Technology Record - Issue 31: Winter 2023

110 VIEWPOINT Innovations in technology such as artificial intelligence are allowing manufacturers to better prepare for supply chain disruptions PUNEET SAXENA: BLUE YONDER Revolutionising supply chain planning Global supply chain disruptions and geopolitical developments have prompted manufacturers to re-evaluate their sourcing strategies and enhance resilience. Inflation is driving up the cost of manufacturing and impacting profit margins, the complexity of extended supply chain networks is increasing the need for better visibility and responsiveness, and talent shortages are driving the need for decision automation and autonomous planning solutions. The rapid evolution of technology, including the integration of Industry 4.0 concepts such as automation and AI, offer significant opportunities for manufacturers to create more agile and responsive supply chain planning operations. Notably, the increased adoption of automated scenario planning, predictive AI and generative AI has ushered in a new era of precision, adaptability and strategic foresight. Automated scenario planning: lasering in on optimised outcomes Traditionally, planners navigated uncertainties by relying on historical data and instinct. However, the complexity of today’s global supply chains demands a more sophisticated approach. Automated scenario planning has emerged as a game-changer and enables planners to simulate a myriad of potential futures and assess the impact of each scenario on supply chain dynamics. Whether manufacturers are facing a sudden spike in demand, supply chain disruptions or geopolitical shifts, automated scenario planning provides them with a proactive framework for decision-making. This level of preparedness not only minimises the impact of disruptions but also positions manufacturers to capitalise on emerging opportunities. Blue Yonder is applying advanced capabilities, like polytope analysis, to supercharge scenario planning. By leveraging the power of Blue Yonder’s Supply Chain Planning microservices, combined with the infinite scaling of Blue Yonder’s Luminate Cognitive Platform which runs on Microsoft Azure, scenario simulation takes minutes, rather than weeks, to perform. Shifting from reactive to proactive demand planning Predictive AI is a force that has propelled planning into a realm of unparalleled precision. Unlike traditional forecasting, predictive AI leverages advanced algorithms to analyse vast data sets, identify patterns, understand external factors and foresee future demand trends with remarkable accuracy. The algorithms continuously learn and evolve, enhancing their predictive capabilities with each new piece of information. This dynamic approach ensures that “Predictive AI is a force that has propelled planning into a realm of unparalleled precision”