August 14, 2019
Overcoming challenges, leveraging efficiencies, insights and more.
I’m sure a lot of you would agree, it is really hard to pick out at least one area where Artificial intelligence is not effective. Being a significant driver for everything nowadays, AI is also a perfect solution for procurement and supply chains, along with the wealth of data they generate.
But, does it mean AI is a magic new solution to any problems? Of course, it is not. We hear a lot of talks about future potential instead of business reality and tangible results. Today, I will go the opposite way and focus on the latter aspect, which is more important. So what is AI for procurement and supply chains?
Let’s then make a little investigation, cut through the hype and identify the real business opportunity in AI today. As far as I included enough definitions and examples, this post is friendly to professionals without prior knowledge of the topic.
What’s the Problem with the Current State of Procurement?
Procurement is automating more of its repetitive tasks, which allows it to move the focus away from transactions and toward strategy. When deciding on the rationalization of financial flows, attention is paid specifically to procurement — an area where there are the greatest reserves to improve the efficiency of the entire business.
A competitive procurement system leads to the fact that the company receives the best price for the products it needs of a certain quality. And it is clear that without automation of this process it will be impossible to achieve success in the current market conditions.
To be more precise, several common procurement challenges haunt businesses of all sizes:
- Risk management: Delivery risk / Counterparty risk — Market risks, potential frauds, cost, quality, and delivery risks constitute the most common type of risks.
- Inaccurate data — Making purchases based on inaccurate procurement data can lead to inventory shortages, excess inventory, and other additional procurement challenges that have the potential to impact an organization’s bottom line directly.
- High costs — the cost avoidance initiatives, albeit valuable, aren’t typically recognized as “real” savings. Therefore, the natural inclination of the category owner is to execute a competitive bid.
What about the supply chain? There is also enough challenges ad here are some of them:
- Fast-changing market conditions — Consumer behavior changes according to many cultural, social, personal, and psychological factors. Enterprises feel the pressure to make their products attractive and relevant, and to introduce new, trendy products.
- Cost control — Operating costs are under extreme pressure by rising energy/fuel and freight costs, the greater number of global customers, technology, increasing labor rates and new regulations and rising commodity prices.
- Risk management and security — In today’s world, there are numerous security and reputation risks to supply chains from anticipated and unanticipated events.
So, let’s move to the ways for overcoming all of those challenges.
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