Artificial intelligence (AI) systems exhibit intelligence by incorporating some form of learning enabling them to perform tasks normally requiring human intervention. AI is becoming more mainstream within the supply chain, allowing organizations to capture and analyze numerous types of data to better manage, improve, and automate repetitive processes, such as intelligently sensing and predicting demand. Many global corporations use some form of AI in procurement activities.
Artificial intelligence continues to evolve. Level 1 includes items like voice or face recognition, self-driving vehicles, and bots that fill in forms using data and preferences. Level 2 refers to computers with general intelligence, mimicking that of a human. Level 3 has progressed to a super intelligence, with computers that have intelligence and capabilities greater than humans.
An intelligent agent is “a program that regularly gathers information without the owner being present” (APICS Dictionary, 16th edition). It can perform functions such as information gathering and filtering.
Uses of AI in Supply Chain
few of the many applications of AI within supply chain include:
- Collecting and managing data in real-time from multiple sources to provide end-to-end visibility across the supply chain
- Detecting demand patterns and generating forecasts
- Optimizing the balance of supply and demand across the supply chain
- Performing tasks in order to improve productivity and minimize human error
Uses of Agents within Supply Chain
There are various uses of agents within the supply chain and procurement. Examples include:
- Using agents to analyze distances between customer and supplier, including locations where inventory is kept, and determine the best routes and options for supplying the order
- Identify potential suppliers from across the globe using web servers to filter data and automate the supplier selection
- Rank suppliers’ goods from website catalogs using data analysis.