Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 5 seconds

Without capitalizing on modern technology, the supply chain is inefficient and a company unable to compete favorably. It can even be worse with rising consumer demands and expectations. With increased awareness among the consumers, there is demand for faster turnarounds. As such, the industry requires Artificial Intelligence (AI) to improve visibility and facilitate efficiency. AI is changing various things in the supply chain.

For instance, many executives in large organizations have noted that AI has value when incorporated into business operations. Through AI, procurement and supply chain executives can solve end-to-end visibility issues, unforeseen events, and inaccuracy in forecasting.

In the supply chain, lack of visibility and transparency of operations is one of the biggest challenges that a business can face. It causes not only disruptions but can also lead to imbalance in inventory. These problems largely originate from inability to collect, store and use massive amounts of data that originate from different systems, processes, and sources. By using technologies such as AI, Internet of Things (IoT) and machine learning however, organizations can improve their supply chain visibility and get the balance they need. This can accelerate excellence, improve time to market and lead to innovation of new products and services.

According to a survey by Capgemini, 83% of executives in the supply chain believe that lack of end-to-end visibility in their companies is a barrier to growth. With proper measures, insights from data gathered can help to identify bottlenecks in operations. Developing intuitive AI solutions that can collect data from different sources and ease the work of decision-makers through insights is what will fix visibility problems that many supply chain companies face. Such increase in visibility allows managers to plan and put in place contingency plans in the event of unexpected problems, either internally or externally. This, therefore, minimizes losses in the supply chain and helps to build a brand strong.


With lack of visibility comes the problem of slow reaction times. This causes bottlenecks in operations. However, with artificial intelligence, executives can monitor activities in their industry and ensure that they react to issues in time to adapt to changes quickly and ensure that operations are not adversely affected. With proper AI tracking, defective products can be recalled before they reach market and damage the reputation of the brand. The ability to quickly address problems in the supply chain is an invaluable aspect that can give a company an edge against its competitors.

 Through innovative AI systems that have the capacity to integrate connected devices from suppliers, format and analyze collected data for businesses, faster and better informed decisions can be made. It links manufacturing data and data from sales, supply and demand and waste during production can be viewed. This enables cost of the entire process to be reduced leading to increased profits.


To get the most out of AI, it should be integrated with the company’s customer relationship management (CRM) solution and the enterprise resource planning (ERP). The data generated from these systems can inform decisions and allow companies to develop and update sound internal policies.

As AI continues turning businesses around, businesses have nothing to fear. It has been proven that organizations that make use of this technology have improved their efficiency by huge margins. We can expect that the increased usage of AI will not only enhance supply chain visibility but will also increase supply chain efficiency, reduce workload and save organizations’ time. Through efficiency and reduction in time wastage, sales are increased and transparency which is needed by customers built. To maximize on this technology however, it should be integrated into existing organizations’ systems as AI alone is not the magic bullet that will address all problems by itself.

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Scott Koegler

Scott Koegler is Executive Editor for PMG360. He is a technology writer and editor with 20+ years experience delivering high value content to readers and publishers. 

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