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Hidden trends in AI-driven supply chain management

March 18, 2024

Updated on: March 19, 2024

3 min read

Is artificial intelligence a trend or is AI-driven supply chain management here to stay?

The integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in supply chain management has become increasingly prominent. It offers visible benefits such as improved efficiency and reduced operational costs. However, there are less obvious but equally notable trends shaping the future of AI-driven supply chain management. Here, we’ll delve into these hidden trends, focusing on emerging applications and subtle shifts in AI adoption. Additionally, we take into account how they might provide businesses with a competitive edge.

How is AI being used for supply chain management?

One of the emerging trends in AI-driven supply chain management is the use of multi-agent systems. These systems involve multiple AI applications working in tandem to achieve complex goals. The majority of the time, these objectives contain situations that include negotiations or logistics.

For instance, in procurement, multi-agent systems enable different AI 'agents' to negotiate with multiple suppliers at the same time. They consider various factors such as pricing, delivery times and quality standards. This approach leads to a more efficient, cost-effective procurement strategy and enhanced customer and supplier interactions.

AI in Risk Management and Compliance

Another noteworthy trend is the role of AI in risk management and compliance within supply chains. AI algorithms are increasingly being used to assess and mitigate various risks. This can range from delays in the logistics process to risks to the cybersecurity of the business. By analyzing large datasets, these systems can identify potential risk factors and suggest preventive measures. Additionally, those in compliance utilize AI to ensure adherence to regulatory standards and protocols. Therefore, reducing the risk of non-compliance penalties and enhancing operational transparency.

Predictive analytics in lifecycle management

AI-driven predictive analytics is transforming the lifecycle management of supply chain components. This involves using AI to predict the obsolescence of parts and strategize their replacement or refurbishment. By analyzing usage patterns, performance data and manufacturer updates, AI can forecast when specific parts are likely to become obsolete. Because of this foresight, businesses are able to manage their inventories in a proactive manner. Thus, this ensures that they are prepared for any sudden equipment failures or parts shortages.

Sustainability in AI-driven supply chain management practices

Sustainability is becoming a key focus in supply chain management and AI is at the forefront of this trend. AI algorithms help to optimize routes for transportation to reduce carbon emissions. They are able to manage waste by predicting the potential for recycling of various materials. It is even possible for the AI system to assist in the procurement of products from sustainable suppliers. These applications demonstrate a growing commitment to environmentally responsible supply chain practices.

Enhanced Customer Interaction Through NLP

Natural Language Processing (NLP), a branch of AI, is being increasingly used for enhanced customer interaction in supply chains. AI-powered chatbots and automated customer service systems are capable of handling a range of customer queries. From tracking shipments, to addressing concerns about products. This not only improves the customer experience but also frees up human resources for more complex tasks. An example of this technology can be seen in Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 Copilot.

Is AI a buzzword or a no-brainer?

The hidden trends in AI-driven supply chain management are reshaping the landscape of supply chain operations. For instance, the use of multi-agent systems, enhanced risk management, predictive analytics for lifecycle management, sustainability efforts and improved customer interaction. As these trends continue to evolve, they offer businesses innovative ways to stay competitive, efficient and responsive in a rapidly changing global market. Embracing these trends can provide a major competitive edge. This enables businesses to not only improve their current operations but also future-proof their supply chain strategies.

Marvo is the smart new way to reliably source automation components while avoiding lengthy global lead times. Continue your exploration into an AI-optimised supply chain and find out more about Marvo today.