Technology Record - Issue 31: Winter 2023

108 INTERVIEW The power of generative AI in supply chains Sai Buddhavarapu explains how Blue Yonder’s generative artificial intelligence solutions are helping manufacturers cope with supply chain pressures For supply chain professionals, success is reliant on good planning. But volatile market conditions and a proliferation of data are making this increasingly difficult. “With supply chain solutions spanning vast networks with diverse data silos, it often becomes a daily struggle to navigate the massive amounts of data across various systems and make real-time, context-aware plan adjustments,” says Sai Buddhavarapu, vice president of product management at Blue Yonder. “Furthermore, the past few years of extreme ebbs and flows have placed unprecedented pressure on supply chain planners, resulting in a record-high burnout among supply chain professionals.” To overcome these issues, many manufacturing organisations are looking to implement technology-based solutions, with many also beginning to realise the value of deploying bots powered by generative AI into supply chain operations. “With proper training and with the right guardrails, generative AI can be a trusted navigator to augment decision-making and guide staff through complex processes, quickly collating information from the organisations and sorting it into data-driven insights,” says Buddhavarapu. “Blue Yonder Orchestrator combines the power of generative AI, the natural language capabilities of LLMs, and the depth of Blue Yonder’s supply chain solvers to address these challenges, delivering dynamic decisionmaking and orchestration.” Integrated within Blue Yonder’s Luminate Cognitive Platform, Blue Yonder Orchestrator pulls data from all relevant sources before determining correlations and delivering easyto-read insights and recommendations for the user. The solution can then execute the decisions using a range of execution microservices. The number of case studies for generative AI may be growing, but there are still risk factors involved that organisations should be aware of, including concerns surrounding data and security. “Securing generative AI necessitates a multi-layered approach encompassing data, model training and fine-tuning, infrastructure, access control and diligence when evaluating vendors,” says Buddhavarapu. “Moreover, implementing comprehensive governance, rigorous access control, input and output controls, monitoring, sandboxing and wellthought-out development is imperative.” Security features in Blue Yonder’s solutions are developed upon foundations laid by Microsoft. “We rely on Microsoft’s deep expertise in enterprise-grade security and its leadership in the generative AI space to provide a robust security layer upon which we can build and add more controls,” says Buddhavarapu. “We BY AMBER HICKMAN “ With proper training and with the right guardrails, generative AI can be a trusted navigator to augment decision-making and guide staff through complex processes”