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This is an excerpt of the original article. It was written for the March-April 2024 edition of Supply Chain Management Review. The full article is available to current subscribers.

March-April 2024

Part of any supply chain manager’s job is risk mitigation. Thanks to COVID-19 and the ensuing, and constant, disruptions that have followed, more companies are now focused on reducing their exposure to supply chain chaos. We’ve heard a lot about diversification in recent years—having multiple suppliers in multiple locations. But risk mitigation goes far beyond diversification, and the recent case of Boeing should serve as a cautionary tale not to avoid those other risks.
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Billionaire Elon Musk took to the X platform recently to agree with David Holz, the founder of artificial intelligence research lab Midjourney, on Holz’s assertion that there will be one billion humanoid robots on earth by the 2040s—a mere 16 years from now.

The thought of humanoids roaming the streets may be frightening for some, yet they are already cruising warehouse floors. We are a far cry from one billion, but they are beginning to find their place. More importantly, at least in 2024, is the technology that underpins those robots—artificial intelligence (AI). AI is rapidly expanding throughout supply chain operations, and it is proving its worth in many areas.

Matt Laukaitis, executive vice president and global general manager of SAP’s Consumer Industries organization, says that AI is connecting customers to the supply chain in ways never before seen. “There are a lot of examples of forecasting data,” he tells Supply Chain Management Review. “But also of getting store associates the available and right inventory.”

Within the retail space, AI is helping ensure inventory is on hand and available for purchase—whether that be at the store or online. But it is also benefiting reverse logistics operations, enabling retailers to resell merchandise quickly using sensors or human inputs to determine where a returned item should enter the re-commerce network and at what price point it should be made available.

“It’s all about having the right data, having clean data,” Laukaitis says. “We’re trying to help our customers be very disciplined with how they [adopt] AI.

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Sorry, but your login has failed. Please recheck your login information and resubmit. If your subscription has expired, renew here.

From the March-April 2024 edition of Supply Chain Management Review.

March-April 2024

Part of any supply chain manager’s job is risk mitigation. Thanks to COVID-19 and the ensuing, and constant, disruptions that have followed, more companies are now focused on reducing their exposure to supply chain…
Browse this issue archive.
Access your online digital edition.
Download a PDF file of the March-April 2024 issue.

Billionaire Elon Musk took to the X platform recently to agree with David Holz, the founder of artificial intelligence research lab Midjourney, on Holz’s assertion that there will be one billion humanoid robots on earth by the 2040s—a mere 16 years from now.

The thought of humanoids roaming the streets may be frightening for some, yet they are already cruising warehouse floors. We are a far cry from one billion, but they are beginning to find their place. More importantly, at least in 2024, is the technology that underpins those robots—artificial intelligence (AI). AI is rapidly expanding throughout supply chain operations, and it is proving its worth in many areas.

Matt Laukaitis, executive vice president and global general manager of SAP’s Consumer Industries organization, says that AI is connecting customers to the supply chain in ways never before seen. “There are a lot of examples of forecasting data,” he tells Supply Chain Management Review. “But also of getting store associates the available and right inventory.”

Within the retail space, AI is helping ensure inventory is on hand and available for purchase—whether that be at the store or online. But it is also benefiting reverse logistics operations, enabling retailers to resell merchandise quickly using sensors or human inputs to determine where a returned item should enter the re-commerce network and at what price point it should be made available.

“It’s all about having the right data, having clean data,” Laukaitis says. “We’re trying to help our customers be very disciplined with how they [adopt] AI.

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MR

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About the Author

Brian Straight, SCMR Editor in Chief
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Brian Straight is the Editor in Chief of Supply Chain Management Review. He has covered trucking, logistics and the broader supply chain for more than 15 years. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and two children. He can be reached at [email protected], @TruckingTalk, on LinkedIn, or by phone at 774-440-3870.

View Brian's author profile.

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