This article is part of an ongoing series called Machine Learning for Manufacturers, which focuses on the uses for artificial intelligence (AI) in manufacturing. It began with our article introducing machine learning and AI, and continues to spell out the many ways that AI solutions are relevant to manufacturing and supply chain operations.
What Does “Resilience” Mean in a Supply Chain Context?
The recent—and ongoing—supply chain crisis has shed a light on a light of the weaknesses and issues within many manufacturers’ organization of their supply chain.
For one, many manufacturers, to save costs, they choose suppliers that will offer very cheap prices for raw materials.
Many of these suppliers tend to be located in areas that are more vulnerable to natural disasters, or, sometimes, political instability (just look at what is happening with gas prices skyrocketing due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.)
Other times, there is not much you can do, such as in the case of a global pandemic that shuts down virtually every element in the international supply chain(s).
We covered how to use AI to prevent and stop supply chain crises in a previous article, but this article focuses in on a different, but still just as important, issue, which is how AI can assist manufacturers who find themselves caught up in a supply chain disruption.
This is what resilience means for a manufacturer: having the tools needed to take the hit of a crisis or disruption without folding entirely.
When it comes to things like global pandemics, however unexpected they may be, it is important for manufactures and other organizations across a supply chain system to be prepared for a potentially devastating disruption.
Supply chain resilience, the practice of taking measures to work against the many threats to a manufacturer during a disruption, has certainly been the focus of many people involved in the global supply chain.
This is because both the coronavirus pandemic’s impact along with the conflict between Russia and Ukraine have put many manufacturers in crisis mode.
Something that has come up again and again is the idea that artificial intelligence will help manufacturers of the future better deal with these disruptions.
AI’s role in supply chain resilience goes beyond installing disease-resistant robots in factories. In fact, AI can go far beyond that.
To find out what AI can do to support supply chain resilience, read on.
Fit for Each Manufacturer
Not every manufacturer’s supply chain resembles other manufacturers. Everyone is different, and this is why AI is so integral for finding solutions.
AI can take your company’s unique data and quickly get an accurate picture of the many aspects of your unique supply chain. This data can be used by a number of AI platforms that will help you weather the hardships of a crisis.
With that understood, an AI resilience platform can run many different simulations that predict what may happened based on the many open possibilities during a disruption.
These many simulations allow you to prepare for the multitude of what-ifs (e.g. “what if my aluminum supplier suddenly closes?”)
That same platform can offer predictions as to what you ought to do in those cases.
AI can also be used to sift through loads of market data to find out which suppliers would be good to jump to in the case of an emergency closedown of your regular supplier.
This can also be extended to transportation options as well, which is especially helpful for those who ship overseas via cargo.
Day-by-day price prediction AI will offer you predictions about the expected fluctuations of the raw materials you need.
Customer churn prediction AI can also be effective, as you will be able to monitor in real time whatever issues come up with your customers, and find out which ones need extra care for retention.
AI-Powered Data Solutions for Your Company
The ongoing supply chain crisis has made the time- and cost-efficient uses of AI in the manufacturing process even more relevant than ever, so do not hesitate to make the investment in AI, which has saved many manufacturers from going under in these turbulent times.
To learn more about AI-based solutions, manufacturing-related or not, reach out to Findability Sciences, a leading AI service provider. From predicting customer churn to installing chatbots in your supply chain, you are sure to find what you need at Findability Sciences.
Read other informative articles in our ongoing Machine Learning for Manufacturers series: