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The AI Supply Chain Capabilities You Need Now to Thrive in the Future

August 18, 2023
Keith Hartley

If you think AI will fade away once the hype normalizes, think again. Even if you aren’t ready to tap into generative AI yet, you should strongly consider investing in an AI-powered platform that provides sophisticated contextualized insights and intelligence. Prescriptive analytics and predictive analytics are still maturing, but they can help you get ahead of your competitors now and ensure that your organization will still be around in the future.

Let’s start with prescriptive analytics. Prescriptive analytics have existed for several years and some supply chain professionals already benefit from better decision-making of automated suggestions. With the right platform, prescriptive analytics acts as a focused consultant that analyzes vast amounts of procurement data, spend, and costs that it then uses to automatically identify tradeoffs for you.

Why is this strategically important? First, adding prescriptive analytics to your strategy can help reduce risk and maximize profits while also minimizing costs. But another, less obvious reason is that, according to the 2023 Gartner Hype Cycle for Procurement and Sourcing, not many organizations have the analytics maturity to think beyond analyzing what has already happened. So, adopting an AI-driven platform that has prescriptive analytics built-in provides a tremendous opportunity to get ahead of competitors now…and stay there.  

Organizations have been through quite a bit of turmoil over the past several years as they reacted quickly to unprecedented disruption. In many cases, teams were almost completely unprepared for the scale of uncertainty. That’s where predictive analytics helps. By tapping into huge volumes of data to anticipate future trends, predictive analytics employs AI’s advanced statistical analysis to suggest likely outcomes around demand forecasting, supplier and part risk monitoring, price variances and even spend opportunities. Thanks to advanced techniques, real-time predictive analytics can help with dynamic pricing, product quality testing, risk management, and demand sensing.  

Again, companies that quickly adopt AI-powered platforms with advanced capabilities such as predictive analytics can get ahead of many competitors that have not yet started a digital transformation.

In leading organizations, procurement is expected to play a more strategic role in the enterprise. At the same time, many teams face talent shortages and cognitive overload as they take on bigger roles in sustainability, supply chain resilience, and risk management. So, with an eye on the future, there is a huge opportunity for procurement teams to embrace autonomous solutions, including autonomous procurement and autonomous sourcing.

These emerging technologies automate the entire buying, sourcing, and purchasing processes, freeing teams from tedious tasks to focus on complex, unpredictable, and high-value areas. Position your teams now to use predictive and prescriptive analytics so that they’ll be ready to automate areas of tedious work such as supplier feedback, response scoring, and analysis.

Data is at the center of every one of these capabilities. So, selecting an AI platform ultimately comes down to identifying a solution with a recognized track record of collecting, aggregating, contextualizing, cleaning, and classifying data to properly train AI models. Select a recognized and trusted partner that can make sense of data from a multitude of sources within and outside of your company. Put these AI-powered capabilities to work for you right now so you not only find immediate cost savings but also gain risk intelligence, leapfrogging your competitors and positioning your organization for a high growth future.

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