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The Supply Chain Intelligence Crisis

Dr. Frazelle explains the growing supply chain intelligence crisis - artificial and human - and some steps organizations need to take to stave off crippling supply chain complexity.

In the last few months two clients have shared openly that their lack of supply chain intelligence – artificial and human - leaves them overwhelmed by the mix, range, and speed of decision making required in today’s supply chain environment. The clients also shared that their business and supply chain performance are depressed as a result of the gap between their supply chain complexities and capabilities. They in turn are vulnerable to competition from inside their industry and from non-traditional competitors who are able to respond more quickly and more shrewdly in their markets via supply chain intelligence. Both clients have asked us to be their “supply chain intelligence partner” until we are able to help them sufficiently upgrade their supply chain decision making capability or until they decide to enter a long-term supply chain intelligence partnership.

What I call the “supply chain intelligence crisis”, has been brewing for some time. The crisis is a result of (1) simultaneously proliferating products, customers, sources, channels, ShipFroms, ShipTos, transport modes, border crossings, wildly fickle consumer behavior, security threats, and automation opportunities; (2) introduction of new waves of data available from connected devices of all kinds; (3) the scarcity of supply chain professionals with formal and advanced education in the field; and (4) under-developed and overly complicated supply chain decision support technology. That perfect storm of factors is overwhelming many supply chains and their decision makers.

Personally and corporately our aim is to support corporations who are struggling in or stymied by this new age of supply chain decision making. We are taking three steps toward that aim.

First, we are raising awareness of the issue in an upcoming PBS documentary on supply chain technology. The documentary is part of the PBS series, Information Matrix Hosted by Laurence Fishburne. The documentary features RightChain’s AI capability and how it is being applied in various industries. The documentary is scheduled to air in Summer, 2019. We are honored that PBS reached out to us. We were selected over the world’s most prestigious universities and corporations to be their feature story.

Second, I am releasing my new book titled, Supply Chain Intelligence in The Intelligence Economy. The book provides a practical explanation of the world of artificial intelligence, an outline of what I term “The Intelligence Economy”, a prescription for the application of AI in supply chain management, and an overview of our new LogOS™ by RightChain AI subscription offering.

Third, we are releasing LogOS™ by RightChain AI. LogOS™ by RightChain™ AI is the industry’s most comprehensive and advanced supply chain artificial intelligence (SCAI) offering – a one-stop, cloud-based, subscription portal access to AI, analytics, optimization, knowledge and education to answer in real-time the most difficult supply chain questions. We have developed and applied machine learning, large-scale optimization, big data science, and deep knowledge bases to supply chain planning, S&OP, network design, inventory optimization, logistics strategy, sourcing, supply chain financial analysis, and warehouse configuration. The results with some of the world’s premier corporations are nothing short of shocking; typically yielding 1% to 5% of sales to the bottom line via service strategy optimization and accompanying increases to fill rates for key customers and SKUs; 22% to 38% increases to the financial performance of inventory; 3% to 19% reductions in supply chain expenses; and 4% to 31% increases to supply chain capital utilization.

We have a long and storied history developing and applying human and artificial intelligence to supply chains. My PhD research in the late 1980s was focused on the application of AI to warehouse operations. During that research and our consulting work I noticed that very few professionals working in supply chains had any formal or advanced education in the field. The large majority of supply chain initiatives were failing as a result; and supply chain strategies and operations were under-serving and sometimes hampering the very businesses they were meant to enhance. We have been developing and applying supply chain intelligence ever since – crafting AI-based algorithms and deep knowledge bases to address the most difficult decisions in supply chain strategy and management.

I have been developing supply chain artificial and human intelligence since the late 1980s. I have worked with and developed some of earliest supply chain robotics, voice synthesis, expert systems, knowledge-based systems, large-scale optimizations, learning management systems and learning algorithms. We have integrated all of that capability into our new offering.

We are an all PhD firm, and an all nerd family. Our lunch and dinner conversations are non-normal to say the least, but we have our form of inside humor and we have great joy when we can help our clients break through the complexities that have stymied their professional and personal pursuits.


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