How to Optimize AI in the Supply Chain
Keith LaBotz - September 05, 2023
The world is raving about AI and its endless applications. But how is AI best deployed, and how can it be integrated into an existing IT infrastructure? That's where composable applications can help.
Composable applications are like digital building blocks - modular functions that can be quickly assembled and reconfigured. These applications are typically cloud-based and provide APIs for customizing solutions with a simple low-code or no-code interface. Because software functions are interoperable, users can mix and match them from different applications and seamlessly integrate them into existing systems.
The appeal of composable solutions for developers and end-users is unmistakable, and digitalization is increasing the momentum. The ability to quickly compose solutions for supply chains removes a significant obstacle to operational agility: the time-consuming, costly rip-and-replace projects of modifying traditional software.
A recent Gartner report reflects this sentiment, anticipating a shift towards composable applications among software vendors, and broader supply chain adoption is sure to follow.
With the growing adoption of composable applications, supply chains will be empowered to adapt business processes to changing requirements, giving them more control over their digital destiny. This operational agility is not only essential for mitigating unexpected disruptions - it's vital for successful AI in a digital supply chain.
Successful Supply Chain AI Depends on Composability
AI’s strength lies in its ability to continuously analyze, predict, and optimize operations on real-time data. This intelligence is worthless unless it is actionable; logistics planning and execution must be capable of supporting AI’s decisions. Composable software bridges this gap by enabling modifications to keep pace with AI's lightning-fast guidance.
Composability also expands AI’s potential. Companies are more prolific in creating customized solutions for their unique business model and needs. Operational capabilities increase as a business process supports more options and scenarios, which increases agility and fuels AI’s what-if analysis, boosting AI effectiveness.
The interaction between AI and composable solutions will become evident as AI attempts to expand beyond current pilot projects. What remains to be seen is whether composability will overshadow AI.
Composability Will Flip Vendor and Customer Roles
Composability flips the script, with users assuming the developer role and vendors serving as mentors helping customers with reconfiguring their digital building blocks. As users compose customized supply chain solutions, the resulting business process evolves around business needs instead of rearranging it to support vendor-packaged applications.
With users composing solutions, the spotlight will shift to the modularity of the technology and the vendor's collaboration with customers. It will also highlight the disadvantages of maintaining traditional solutions, leading to a difficult decision for some companies.
Tough Choice: Wait or Switch Now
Companies may need to make a tough choice: waiting for existing vendors to migrate to composable software or switching vendors.
A significant investment in new digital solutions over the past few years was necessary to combat the supply chain wildfire after lockdowns in 2021. However, much of it was not composable, and now, these solutions are embedded in business enterprises and digitalization strategies.
Whether or not technology vendors can migrate these customers promptly is unknown, but the cost of waiting will increase as competitors with composable solutions realize more considerable gains from AI.
Start With Composable Solutions Now
Prioritizing vendors that offer composable solutions can mitigate future risks and identify potential vendors for a switch. Transitioning to these solutions can be more cost-effective and straightforward than waiting for upgrades from a current technology provider.
Take the flexis cloud, for instance. It's built on an API-first approach and encompasses all primary supply chain functions within a holistic data model, ranging from sourcing and production to final distribution. Traditional and composable applications can seamlessly integrate flexis’ planning functions to create a more agile supply chain process.
The above illustration highlights the extensive functionality, setting the stage for comprehensive, holistic planning. What makes this especially important is how each function aligns with an optimized plan continuously updated as conditions change across the supply chain. flexis synchronizes planning and execution functions to achieve overarching supply chain optimization.
Composable software is not just a trendy term; it's a revolutionary shift in how businesses use technology and will significantly change supply chains. As AI's role in logistics becomes even more vital, the infrastructure that supports it — composable software — will too.
If you want to learn more get your Guide to AI
In this Guide you will learn:
Why AI will define the future of the global supply chain?
AI applications for manufacturers
AI integration with S&OP
- Keys to successful implementation
- Cloud vs. On-Premise: Four Reasons to Make the Jump
- Logistics Planning: How to Make Sure AI Delivers on its Promise
- Unlock The Future Of Transportation Now With Holistic Forecasting
- How to Optimize AI in the Supply Chain
- Efficiently Meeting Delivery Deadlines: Mastering Order Slotting and Scheduling