Supply chains have endured plenty of disruptions in recent years. Artificial intelligence (AI) could provide the actionable insights companies need to help them buffer the effects of these disruptions.
Supply chain threats have been as varied as they are unceasing. From wild swings in demand due to changing consumer spending habits during the pandemic to components shortages, logistics challenges, high inflation and growing interest rates the threats continue. In addition to these changing market conditions, regulatory developments continue to present new challenges that organizations must tackle.
Amongst all of this, there is another storm brewing – mainstream adoption of AI in business operations. In November 2022, the launch of ChatGPT set in motion a frenzy around generative AI and large language models across industries. As a result, virtually every organization has accelerated their plans around implementing AI in their operations.
So, what does this mean for supply chain leaders?
AI in the supply chain – Gamechanger or business as usual?
There is no doubt that AI will have an increasingly significant role in supply chain operations. While supply chains have leveraged AI already for several years in various forms, adoption over the past 12 months has accelerated. According to IDC, 55% of global 2000 OEMs will redesign their service supply chains based on AI by 2026.
The current hype will leave many organizations disillusioned by the results as they further implement AI across their operations. These organizations must find ways to deal with the problems of misinformation and unclear policies. Additionally, calls around regulating the use of AI will impact adoption and opportunities around it.
For supply chain leaders, the key will be to continually explore the use cases for embedding AI as part of supply chain operations. However, they will also have to hold on to healthy skepticism and measure impact.
Tackling supply chain ecosystem challenges with AI
AI presents a crucial opportunity for supply chain managers to address challenges around visibility into their connected ecosystem. It can also help drive—and largely automate—actions based on network insights and events. This is an area where many organizations struggle today, particularly where the disruptions and risks relate to indirect suppliers beyond tier 1.
On the surface, the benefits of AI seem clear. AI capabilities are well suited to identifying risks and vulnerabilities based on broad and complex datasets. AI-assisted decision making can also help significantly reduce reaction times around unforeseen disruptions.
However, companies also face persistent challenges around data access, quality, and reliability. This is particularly true when data originates outside the organization. Therefore, the best results will be delivered by augmenting human supply chain experts with specialized AI capabilities.
Borrowing a term that is mostly associated with advanced chess games, you could argue that we are witnessing the emergence of “supply chain centaurs.” Essentially this means that rather than being a grand master of all things supply chain, supply chain experts must become skilled at interacting with supply chain focused AI tools. Those that do are poised to tap into the vast opportunities around information that is available across supply chain ecosystems.
Seize the AI advantage with OpenText Business Network Aviator
To support supply chain experts in making this leap to harnessing the power of AI, OpenText is introducing OpenTextTM Business Network Aviator.
Aviator brings AI capabilities to the fingertips of Business Network Cloud users. It allows organizations to be more productive and gain greater insights into their supply chain data by leveraging advanced AI tools, including large language models. More importantly, we have embedded all of this into the Business Network Cloud user experience. Aviator makes it easy for supply chain professionals to adopt AI capabilities as part of their day-to-day operations.
The initial focus of Business Network Aviator will be on user productivity and enablement. Aviator’s conversational chatbot interface streamlines complex information searches and task management across various OpenText applications that support supply chain management. This is just the beginning.
Business Network Aviator will continually evolve to address the full scope of opportunities presented by AI. In the near future, look for Aviator to include additional use cases including the automation of supplier onboarding and risk management. Stay tuned to our blog channel for future product updates.