Supply chains are no longer the straightforward, linear processes they once were. They have transformed into intricate and dynamic networks, influenced by various factors, including demand and supply disruptions, geopolitical shifts, environmental concerns, and shifting consumer behaviors. As a result, organizations face the challenge of bridging the gap between hiring new talent and making them proficient contributors to their complex supply chain operations. Fortunately, advancements in AI and machine learning are poised to play a pivotal role in accelerating the time to expertise for talent in the field of supply chain planning.
Let's take a moment to talk about making bubbles (bear with us; we do have a point.) Back in the day, children would learn to create bubbles by dipping a wand into soapy water and blowing through it. It was a simple, hands-on process that required a blend of curiosity, technique, and practice. Fast forward to today, there are automatic bubble machines that produce thousands of bubbles effortlessly. While this technological advancement is convenient (and certainly mesmerizing), it raises the question: Are kids losing the understanding of how to blow bubbles the old-school way?
This analogy mirrors the transformation happening in the world of supply chain management. Traditionally, planners underwent a formal or informal training program, learning the intricacies of their role through hands-on experience while gaining supply chain expertise and knowledge, and being mentored while they shadowed seasoned supply chain planners. They had to understand the nuances of supply and demand, fine-tune their skills in forecasting, delve into segmentation and optimization strategies. Much like the child with a bubble wand, they learned the craft through practice and mentorship.
As technology continues to advance at an accelerated pace, it is helping to redefine the roles of supply chain planners. AI powered supply chain planning systems are designed to accelerate the journey to expertise and guide planners while infusing automation and other advanced analytics into the core systems in democratized environments, so that any user regardless of their planning skill level or analytical background can quickly adapt and be productive.
Empower Planners with Advanced Technologies
The growing complexities in the modern supply chain landscape mean today’s planners need to possess the ability to harness cutting-edge technologies and data-driven insights. They must be equipped to anticipate and adapt to disruptions, optimize inventory levels, reduce costs, and enhance overall supply chain resilience.
Supply chain planning systems equipped with AI and machine learning are spearheading this shift. These solutions provide planners with instant access to vast amounts of data, predictive analytics, and automated decision support, streamlining day-to-day operations while serving as invaluable educational tools.
Accelerate the Learning Curve
AI-driven planning technology solutions expedite the learning curve for supply chain talent, acting as mentors and providing real-time guidance and recommendations. They flag potential issues and offer prescriptive solutions, effectively turning novice planners into proficient contributors in a shorter timeframe.
Additionally, algorithmic actors, AI-powered expert systems that make sense of all the data, adapt and learn from experience, continuously improving decision-making capabilities. This means that as new planners gain experience, the systems also become more adept at understanding the unique dynamics of the organization's supply chain. It's a symbiotic relationship where both human expertise and AI grow and evolve together.
It’s also important to note the aspect of knowledge continuity. As experienced supply chain professionals retire or transition to new roles, there is a pressing need to transfer their knowledge and expertise to the next generation of planners. AI-powered systems play a key role in capturing and preserving this invaluable institutional knowledge, creating a repository of best practices, historical data, and decision-making patterns, and ensuring that the collective wisdom of the supply chain is not lost but passed on seamlessly.
Make the Most of AI and Machine Learning
The advances in supply chain technology reflect the changing landscape of talent development in the field and underscore the importance of leveraging AI and machine learning to enhance planners’ skills and capabilities.
How does this technology work to make it all happen? At the heart of John Galt Solutions’ Atlas Planning Platform are the Expert Systems, acting as the algorithmic brains behind the AI. The Expert Systems constantly monitor the supply chain, detect changes, and automatically provide notifications for exceptions and outliers. Additionally, they offer prescriptive recommendations based on real-time data and insights. These algorithmic actors are not static; they are continuously adapting to their environment. They understand causality and relationships within the supply chain, self-correct the model of the supply chain, self-improve the policies and self-optimize the algorithms.
Expert Systems are key enablers in decision-centric planning. As businesses expand and involve a broader community of users, including day-to-day operators, community users, and executives, the Expert Systems act as the central hub for intelligent decision-making. They seamlessly integrate with Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and other data systems, ensuring that the supply chain remains efficient and resilient.
With the power of AI and machine learning, new supply chain planners can access a wealth of information and insights from day one. They learn by working alongside these intelligent systems, gaining access to guidance and recommendations to make informed decisions with precision and confidence.
The evolution of supply chain planning technology is akin to the transition from blowing bubbles with a wand to the era of automated bubble machines. While the latter is undeniably efficient and captivating, we must not lose sight of the fundamental knowledge and skills that underpin the process. Similarly, as AI-powered systems redefine how supply chain planners operate, it's vital to recognize that technology alone cannot replace the understanding of the steps, the root causes, and the insights behind decisions. The synergy between human expertise and AI, exemplified by John Galt Solutions' Expert Systems, brings hope in this transformative journey; expediting learning but also cultivating a deep understanding of the supply chain intricacies.
In an era where supply chains are more complex and dynamic than ever, accelerating the time to expertise for talent in this field is crucial for organizations to remain competitive and agile. Advanced supply chain planning systems, driven by AI and machine learning, have revolutionized the way these leaders learn and operate – and they are a strategic imperative to ensure that the bubbles of success continue to rise.
We help organizations be at the forefront of this transformation, to continuously adapt and optimize their supply chain operations. Let’s take the next step to empower your new talent to harness the latest innovations in supply chain planning and equip your team with the tools required to enhance supply chain decision-making and increase resilience.