Uses for Generative AI in the Supply Chain

Generative AI in the Supply Chain

Let’s look at uses for generative AI in the supply chain. From manufacturing to warehousing, transportation and end customers, supply chain partners are figuring out how AI can enhance business processes. Some of the talk remains speculative, of course, and at the speed AI is evolving, what might hold true today probably won’t tomorrow. But for now, companies are beginning to identify the best use cases of generative AI in the supply chain.

Currently, applications for generative AI stem from its ability to analyze vast quantities of data, summarize data, and do it with easy commands—known as conversational text requests. Uses of AI in the supply chain began early on in demand planning and delivery optimization. But it’s beginning to evolve from there, now, and have an impact on other areas of the supply chain.

5 Uses for Generative AI in the Supply Chain

(1) When it comes to demand forecasting, one of generative AI’s most useful tools is its ability to analyze vast amounts of historical and real-time data. This allows for easier and faster planning. You can use easy questions surrounding risks, market trends that might impact your forecasting, and planning for different suppliers in the face of disruption, among other things. The tool can also recommend actions based on what the data has to tell you.

(2) Another way to use generative AI in the supply chain is in sourcing and managing your suppliers. It can analyze factors such as supplier capabilities, risk, pricing and other factors. It can also apply analytics to help improve your supplier relationships.

(3) Perhaps one of the most surprising ways you can currently use AI is to put it to use negotiating with vendors. In this case, you’d be using a bot to automatically manage negotiations and costs, which can lead to substantial reductions. You can also do a check on those bots with AI to analyze the contracts and provide recommendations and identify risks.

(4) Logistics, too, stand to benefit from generative AI. The tool can enable a conversational interface for recommendations, helping you optimize your logistics decisions and moves. Often, you can accomplish this in near real time, saving time and money as situations evolve.

(5) AI is also useful with your equipment, providing predictive maintenance and saving you money by avoiding shutdowns. AI can also assist in a quicker design process for both the production and movement of goods.

Because of how quickly the use of generative AI in the supply chain has accelerated, you might be cautious when considering its adoption. That’s understandable when at times, keeping up with the many disruptions plaguing the supply chain seems to be more than enough to manage. But generative AI is bringing solid results to various areas of the supply chain, and being open to its possibilities is the smart response. While generative AI is new, shiny—and yes, sometimes intimidating—it’s already proving its mettle in the supply chain. Time and again, organizations that embrace new tools and change pull ahead, and with careful consideration of generative AI, you can, too.