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Why we should embrace AI in Supply Chain Planning

June 2023

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a topic of concern in the media lately, with apprehensions about its impact on jobs and the redundancy of human beings. However, it is essential to recognize that AI can be harnessed as a powerful tool to enhance various aspects of our lives, including supply chain planning solutions. AI, particularly through Machine Learning, can revolutionize the way we approach supply chain planning, freeing up valuable time for human operators to focus on making judgments, overall decision-making, and strategic thinking.

AI as a Time-Saving Method

One of the significant advantages of AI in supply chain planning is its ability to rapidly process and analyse vast amounts of historical data. Traditional analysis methods often involve manually sifting through extensive datasets, a time-consuming and error-prone process. Machine Learning, on the other hand, can efficiently handle this task in a fraction of the time, enabling planners to access critical insights and make informed decisions promptly.

By automating the data analysis process, AI allows you to spend less time on mundane tasks and more time on strategic planning. This shift in focus empowers human operators to take on higher-value responsibilities, such as identifying emerging trends, evaluating potential risks, and devising proactive strategies to optimize their supply chain’s performance.

Machine Learning in Supply Chain Planning

Machine learning algorithms play a pivotal role in the world of supply chain planning. These algorithms can be utilised to identify patterns, predict outcomes, and optimize various aspects of the planning process. By analysing historical data, machine learning models can generate accurate forecasts, detect anomalies, and suggest optimised routes or inventory levels.

For example, let’s consider your company’s supply chain planning environment. By leveraging AI and machine learning, your company can create a system that continuously learns from real-time data, providing valuable insights and recommendations. Rather than forcing decisions, the AI system can present multiple options based on its analysis, allowing the human user to make informed choices aligned with their expertise and the overall organisational goals.

Collaborative Decision-Making

In the context of supply chain planning, it is crucial to view AI as a collaborative tool rather than a replacement for human experience. The expertise and intuition of human planners are irreplaceable when it comes to strategic decision-making. AI, when used effectively, complements human capabilities by offering data-driven insights, automating repetitive tasks, and streamlining processes.

sofco Planning, an AI-enabled End-to-End Supply Chain planning solution, provides recommendations on inventory management, demand forecasting, and scheduling strategies, to name a few. It can identify potential risks, propose alternative scenarios, and simulate the impact of different decisions. Ultimately, the human operator remains in control, leveraging the insights provided by AI to make informed decisions and strategise effectively.

Conclusion

AI and machine learning hold immense potential to revolutionise supply chain planning. By automating time-consuming tasks and quickly analysing vast amounts of data, AI frees up valuable time for human operators to focus on strategic thinking, decision-making, and overall planning. When implemented in a collaborative manner, AI becomes an indispensable partner, offering valuable insights and recommendations to augment human expertise.

Embracing AI in supply chain planning is not about replacing human ability and their jobs but empowering them to achieve optimal efficiency. By harnessing the power of AI, your company can leverage data-driven insights, improve decision-making, and enhance overall supply chain performance. The future lies in a harmonious collaboration between human intelligence and AI-driven capabilities, propelling your supply chain to new heights of success.

Trusted by our clients

“Greencore is involved in multiple categories, supplying a diverse range of products with different characteristics that require very different manufacturing processes. We selected sofco as they have an End-to-End planning and execution system that can be configured easily to fit these disparate demands. Our approach is much more sophisticated and collaborative now.”

Chris Chestney

IT Business Partner, Greencore

“What impressed us most about the sofco people was they understood our business, listened, and would bring a lot of experience to the project. They brought solid solutions to the issues we presented them with. It was clear from the outset that we were going to be able to work well together as a team and deliver this project. That is exactly what has happened.”

Barbara Van den Berg

Project Manager, Van Geloven

British Bakels

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