Supply chain management is a complex network that links businesses, individuals, and processes to transport goods from manufacturers to consumers. As companies evolve, they aim to be versatile in coping with unexpected business disruptions. As a result, supply chain intelligence transitions from a mere aspiration to an essential requirement.
Why do businesses need supply chain intelligence?
The global supply chain industry has undergone significant changes and challenges recently. From increased globalization to disruptions caused by natural disasters and global pandemics, supply chain professionals constantly seek new solutions to improve operations and overcome obstacles. Fortunately, technology offers solutions to many of these challenges.
One emerging technology that shows great promise in addressing the pain points and challenges of the global supply chain is AI-powered solutions that incorporate supply chain intelligence. By leveraging the power of machine learning, natural language processing, and robotics, AI-powered automation solutions can help companies improve their efficiency, reduce costs, and improve overall supply chain performance.
Problems that arise with traditional logistics
If we look at the landscape of how any company, especially manufacturing companies, operate today, we see that all departments are getting digitized and have ubiquitous solutions. But what about international logistics? It is the 20th century, and companies still need to rely on Excel and email to tackle every supply chain process.
Though supply chain professionals are moving towards implementing a first layer of ERP integration to automate their routines and tasks, there is a missing elephant in the room which supply chain professionals need to address- Are their supply chains intelligent enough to tackle day-to-day problems in a real-time post such automation? Here are two common challenges such companies face with a traditional system in place:
1. Delayed response: Quick action is crucial for large enterprises that move thousands of TEUs monthly. Any delay in logistics can cause a chain reaction of bullwhip effect in the supply chain. A manufacturing company that fails to anticipate delays in critical raw materials increases production planning costs, disrupts truck planning, and ultimately results in dissatisfied customers when the last-mile delivery gets missed. In such scenarios, supply chain intelligence is crucial to ensure that you can predict such delays and chart contingency plans in advance.
2. Bad data: Manually recording data from buyer and supplier interactions are prone to mistakes. These errors can impact your daily operations and your quarterly logistics plan that relies on accurate data points.
Here is how leveraging supply chain intelligence can address the pain points faced by supply chain professionals:
- Improved visibility and transparency: One of the most significant challenges in the supply chain industry is the lack of visibility and transparency throughout the process. AI-powered solutions that run on the principle of supply chain intelligence provide real-time tracking of shipments, inventory levels, and production processes, allowing companies to identify and resolve issues as they arise quickly.
- Predictive analytics: Using machine learning algorithms, intelligent supply chain solutions can help companies predict demand patterns, identify potential bottlenecks, and optimize inventory levels. This can help companies to improve their forecasting accuracy and avoid stockouts or excess inventory.
- Enhanced customer experience: By leveraging natural language processing and chatbots, AI-powered automation solutions can help companies to provide faster and more personalized customer service. This can lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- Process automation: AI-powered solutions can automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks like order processing and data entry. This can free employees to focus on higher-value tasks and improve overall productivity.
- Risk mitigation: Supply chain intelligence can help companies to identify and mitigate supply chain risks, such as disruptions caused by natural disasters or geopolitical events. By better understanding potential threats, companies can develop contingency plans and reduce the impact of these events on their operations.
- Improved supplier management: Having advanced supply chain intelligence in place can help companies to manage their suppliers more effectively by providing real-time visibility into supplier performance and enabling proactive issue resolution. This can help companies to reduce supplier risks and improve supplier relationships.
- Cost savings: By automating processes and improving efficiency, AI-powered automation solutions can help companies to reduce their costs and improve their bottom line.
It is important to note that AI-powered intelligent supply chain solutions are not a one-size-fits-all solution. Each company has unique supply chain challenges and requirements, and it is crucial to select the right solution that aligns with its specific needs and goals.
In conclusion, supply chain intelligence holds great promise for addressing the pain points and challenges supply chain professionals face. By leveraging the power of machine learning, natural language processing, and robotics, these solutions can help companies to improve their efficiency, reduce costs, and improve overall supply chain performance.
It is essential to carefully consider the potential risks and challenges associated with these solutions and select the right solution that meets each company’s specific needs and goals. By doing so, supply chain professionals can leverage the power of AI-powered automation to transform their operations and stay ahead of the competition in the fast-paced and ever-changing world of global supply chain management.
Are you looking to boost your supply chain ROI with a reliable, easy-to-use AI-powered automation solution? Feel free to reach out to us.
About the authors:
Prateek Raj, Subject Matter Expert (South East Asia) at GoComet
Stelvin Paul, Supply Chain Automation Specialist at GoComet