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Artificial intelligence (AI) remains a controversial topic in the supply chain community, something that is fueled by huge aspirations but is hindered by data availability, employee training and actual business case validations.
Another type of AI that could work for supply chain management is ‘cognitive automation‘, which uses massive processing power and machine learning algorithms to improve supply chain speed and cost-efficiency. In effect, this automates the data collection and analytical work done by people in the supply chain, often using Excel spreadsheets. With supply chains becoming more complex, this is increasingly difficult to do.
“AI in supply chain management is enabling improved supply chain automation through the use of virtual assistants, which are used both internally (within a given enterprise) as well as between supply chain members (e.g., customer-supplier chains).”
The spread of smartphones and social networking services in recent years has significantly influenced people’s purchasing behavior, transforming them as consumers into data-savvy users in the supply chain. Hitachi is working on ways to develop decision-making support for optimizing supply chains using artificial intelligence.