Jun 5, 2020

IBM: How AI Is Reshaping The Supply Chain

Supply Chain
Artificial intelligence
Jack Grimshaw
2 min
IBM: How Artificial Intelligence Is Reshaping The Supply Chain
Supply chains are constantly changing and evolving, with robotics and automation building intelligent, learning supply chains...

IBM has explored the potential of AI here, in a report on how it is set to reshape the supply chain industry’s future. Supply chain executives have spent the last few years implementing a wide variety of digital technologies, from IoT to blockchain, but now AI stands to optimise all of these operations.

When combined with technologies like advanced automation, artificial intelligence can drive supply chains capable of thinking and learning, bringing a business’ processes to a new level of operational excellence, with enhanced human decision making and automated processes in place.

In 2010, IBM predicted that to succeed, supply chains would need to be instrumented, interconnected, and intelligent. AI, blockchain, IoT and the numerous other disruptive forms of technology currently revolutionising the industry are making these predictions a reality.

AI is becoming essential to supply chain leaders looking to begin transformation journeys, with 46% of those surveyed by IBM predicting that AI/cognitive computing and cloud applications will be their most significant and greatest areas of investment when it comes to digital operations over the next few years.

95% of the group surveyed see artificial intelligence as a crucial part of their innovation success. Chief Operations Officers (COOs) and Chief Supply Chain Officers (CSCOs) are turning to AI to solve the end-to-end challenges that they face regularly. Preventative maintenance and risk management are the most common applications of AI, from supply all the way through to production and customer provision, every step of the supply chain looks to benefit from the implementation of AI.

Machine learning (ML) is another solution becoming increasingly mainstream in the global supply chain. ML and AI technologies can determine changing demand behaviours for supply chain leaders, optimising inventory levels and replenishment plans without the need for human intervention or decision making. This keeps product lifecycle management moving effectively and efficiently.

Algorithms can be applied to massive operational data feeds, enabling insights into the supply chain and helping to track end predict potential or real disruptions. ML can also recommend alternative actions, for when unplanned events take place, and can alert transportation and logistics services with recommended actions.

Collaborative robots using ML and AI technologies can benefit warehouses and manufacturers also, with the ability to “see” their environments and move in a safe, efficient manner. This enables a safe workplace, where the robots can coexist and work safely alongside humans.

It is evident that, as the nature of work continues to change, digital technologies will continue to take a more prominent role in everyday life, both inside and outside of the workplace. Embracing these early, and effectively, can be the difference for companies hoping to succeed.

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Jun 18, 2021

New speakers announced for Procurement & Supply Chain Live

2 min
Two leading executives join the lineup for this September’s inaugural supply chain and procurement live event, Procurement & Supply Chain Live

Two leading executives in supply chain transformation have been confirmed for this year's Procurement & Supply Chain Live event. 

Procurement & Supply Chain Live is the perfect opportunity to hear from prominent executives at the world’s leading procurement and supply chain businesses. The event will be streamed live from Tobacco Dock, London via the leading networking platform Brella.

CLICK HERE to sign up for Procurement & Supply Chain Live today and enjoy special early bird rates

The three-day show, running 28-30 September 2021, is an essential deep dive into the industry, with influential speakers sharing insights and strategies from their organisations, group roundtable discussions, and fireside chats. 

We take a look at the latest additions to the already amazing lineup of speakers announced so far, and what they will bring to the flagship event.

Shaun Plunkett 

VP Global Supply Chain at Macmillan Education Ltd

Shaun Plunkett

Shaun Plunkett has over 30 years of supply chain leadership experience in FMCG, entertainment and media sectors, supporting multi-billion euro businesses including Universal Music, EMI, Sony Music, Harper Collins and Associated British Foods. He has a track record of successfully delivering transformational change coupled with award winning operating models and developing and coaching global teams. Plunkett says that challenging the status quo is at the heart of what drives him on a daily basis - and encouraging others to continuously push the boundaries. 

Read more about Plunkett’s involvement in Macmillan Education’s supply chain transformation HERE

Vikram Singla

Digital Transformation Lead, Oracle UK and Board Member, CILT at Macmillan Education Ltd

Vikram Singla

Vikram Singla is digital transformation director at Oracle, UK. He helps supply chain and finance business leaders leverage technology to deliver meaningful business outcomes for their organisations. He also serves on the board if CILT (Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport) – UK and is an Honorary Visiting Fellow at Anglian Ruskin University. Singla has more than 25 years’ experience in the technology sector, and in global supply chain transformation, including deploying business transformation programmes for Fortune 500 firms. In his spare time, Singla is a passionate brand ambassador for Cancer Research.


Plunkett and Singla join a growing line-up of speakers, including: Sheri R. Hinish, IBM; Robert Copeland, G4S; Daniel Weise, BCG; Mark Bromley, Mastercard; David Loseby, Rolls Royce; and Ninian Wilson, Vodafone Procurement Company. 

CLICK HERE to secure your place at Procurement & Supply Chain Live

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