How AI is Impacting Supply Chain Management


Artificial intelligence (AI) is technology that enables machines to behave in ways similar to how humans act. Although this innovation has applications in numerous sectors, there is no place where it is more of a game-changer than in the supply chain and logistics industry. It stands to revolutionize how companies address the complexities of operating globally by offering several key advantages that companies can begin to tap into immediately. 

Predicting Demand 

AI is uniquely equipped to forecast buyer behavior, including what they need and when. A good supply distributor can harness this valuable quality intrinsic in AI to anticipate their inventory needs. By so doing, the vendors who serve electronics manufacturers can ensure that their clients always receive full quantities of the chips, semiconductors and other materials they need on time. 

Facilitating Communications 

One of the most frustrating obstacles to a smoothly operating supply chain happens when barriers in communications confuse matters and lead to misunderstandings and delays. AI, through the implementation of chatbots, can streamline interactions between companies and the vendors who furnish them with the materials they need. Since the majority of components are sourced from China, chatbots programmed to communicate in Mandarin and other local dialects can help to keep messages between companies and their suppliers clear. In most cases, additional human contact is not necessary. However, in the event of a complex situation that goes beyond the scope of the automated system, a company representative can be transferred to a human customer service agent. 

Set-and-Forget Production 

By means of smart warehouses, suppliers are now able to automate many tedious tasks that were formerly accomplished by humans, including assembling electronic components. This is leading to fewer errors and is more cost-effective. Throughout the process, humans can work alongside robots to ensure that the job is done correctly. 

Enhancing Efficiency 

Anyone who has ever relied on GPS to get to a new destination knows the power of AI. Top-tier distributors are also now utilizing this technology to pinpoint and streamline the delivery of the transistors, capacitors, semiconductors and chips that electronics manufacturing companies rely upon. Based on AI’s ability to optimize routes according to traffic patterns and other factors, suppliers can now provide their clients with spot-on forecasts of when the items they have ordered will arrive. As a result, the remainder of the manufacturing process can flow without a hitch. 

AI has moved beyond the realm of fantasy and science fiction. Today and into the future, it stands to have a revolutionary impact on the resiliency and efficiency of the global supply chain. In light of its as yet largely untapped potential, it is no wonder that more and more electronics component suppliers are incorporating it into their business models.