Supply chain and procurement leaders rely on Chatbot AI to drive solutions at workspace – Gartner

Innovative Chatbot AI transforms supply chain efficiency for procurement professionals as it assists staff, code generation, interfacing with other technology solutions, onboarding of new hires, and discovery and diagnostics of key performance indicators.

Unlike other technological professionals, supply chain teams have not fully reached their potential in adopting generative artificial intelligence to improve marketing and customer service in their organization, but that could be starting to change.

Half of supply chain leaders plan to implement generative artificial intelligence in their organizations in the next 12 months, while only 2% have no plans to deploy the technology in the foreseeable future, according to a Gartner survey.

“Supply chain leaders are looking at being fast followers” behind their peers in other functions, Noha Tohamy, distinguished VP analyst in Gartner’s supply chain practice, said in an interview.

Tohamy suggested the technology could be of particular help in processing complex data or technological solutions and providing answers to questions posed by staff in natural language. In that respect, it can help increase the return on investment of other technological adoptions by honing in on relevant threads, according to Tohamy.

“It’s not just a time saver, it’s a frustration remover. If I’m a supply chain planner, I’m spending 70% of my time looking at dozens of Excel sheets and tracking down data,” she said. “If you eliminate the time trying to get insights, and give planners more time to make better decisions and cooperate with others in the organization … it’s a force multiplier.”

Statistics from Gartner supply chain research confirm that in procurement, anticipated investment in generative AI is slightly behind the supply chain function but still substantial, with 43% of leaders actively planning to implement the technology within 12 months

For procurement analysts, generative AI might be able to explain in intuitive terms the top suppliers in a product category, while for suppliers it can surface past performance levels with specific customers and explain business risks in not performing at a given service level, Tohamy said.

Both supply chain and procurement leaders anticipate generative AI to lead directly to staff reductions in the coming years. Supply chain leaders expect headcount to shrink by 10.4% by 2026 while their counterparts in procurement plan for a 6.6% reduction.

Those expectations around headcount cuts may be “overly ambitious,” Tohamy said, given that the supply chain organizations are just beginning to adopt and deploy generative AI.

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