AI is the Answer the Retail Supply Chain Challenges

Industry Experts Agree that Artificial Intelligence is the Answer to Retail Supply Chain Challenges

AI is the Answer the Retail Supply Chain Challenges

Industry Experts Agree that Artificial Intelligence is the Answer to Retail Supply Chain Challenges

For the first time in many decades, Americans are experiencing scarcity.

Aptly describing our current consumer and retail environments, the impact of this quote was pervasive throughout a conference I recently attended where industry insiders and experts discussed CPG and retail supply chain challenges.

Hosted by the AI (Artificial Intelligence) Business Consortium at the Loyola University of Chicago Quinlan School of Business, the theme of the conference was “Designing Flexibility to Address Uncertainty in the Supply Chain with AI.”

As I commented to numerous Parker Avery colleagues, it was the most informative conference I have attended in my 25 years of attending such events. The conference was composed of multiple panels made up of senior management attendees from supply chain, fulfillment, planning, and analytics from some of the most prominent names in retail, CPG, and logistics. Representing brands such as Dollar General, Kohls, and Walgreens, these speakers and attendees are on the front lines of dealing with the supply chain issues that plague our industry. This event was not about people getting together and geeking out about algorithms. The focus was on how AI can help retail and CPG companies make better decisions at the executive level to combat retail supply chain challenges that are resulting in out of stocks, overstocks, and wildly misaligned assortments.

The largest retailers have come to understand that supply chain disruptions are a part of our everyday lives for the foreseeable future. Once deemed unpredictable, supply chain disruptions are now a part of the normal business cycle. The focus has shifted to identifying the company’s exposure to volatility and determining the appropriate mitigation approach. As a key part of this new mindset, leading retailers are now more focused on incorporating AI for the early detection of supply chain disruptions. They are particularly sensitive to their exposure to disruptions of high-margin items.