Generative AI Could Change 50% of Supply Chain Processes

Generative AI Could Change 50% of Supply Chain Processes

March 7, 2024
The technology can affect sourcing planning, aftersales and service. 

Generative AI will be a driving force in supply chain organization. In Technology Vision 2025, conducted by Accenture, 9% of executives agree that generative AI will compel their organization to modernize its technology architecture.

A new report from Accenture, "Supply chain networks in the age of generative AI: Turning promise into performance,” found that Generative AI could automate or augment 58% of all supply chain processes.

Additionally, 43% of all working hours in U.S. supply chain functions could be affected – 29% through automation and 14% through augmentation.

And the roles of procurement clerks and production, planning and expediting clerks will change the most: 75% and 72% of their time are susceptible to automation or augmentation through Generative AI.

The report concludes that there are opportunities for this technology to affect applications in everything from sourcing and planning, through manufacturing and fulfillment, to aftersales and service.  They also note significant value in cross-functional outcomes like supply chain sustainability, resilience, talent management, and customer-centricity.

The key is “approaching generative AI not merely as ‘just another’ technology implementation. It’s an enterprise transformation, with implications for the way an organization thinks about its data, talent, and ways of working.”

The report provides examples of the changes generative AI could bring to supply chain functions:


·      Easier-to-understand insights for demand and capacity planning. Many companies have analytics solutions that provide very complex information for demand and capacity planning. Generative AI could provide interfaces for employees to query recommendations and receive explanations in everyday language.

·      Generative AI-powered assistants for sourcing and procurement. The assistant guides business users to the right buying channel, supports any call-off or spot-buy, and connects them with a professional buyer to manage the purchase.

·      Simplifying maintenance of production machinery. Generative AI could summarize bulky machinery documentation into logical steps and decode expert know-how to everyday language.

·      Saving time and effort in order fulfillment. A generative AI-powered import/export document generator for shipping and export processes could tap wagonloads of unstructured information and automatically fill in shipping and export documents.

The authors conclude that “Generative AI in supply chain is still largely uncharted territory that presents a huge amount of untapped potential. The challenge for supply chain leaders is to move beyond experimentation and start identifying and scaling up the most impactful use cases.

“By applying value -driven analytics, supply chain leaders can fully understand how people are working today and identify where and how generative AI can deliver both business value and better employee experiences. Learning from peers in the broader ecosystem is critically important. Experienced partners understand not only the rapidly evolving technology but also the unique requirements of supply chain operations. They can help turn promising ideas into scalable solutions that can deliver higher performance in day -to -day work.”