Note: Today’s post is part of our “Editor’s Pick” series where we highlight recent posts published by our sponsors that provide practical knowledge and advice on timely and important supply chain and logistics topics. In this August 2021 post from E2open’s blog, Daniel Smith unpacks the term “AI” and how it is used in the industry.
My last blog post about artificial intelligence (AI) covered some of the technology’s history, including how engineers, scientists, writers and readers all understood the rise of AI would change everything. Decades later, it has, though not as some of those early pioneers predicted. AI is now used to process data, recognize patterns, predict outcomes and make appropriate course corrections. In business, AI’s strengths are especially well suited to the complex area of the supply chain. Here, each “link” in the chain involves hundreds, thousands or even millions of variables that can change in real time. These links include predicting demand, choosing suppliers, placing and monitoring orders, keeping track of inventory, transporting goods quickly, updating customers about arrival estimates, submitting and maintaining compliance documents when crossing borders, plus many other steps.
Given the many areas of the supply chain where AI can deliver value, it’s no surprise that more and more vendors are popping up claiming to offer the next most promising iteration of the technology. When it comes to AI, we’re living in the wild west, and business leaders should be cautious about the claims vendors are making.