IBM Sterling and Salesforce to enable new digital-first capabilities that are much more individualised, localised and connected across channels and markets,” he added.
Pandora’s pivot to digital
The pandemic forced the doors closed at most of Pandora’s 2,700 retail locations. To remain competitive, it pivoted to online retail. Virtual queuing for stores and virtual product trials via augmented reality (AR) technology went someway to emulating the in-store experience and retail theatre that is the brand’s hallmark. Meanwhile digital investments in supply chain efficiency was central to delivering on consumer demand.
“Consumer behaviour has significantly shifted and will continue to evolve with businesses needing to quickly adapt to new preferences and needs,” said Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, AI Applications and Blockchain, IBM. “To address this shift, leading retailers like Pandora rely on innovation to increase their business agility by enabling and scaling sustainable supply chain operations using AI and cloud.”
Yusuf said Pandora’s success was indicative of how to remain competitive by “finding new ways to create differentiated customer experiences that protect their enterprises from disruptions to help mitigate risk and accelerate growth”.