In a business world constantly evolving, how does A.I. and Blockchain impact the future of your supply chain?

We live in a constantly evolving time and period when it comes to business models and technology. This generation is undergoing its own “industrial revolution,” one of a digital capacity, where businesses and companies alike are changing the entire structure of their business models.

New innovations in analytics, robotics, machine learning, IoT sensors, security and cloud services and more, are reshaping the roles of supply chain managers and are putting pressures on legacy technology vendors. While traditional Enterprise Resource Planning vendors, such as SAP, Oracle and Microsoft, will continue to dominate the existing IT systems for some time, visionary organizations are leveraging new technologies to reshape how value is create through their supply chain 4.0.

But first, let’s get the technical stuff out of the way. Distributed databases, capable of persisting every transaction between participants, or otherwise known as “blockchains,” are currently setting a new foundation for transparent and trustworthy vendor-supplier relationships, focusing on the activities that actually create value. This means that your company no longer needs to develop trust with a third-party, because blockchains are minimizing the costs of contracting.

Artificial intelligence, or “A.I.,” on the other hand, is profoundly changing the role of technology in our day to day decision making processes. An exciting time to be in business, as better results from A.I. algorithms are finally “intelligent” enough to replace human decisions. According to surveys done by Accenture, more than 70% of high level executives are making significantly greater investments in AI-related technologies today, versus two years ago.

So what does this mean for your supply chain, and how are technological changes such as AI and Blockchain seemingly shaping the supply chains of the future?

It’s simple; your supply chain will be more efficient, more trustworthy and, in the end, will see more value created from your supply chain than ever before.

Efficiency

For the past decade, Big Data technologies have helped us create more opportunities than ever to harness this data for a more measured and reasonable decision-making process than ever before.

Now, Artificial Intelligence allows your company to leverage its Big Data investments in the supply chain data, to constantly learn from it and optimize it, thus making your process much more efficient by creating a new norm.By automatically learning from your data, it’s possible to constantly be pinpointing possible areas of inefficiencies to maximize the value created by your process.

Artificial Intelligence can be applied to a lot of different aspects of supply chain, all of which provide speed beyond the capable reach of any human, while also providing more accurate information than ever. This aspect is completely new to supply chain management, the ability to make fact-based decisions with impeccable awareness.

With Artificial Intelligence, your supply chain can automate the process of acquiring and classifying information and reasoning, all while providing more accurate insights into the data than ever. Thus, providing efficiency at a rate your supply chain has yet to see.

Trustworthy

When taking advantage of the opportunities to maximize efficiency, your company, in turn, will also be creating a more trustworthy process.

Thanks to advances in blockchain, all of the risks (i.e. transparent payments, lack of traceability in vendor-supplier transactions, etc) associated with managing suppliers can now be managed and effectively measured throughout the process. For example, the food transportation industry has often made investments to make sure food arrives safely and on time to consumers. However, we continue to see some food chain that lack of the proper paper trail on the activities and exact food temperatures during food transportation increasing the risk for food waste and bore ilnenesses. 

Blockchain provides a transparency within every transaction and its associated value, visible to anyone that has access to the system. The digital nature of the ledgers means that blockchain transactions can be tied to a logical, computational, and in essence, programmed process. Thus allowing the opportunity for users to set up algorithms and rules that automatically trigger transactions between nodes, providing seamless records and transparency. Furthermore, new supply chain vendors will emerge built completely from the ground up using blockchain.

Profitable

When you maximize your company’s efficiencies and trustworthiness among suppliers, you can increase value to an organization. For course, there’s no revelation with this.

What’s truly unique how fast and profound the changes will be going forward. We are already living in a post-ERP world, where your supply chain data resides in multiple systems, often in a public cloud. And it’s just a matter of time before a new value of new value chain systems will work as “natural network systems,” to further increase your organization’s profitability.

Only time will tell whether or not humans will remain to be involved in the process, but the digital age is proving to be an exciting time for the supply chain industry.

Want to learn more about how Abra’s Business Process Analytics can help your company see a more efficient, trustworthy and profitable process? Click here to contact us and request a demo today!

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