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Transportation and Logistics

AI-supported supply chains can lead logistic managers to the “holy grail"

AI is changing the world, including our supply chains. Using data from suppliers, clients, and even the weather, AI can help maintain machines, increase efficiency, and improve employee performance.

When you think of Artificial Intelligence (AI) do you imagine space-age technology that can write perfect melodies, predict what you want for dinner, and drive your car? How about streamline your supply chain and help save money on operational costs?

AI can do that too.


Supply Chain Brain reported 30% lower administrative expenses in companies that employ automated supply chain solutions.

In a recent McKinsey report 61% of executives said they saw a decrease in expenses after introducing AI to their supply chain. At the same time, 53% experienced an increase in revenue.

AI-enabled and AI-ready technology, such as HERE Supply Chain, uses external and internal data sources (suppliers, clients, demographics, and other economic factors) to “sense" and respond to specified features within a complex logistic environment. It can learn to solve common supply chain problems such as reducing delivery delays, avoiding weather disruptions, or even making better decisions about the location and purchase of assets.

Proctor & Gamble, for example, uses machine learning algorithms (a subfield of AI) to automatically adjust planning for product launches, changes in stocking strategies, or seasonal shifts in demand. This frees up the company's planners to focus on other important tasks.

Best of all, AI can help fleet managers get goods to the right place at the right time, something those in the industry call the “holy grail".


Research and Markets estimates that the AI-supported supply chain management market will reach US$1.3 billion by 2024.

Why AI?

As logistic brands work to better address challenges caused by COVID-19 and adapt to new ways of working, AI is playing a central role in the redesign of daily practices and future forecasting.

Peter Kueth, Senior Product Manager for HERE Technologies, says: “Machine learning and an AI's capability to parse vast amounts of data to find anomalies, learn patterns and proactively recommend decisions is a game changer for supply chains. Imagine changes in buying behavior being captured almost instantly, and distribution and manufacturing plans adjusted right then and there."

HERE Supply Chain works in tandem with AI

Changes in the way managers operate their supply chain have been accelerated by the pandemic and companies are deploying new technology supported by AI to meet demands. HERE Supply Chain can help:
Track shipments and assets: access real-time ETAs and alerts about shipments on the move helping to meet sustainability goals and avoid delays
Improve yard efficiency: streamline movement between docks, reduce gate congestion missed “slots" while saving on operational costs
Enhance warehouse procedures: use warehouse, factory, and other industrial facility maps to gain a clear understanding of asset location and how to better place assets according to employee movements

AI processes big data generated by day-to-day logistic operations to assist in the management of quality control; maintenance scheduling that can predict equipment failures, in turn, preventing downtime and delays; in addition to increasing overall supply chain efficiency such as meeting ETAs, fuel recording, and analyzing driver performance.

What's more, companies that choose to implement automated supply chain solutions, backed by AI, can make more informed decisions about raw material purchases and product demand.

Generally speaking, AI can help logistic brands hone their vision of a smart and effective business strategy including softening the transition to automated fleets.

“Many see AI as a threat to traditional jobs, but AI also promises to be the greatest improver of human performance we've ever seen. In the future when large-scale disruptions such as this pandemic strike, AI will allow us to react quicker, reduce waste, and get back to capacity sooner," – Peter Kueth, HERE Technologies, Senior Product Manager

AI allows companies to better manage the data already existing within their business without increasing the size of their industrial space, adding employees, or upgrading skills.

With access to real-time and historic data, brands are able to improve response times and minimize cost-inducing risks while delivering an enhanced customer experience. In fact, McKinsey estimates that businesses stand to gain between US$1.3 trillion to US$2 trillion each year from using AI in supply chain and manufacturing.

If AI does one thing, it helps to increase end-to-end visibility across the entire supply line resulting in resilient supply chains built to survive even the most precarious of economic conditions.

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