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AI could transform the supply chain

(Image credit: Image Credit: Razum / Shutterstock)

Senior decision makers at mid-market discrete manufacturers see artificial intelligence (AI) as the technology that is going to make the most difference in supply chain transformation within the next three years. 

This is according to a new report by advanced technology solutions and services provider, Delaware, which placed this technology well above the likes of IoT and blockchain.

The greatest benefit of AI seems to be cutting costs, even though driving operational efficiencies and increasing productivity were also cited as important.

However, despite the perceived advantages AI can bring, most manufacturers seem to be lagging, as 75 per cent are yet to use AI in their supply chain. The report states that generally speaking, manufacturers aren’t using technology as much as they should. A third of respondents said to be using IoT, while 29 per cent use robotics-based automation.

“Old school” methods, such as running surveys into consumer buying behaviour, or collecting data on buying patterns by analysts or industry experts were still being heavily used.

“Given the impact of COVID-19 on their operations and their supply chains, in particular, it is key that manufacturers use new technologies proactively to fuel their fightback from the pandemic, and enable them to move positively into the future,” said Richard Seel, Managing Director (UK & US) at Delaware.

“As the recovery gathers pace, manufacturers will urgently need to look at how they can best make use of AI and machine learning to deliver operational efficiencies, optimise processes and achieve competitive edge.”