There’s no doubt about it, AI is changing the face of supply chain management. New efficiencies are introduced at every point in the supply chain when AI and automation join forces with a smart, motivated, and skilled workforce. Here are a few things to know about how artificial intelligence will make supply chains more efficient.
New Data-Centric Jobs Will Become More Important
Data-savvy scientists able to understand and analyze the huge amounts of data collected and then apply necessary changes to AI algorithms to guide decisions being made by machines will be in high demand. Such jobs will become particularly important in the new supply chain industry, as big data has enormous untapped potential to revolutionize efficiency in every step of the supply chain.
Training to Integrate Machines and People Will Be Ongoing
Change is already happening as more robots and smart machines are taking their place alongside flesh and blood workers. Looking ahead, training to facilitate the integration of machines with the human workforce will continue to be important. It will take some time for people to adapt to new roles as machines take on repetitive, programmable functions and new tasks that require the integration of AI and machine learning for execution.
Because some tasks in the supply chain will now be handled more efficiently, there arises an opportunity for those willing to take on roles in business development, lead acquisition, data analysis, project management and integration of multiple linked supply chains.
Innovation Will Be Constant
While machines may be great at implementing processes and, within an established framework, learning and making adjustments, true innovation will still come from people. Only now, advances will be supported by the superior computing power of machines. Moving forward, those people who are able to work with, take advantage of, and communicate with ever-smarter machines will be more valuable than ever in the supply chain. The result will ultimately be a higher return on investment. Furthermore, people, who are freed from repetitive, monotonous tasks, will be free to engage in creative, forward-thinking initiatives that make the most of that unique personal computer we all carry around inside our skulls.
Despite concerns that humans could essentially be “replaced” by machines, in fact, people will continue to be absolutely essential in the new supply chain model. Someone needs to train and direct machines, after all. People will always have a critical role to play when it comes to strategic planning and understanding when (and how best) to utilize the computing power and efficiencies of AI-supported automation.