Lessons Learned from the Gartner Supply Chain Symposium - MAY 6-8, 2024

Gartner experts covered how to increase supply chain value, how CSCOs can strengthen strategy, and techniques to drive sustainable growth.

In an article about the opening keynote of the Gartner Symposium, Gartner VP Analyst Tom Enright’s key points are summarized as:

  • “Redefine “value.” It is about more than cost reduction. It also includes growth, commercial innovation and sustainability. Know where and when to drive different kinds of value. Cost-cutting might be the right strategy or value in a cost-focused segment of your business. Invest in the innovation-focused segment of your business.
  • Create opportunity from uncertainty. Ensure your organization is antifragile by shifting production and operations within both the physical network and assets sites, diversifying capabilities and collaborating to manage risk.
  • Reduce complexity through designed simplicity. This user experience-based approach to business transformation seeks to deliberately design transformation to be easy to understand and execute.
  • Unlock the value of people through AI.Empower employees to effectively engage with new tools by highlighting where generative AI can enhance what they can do, rather than replace them.”
  1. 60% of supply chain respondents to a Gartner survey are planning to implement GenAI in the next year.
  2. But AI investments are far from foolproof - according to Gartner survey, 54% of AI investments make it from pilot to production
  3. Advice from Gartner:
    1. Establish clear & compelling use cases for ML, AI & GenAI
    2. Equip teams with the tools and training that build trust and create successes
    3. Monitor and manage limitations & anxieties
    4. AI is not there to replace people, it is there to enhance what they do.
    5. "We tend to overestimate the effect of technology in the short run, and underestimate the effect in the long run." Quote from Roy Amara, Standford Computer Scientist from the 60's.
    6. Acknowledge most investments are long-term projects.

Image of Keith Moore presenting at the Gartner Supply Chain Symposium 2024

In the same article, Carly West, Sr Director Analyst at Gartner says the top supply chain technology trends for 2024 are:

  1. Cyber Extortion
  2. Supply Chain Data Governance
  3. End-to-end Sustainable Supply Chains
  4. AI-Enabled Vision Systems
  5. Augmented Connected Workforce - uses AI and advanced analytics to extend worker’s capabilities where normal human memory, attention or focus would fatigue or be unreliable.
  6. Composite AI – combination of different AI techniques to improve efficiency and learning.
  7. Next-Generation Humanoid Working Robots
  8. Machine Customers

Here are the major points we learned at the conference:

  • Collaboration is the new keyword
  • Predictive AI is the next frontier for AI adoption. Workers no longer fear that AI will replace them in their job; instead GenAI is seen as an enabler of efficiency. Supply chain executives believe that AI is a competitive differentiator when used within business operations.
  • Supply Chain Planning is growing in importance and moving into a strategic function. Organizations are looking at planning through a different lens. Next generation planning solutions fully utilize AI and ML. The ability to plan, optimize, and orchestrate your supply chain is of the utmost importance for success. However, just adding AI/ML to a legacy supply chain planning system won’t work – solutions must be built from the ground up with AI fully integrated.
  • AI is the key to supply chain transformation despite 54% of projects making it from pilot to production.
  • Data needs to be cleansed to be used by AI.
  • The term orchestration is front and center. Numerous vendors have added orchestration to their tagline
  • Budgets are getting trimmed across supply chains. We went from COVID project madness & automation everywhere to supply chains starting to cut back and focus spend on core areas, particularly in the software space.

About AutoScheduler.AI
AutoScheduler.AI creates dynamic warehouse plans directly injected into the WMS to optimize activities based on constraints, ensuring sites run optimally at peak performance. Our intuitive AI and Machine Learning platform, developed with P&G and implemented at P&G, Unilever, General Mills, and others, streamlines operations by seamlessly integrating with existing WMS and ERP. We provide dynamic dock scheduling, labor level-loading, inventory balancing, proactive cross-docking, redundant workforce elimination, and more. Clients benefit from prescriptive analytics to drive efficiencies and create value in the supply chain. For more information, email info@autoscheduler.ai