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28 May 2021

How Do AI and Big Data Add Value for Manufacturers

Martin Pahulje

Artificial intelligence and big data are the peaks of innovation. As technology continues to grow more sophisticated and developed, our reliance on data grows as well. Today, data is one of the most valuable commodities for modern businesses. More and more businesses are going digital, resulting in data production at a greater volume than ever before. To maximize the value of this data, companies must scale up their networks to store, share, and process such data, and it needs to be done efficiently. With the best and most informed understanding of your data, you can set the standard for your business’ success. Using AI and Big Data, you can reduce costs, make better and faster decisions, and meet customer needs with ease. 

For manufacturers in particular, maximizing efficiency and speedy is crucial to optimize operations. Many manufacturers have already invested in AI and Big Data – but to what extent? Data and analytics will drive the future of supply chain digitization, and it needs to be implemented in every aspect of your organization for you to reap its benefits fully. Deploying AI capabilities on a widespread scale is vital to managing a seamless supply chain network. To ensure that you are equipping your organization with the tools for long-term success, you must understand the value of AI and Big Data.


AI-Enhanced Real-time Planning

For any supply chain manager, there is no question that planning is of incredible significance. From the first step of the manufacturing process all the way to delivery, each operation and process must be planned in advance. The supply chain network works as a domino effect, each decision and action impacting all others. For this reason, planning must be as accurate as possible, and decisions need to be made quickly, often without much time to prepare. If this alone isn't challenging enough, external factors are constantly introduced that force plans to change. Should a machine break down or delivery is delayed, the right decision must be made quickly to resume operations. These are challenges that arise on a daily basis in the manufacturing industry, and there is a solution.

With AI-enabled technology, the planning process can be simplified and automated. Planners will receive better data than ever before, allowing them to make more accurate decisions. Because AI is a highly interoperable tool, it can be implemented in all aspects of the value network, enabling data to be shared and processed in real-time between systems. Tools such as IoT sensors can collect data and transmit it back to your AI-powered control tower, notifying planners of machine breakdowns, weather alerts, and transportation delays. In addition to collecting real-time data, the algorithm processes can provide replanning options using historical data so that you can make decisions with the best possible information. With these insights, planners can respond proactively, minimizing the time and money lost on


Big Data Can Streamline Digitization

Digitization is the future of supply chains. For manufacturers, processes must be automated to keep operations running as quickly and smoothly as possible. Importing data throughout the value network is crucial for organizations to make decisions and implement actions accordingly. Your organization likely already collects and imports this data, but are you using it efficiently once it’s collected? Big Data-based technology enables users to extract value out of their digital processes in a revolutionary way. With advanced predictive analytics, Big Data creates smarter demand forecasts and advanced prescriptive algorithms that offer you solutions to optimize your operations. You will have the capacity to capture, store, and manage significant amounts of data, in addition to running robust analysis and visualize insights embedded within the data. Once current and historical data has been run through the system, patterns can be identified and then used to predict more accurate outcomes. With an analysis of market trends, your systems will be able to predict demand. Your planners can then use this information to make accurate decisions regarding inventory, manufacturing, and delivery.

These functions can allow planners to realize the expected costs and revenue performance of retail locations that have yet to be built. Insights of this magnitude are revolutionary in optimizing day-to-day operations in addition to growing your company in the long run. Big Data will enable you to find the value in assets that would otherwise be overlooked.


Increased Forecast Accuracy

AI and Big Data are instrumental enablers of real-time data and digitalized planning flows. These capabilities will optimize how manufacturers make decisions, plan, and manage their network – the perfect recipe for increased forecasting accuracy. By implementing advanced analytics technology within your value chain, the accuracy of your forecasts will improve exponentially. Accurate forecasting is critical for several operations, but especially that of S&OE and S&OP processes. These processes rely on forecasting power to align strategic and tactical goals, so forecasts must be accurate. With AI and Big Data, your systems will work in unison, verifying data between sources and identifying patterns to forecast future disruptions and demands.

One of the greatest benefits of these technologies is the ability to forecast demand. By anticipating customer and market demand, you can meet demands before customers have placed orders. This is an incredible competitive advantage in the manufacturing industry as it takes time to acquire materials, produce goods, and deliver them. With advanced notice, these operations can be expedited, alleviating your value system while exceeding customer expectations. Beyond demand forecasts, you will receive notification of disruptions so that you can avoid them. This will enable you to decrease stockouts, overages, parts shortages, and countless more disruptions that you may encounter.

Time is money, so you must maximize the value of your time in every way possible. A significant component of maximizing time is acting proactively rather than reactively. With the predictive analytics of AI and Big Data-enabled technology, you will receive fast and accurate insights to help you make better decisions. Your organization will be more efficient in avoiding disruptions, predicting demand, and optimizing operations than ever. Manufacturers must digitize their value network in order to stay competitive, and AI and Big Data are the keys to a new level of optimization.

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News & Trends

Last update 12 Nov 2021
Output growth hampered further by material shortages, but expansion in new orders remains sharp
   Source: Markit US Manufacturing PMI   -  IHS Markit
United States 

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