Blog of the Data Science for the Digital Society research group. Digital Society Innovation, Applied Artificial Intelligence, data analysis and smart living and business.

11 March 2024 | Posted by angela.tuduri

Artificial Intelligence in the Supply Chain | Transforming Efficiency and Management

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a key tool already being used to analyze data and make real-time decisions, transforming how companies manage their supply operations.   

AI is an essential component in supply chain optimization, offering advanced capabilities in predictive analytics, automation and intelligent decision making.  

In Spain, the adoption of AI in the supply chain is growing rapidly. More and more companies are using technologies such as machine learning, predictive analytics and robotics to automate tasks, improve decision making and optimize their operations."   

In this article, we explore how AI is being used in the supply chain and how it can help companies optimize their processes and improve efficiency.  

Algorithms, machine learning and artificial intelligence. The future of the supply chain   

Demand planning, inventory management, production scheduling and logistics... AI in the supply chain refers to the use of algorithms and machine learning technologies that analyze data and make real-time decisions in supply chain management.   

But where does artificial intelligence and emerging technologies facilitate the supply chain? 

  • Demand forecasting: Optimize inventory levels and avoid stock-outs or excess inventory.  

  • Route optimization: AI algorithms help companies reduce costs and improve customer service.  

  • Task automation: There are already organizations using robots to automate repetitive tasks in warehouses and distribution centers.  

Examples of companies using AI in the supply chain include  

  • Inditex: uses AI algorithms to predict fashion trends and adjust their production accordingly to demand. This helps them reduce waste and increase efficiency.  

  • DHL: uses AI technology to predict the delivery time of packages and provide customers with accurate information about the status of their shipments.  

  • Amazon: The company uses autonomous robots in its warehouses to pick and pack products, which has significantly improved efficiency and delivery speed. 

Smart supply chain. The advent of ICT  

AI is also driving the creation of smart supply chains. This includes the integration of information and communication technologies (ICT) to improve efficiency and visibility into the enterprise, enabling a more complete view of your supply chain and making decisions to improve it.  

For example, AI can analyze real-time sensor data to monitor the temperature and humidity of products during transportation. This helps ensure that products are delivered in optimal conditions, thus avoiding losses during transportation. 

How to implement AI in the supply chain?  

To successfully implement AI in the supply chain, companies must follow a few key steps. The first is to identify areas for improvement in the supply chain. Demand planning, inventory management, production scheduling and logistics.  

Once the areas for improvement have been identified, relevant data (sales, production, transportation...) must be collected and analyzed. The more data collected, the more accurate the AI predictions and decisions will be.  

Including machine learning software, optimization algorithms and data management systems among others, it is important to choose technologies that are adapted to the specific needs of the company and that are easy to integrate into existing systems.  

  • Identify areas for improvement  

  • Collect and analyze data  

  • Implement AI technologies 

Related education. Artificial intelligence in the supply chain  

AI is transforming supply chain by enabling companies to make more informed and accurate decisions in real time.  

If you want to master the tools of logistics 4.0 and learn the fundamental role played by ICT in supply chain innovation and project development, obtaining the Senior Management level Eslog (level Candidate - CEslog) certification by the European Logistics Association; discover the Master Supply Chain Management & Technology of La Salle-URL.   

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