@ Supply Chain Management


Artificial Intelligence in Supply Chains – cont’d

In this addendum to the post – Artificial Intelligence in Supply Chains, I want to highlight a paper (part of a book on the subject) titled: Supply Chain Management and Multiagent Systems: An Overview published by Thierry Moyaux, Brahim Chaib-draa, and Sophie D’Amours available online here.

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Artificial Intelligence in Supply Chains

InformationWeek has a dated article about Artificial Intelligence making a foray into the Supply Chain Management space. The article by David M. Ewalt talks about how

Software makers such as IBM, i2 Technologies, Manugistics, and SAP are rushing to imbue supply-chain-management tools with artificial intelligence, allowing them to make better choices and even learn from mistakes.

Since the article is dated to April 2002, which is roughly 4.5 years ago, now would be an appropriate time to evaluate the progress made so far.
Have you heard anything remotely intelligent in Supply Chain Management from SCM software players? (Hah, haha!!)
On a more serious note,

Supply-chain-management programs are structured sort of like flow charts, following a make-and-sell model of supply and demand. Software that IBM Labs is building works more like bees in a hive, with lots of autonomous agents going out into the world collecting data. The result, says Grace Lin, a senior manager at IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center, is a system that can more easily consider new sources of information. These “sense and respond” systems make their own decisions based upon the variables at hand and aren’t strictly confined to a set of rules.

Further as to what this AI would be doing,

IBM’s effort essentially gives the program artificial intelligence, so it compares current business conditions to historical ones and forecasts what’s likely to happen next. “It doesn’t just react, but anticipates,” Lin says. And based on what actually does occur, the program can compare its forecast against reality, learning if it made a mistake. Lin says she expects a finished prototype later this year and a commercial version within five years.

Its about 4.5 years since this article and so I went searching for an IBM AI based software that is either in its last developmental stages or commercially deployed for supply chain management.

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About me

I am Chris Jacob Abraham and I live, work and blog from Newburgh, New York. I work for IBM as a Senior consultant in the Fab PowerOps group that works around the issue of detailed Fab (semiconductor fab) level scheduling on a continual basis. My erstwhile company ILOG was recently acquired by IBM and I've joined the Industry Solutions Group there.

@ SCM Clustrmap

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December 2006