AI in supply chain:
Revolutionising the future, one forecast at a time

Harnessing the power of AI can streamline supply chain management and overcome adoption challenges

Adopting AI in supply chain management offers enormous potential, but comes with challenges in user adoption and integration with legacy systems. Businesses must act swiftly to integrate AI in the right way, focusing on data alignment and staff training to stay competitive

In a nutshell…

  • There is huge potential for AI in demand forecasting and supply chain management.
  • Overcoming user adoption challenges is crucial for AI integration.
  • AI exposure in forecasts is growing, driving board-level interest.
  • Future supply chain professionals need AI skills.
  • The biggest risk is doing nothing—embrace AI opportunities now.
  • Bringing data together is essential for AI to be effective.
  • Start the AI journey with a clear change management strategy.

A closer look…

AI in action

In today’s fast-paced market, AI is proving to be a game-changer in supply chain management. Companies are leveraging AI to both improve demand forecasting and streamline operations. One Retail Hive member shared how they use AI to minimise waste through machine learning. Another relies on an AI-enabled ERP Tool for integrated forecasting, receiving AI-driven prompts to optimise stock levels.

However, integrating AI is not without its challenges. Teams used to traditional methods have been very resistant to change, fearing job losses. The key is to communicate that AI is a tool to assist, not replace employees. It helps make more informed decisions and increases productivity, but ‘the human in the loop’ is still very much needed.

Still to do…

Despite the clear benefits, businesses face significant hurdles in AI adoption. Legacy systems pose risks, making it difficult to integrate AI seamlessly. In the short term, securing funding and board-level attention for AI projects remains a challenge. It’s vital to educate senior teams about the transformative potential of AI and the benefits to the business. 

To attract talent, businesses must demonstrate a commitment to technology. Younger professionals expect to use advanced tech in their roles, and companies lagging in AI integration may struggle to recruit. Aligning resources, managing change effectively, and bringing data together are crucial steps. Ultimately, the greatest risk is doing nothing. Embracing AI now will position businesses to thrive in an increasingly tech-driven future.

Source: The Retail Hive: Supply Chain Leaders Exchange roundtable on “The Role of AI in Future Supply Chains”, May 2024

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