Major European companies select IBM Cloud to drive innovation
IBM has announced agreements with six leading European companies that rely on the IBM Cloud to access advanced technologies such as AI, blockchain and analytics.
They include Netherlands' Koopman Logistics, Italian multimedia publishing company Gruppo 24 Ore, Spanish digital and mobile health solution provider Teckel Medical, French bank Crédit Mutuel, the UK's RS Components, and multinational lightning manufacturer Osram AG.
Koopman Logistics – a Netherlands based company providing trucking transportation and logistics services – has become one of the first automotive transportation companies to implement IBM Blockchain technology. The solution enables Koopman to rapidly and accurately track and trace its consignments across its entire supply chain and replace paper-based processes with secure, digital records.
Gruppo 24 Ore - a leading Italian multimedia publishing organization - is using IBM's Watson AI services on the IBM Cloud to help tax professionals tap a corpus of 1,5M documents so they can respond quickly to complex questions about the Italian tax code.
Crédit Mutuel – a major French bank - will deploy IBM Watson virtual assistants across all of its business lines to empower the company's 20,000 relationship managers to better serve their customers. The new service will run in a secured, fully-encrypted IBM Cloud environment in France with back-up in Germany.
Teckel Medical – a Spanish company specialised in developing digital & mobile health solutions – is running its advanced AI medical symptom checker on the IBM Cloud. Mediktor enables users to describe their symptoms in natural language and make more informed decisions about what to do next. The system has the ability to serve 50 concurrent users with a response time of less than one second and can connect to a doctor for further advice.
RS Components – one of the UK's leading providers of electrical and industrial components - has launched a new peer-to-peer marketplace called DesignSpark. Powered by the IBM Cloud and built in IBM's London Cloud Garage, it helps start-ups and small businesses promote, test and sell their inventions to an online community of more than 650,000 members.
Osram AG – the multinational lighting solutions company headquartered in Munich, Germany - is transforming its operations to focus on new, innovative digital products. Using a hybrid cloud solution from IBM, Osram is driving substantial savings and increased flexibility to respond more rapidly to changing market conditions.
“Enterprises across Europe are gravitating to the IBM Cloud because it helps them modernize their existing infrastructures by gaining access to exciting technologies like AI, blockchain, IoT, analytics and more,” said Sebastian Krause, General Manager IBM Cloud Europe.
“At the same time, these companies value IBM's deep industry and business process expertise, along IBM's commitment to the responsible management of their enterprise data.”
5 Minutes With: Jim Bureau, CEO Jaggaer
What is data analytics, and why is it important for organisations to utilise?
Data analytics is the process of collecting, cleansing, transforming and analysing an organisation’s information to identify trends and extract meaningful insights to solve problems.
The main benefit for procurement teams that adopt analytics is that they’re equipped to make faster, more proactive and effective decisions. Spend analysis and other advanced statistical analyses eliminate the guesswork and reactivity common with spreadsheets and other manual approaches and drive greater efficiency and value.
As procurement continues to play a central role in organisational success, adopting analytics is critical for improving operations, meeting and achieving key performance indicators, reducing staff burnout, gaining valuable market intelligence and protecting the bottom line.
How can organisations use procurement analytics to benefit their operations?
Teams can leverage data analytics to tangibly improve performance across all procurement activities - identifying new savings opportunities, getting a consolidated view of spend, understanding the right time for contract re-negotiations, and which suppliers to tap when prioritising and segmenting suppliers, assessing and addressing supply chain risk and more.
Procurement can ultimately create a more comprehensive sourcing process that invites more suppliers to the table and gets even more granular about cost drivers and other criteria.
"The main benefit for procurement teams that adopt analytics is that they’re equipped to make faster, more proactive and effective decisions"
Procurement analytics can provide critical insight for spend management, category management, supplier contracts and negotiations, strategic sourcing, spend forecasting and more. Unilever, for example, used actionable insight from spend analysis to optimise spending, sourcing, and contract negotiations for an especially unpredictable industry such as transport and logistics.
Whether a team needs to figure out ways to retain cash, further diversify its supply base, or deliver value on sustainability, innovation or diversity initiatives, analytics can help procurement deliver on organisational needs.
How is data analytics used in supply chain and procurement?
Data analytics encompasses descriptive, diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive data.
Descriptive shows what’s happened in the past, while diagnostic analytics surface answers to ‘why’ those previous events happened.
This clear view into procurement operations and trends lays the groundwork for predictive analytics, which forecasts future events, and prescriptive analytics, which recommends the best actions for teams to take based on those predictions.
Teams can leverage all four types of analytics to gain visibility across the supply chain and identify optimisation and value generating opportunities.
Take on-time delivery (OTD) as an example. Predictive analytics are identifying the probability of whether an order will be delivered on time even before its placed, based on previous events. Combined with recommendation engines that suggest improvement actions, the analytics enable teams to proactively mitigate risk of late deliveries, such as through spreading an order over a second or third source of supply.
Advanced analytics is a research and development focus for JAGGAER, and we expect procurement’s ability to leverage AI to become even stronger and more impactful.