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Beyond the crystal ball: AI-powered visibility & forecasting for the future of supply chains

At Ligentia, we’re fortunate to partner with a vast array of companies across the entire supply chain spectrum. From nimble e-commerce start-ups to established retail and manufacturing giants, our customers all face the same core challenge: taming the ever-increasing complexity of modern global supply chains. While their specific tools and processes may differ, the need for unparalleled visibility and accurate forecasting remains a constant thread.

This is where the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) comes into play. We, at Ligentia, view AI as a powerful tool with the potential to revolutionise the way businesses navigate the intricacies of supply chains.

As CTO, I’ve witnessed firsthand the wide range of challenges and opportunities our customers face. This exposure to such a diverse customer base fuels our ongoing exploration of emerging technologies like AI.

But with a vast array of options, which ones hold the most promise? For me, while predicting disruptions with absolute certainty remains a challenge, AI offers a powerful tool for managing them. Imagine a world where real-time visibility across the entire supply chain allows us to identify potential issues early on. By constantly analysing vast amounts of data, AI can pick up on subtle patterns and signals that might indicate an impending disruption, giving us time to react and minimise its impact.This is the future that AI promises.

Here’s a glimpse into how AI can revolutionise visibility and forecasting:

  • Machine learning (ML): Analysing vast amounts of historical data, including weather patterns, social media trends, and economic indicators, ML algorithms can identify patterns and predict future demand fluctuations with incredible accuracy.
  • Internet of Things (IoT): Sensors embedded in everything from pallets to containers provide a constant stream of real-time data on location, temperature, and even potential equipment failures. AI can analyse this data to identify bottlenecks, anticipate delays, and reroute shipments for optimal efficiency.
  • Digital twins: Imagine a virtual replica of your entire supply chain, constantly learning and evolving. AI-powered digital twins can simulate different scenarios, allowing you to test and refine processes before implementing them in the real world.

The benefits of AI-powered visibility and forecasting

The impact of improved visibility and forecasting is far-reaching. Here are just a few of the benefits:

  • Reduced costs: By optimising inventory levels and minimising disruptions, AI can lead to significant cost savings.
  • Enhanced customer satisfaction: Timely deliveries and accurate order fulfilment lead to happier customers.
  • Reduced carbon footprint: AI-powered optimisation of supply chain networks can lead to significant reductions in carbon emissions.
  • Increased agility: The ability to adapt to changing market conditions quickly gives you a competitive edge.
  • Improved risk management: By anticipating disruptions, you can develop contingency plans and mitigate potential losses.
  • Minimised waste generation: Precise demand forecasting allows for more efficient production planning, reducing waste generation from excess materials and finished goods.
  • Sustainable transportation: Real-time monitoring of transportation conditions can identify opportunities for modal shifts, such as switching from airfreight to more sustainable options like rail or ocean freight when possible.

The road ahead

While AI holds immense potential, successful implementation requires a strategic approach. Here are some key considerations:

  • Data is king: AI thrives on data. Ensure your systems capture and integrate data from all relevant sources, either structured or un-structured and have a data strategy.
  • Embrace change: A culture of continuous learning is crucial for adapting to new technologies and workflows, don’t be afraid to experiment or fail, but do it quickly.
  • Invest in people: Technology is just one piece of the puzzle. Upskilling your workforce to leverage AI effectively is vital.

Ligentia: Your partner in building future-proof supply chains

At Ligentia, we understand that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work in the complex world of supply chains. That’s why we leverage the collective expertise gained from working with a diverse range of customers to develop value drive supply chain solutions that address your specific challenges.

Our close collaboration with you ensures a deep understanding of your unique industry and business goals. This allows us to tailor AI and other emerging technologies to create a future-proof supply chain strategy.

We don’t just implement technology; we become an extension of your team, working alongside you to:

  • Identify bottlenecks and opportunities: Through a collaborative approach, we’ll work with you to pinpoint areas where AI can have the most significant impact.
  • Develop a data-driven strategy: We’ll help you harness the power of your data to fuel the AI engine and unlock actionable insights.
  • Implement and optimise solutions: Our team will seamlessly integrate AI solutions into your existing workflows, ensuring a smooth transition and ongoing optimisation.

The future of supply chains is intelligent and connected. By embracing AI and other emerging technologies, we’re committed to helping our customers navigate this new era and unlock the full potential of their logistics networks.

Stay tuned for future posts where we’ll delve deeper into specific AI applications and how they’re transforming the industry. In the meantime, let’s continue the conversation! What challenges do you face in terms of supply chain visibility and forecasting? Share your thoughts and connect with us today.

About the author

Anthony Plummer is the Group Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Ligentia. With over 20 years’ of industry experience, Anthony is passionate about customer advocacy and innovation. In his previous role as Global Customer Director, he played a key role in expanding Ligentia’s customer base and aligning the team with the company’s vision of empowering customer success. As CTO, Anthony focuses on leveraging technology to further enhance Ligentia’s capabilities and drive the company’s next phase of growth.