AI & Supply Chain: Its Use & Potential in Bio/Pharma

A study by DCAT is gaining input from senior executives in the Bio/Pharma industry on the potential and current use of artificial intelligence (AI) in supply-chain management. Where does Bio/Pharma stand? Provide your company’s input by December 20, 2023.

A study by DCAT is gaining input from senior executives in the Bio/Pharma industry on the potential and current use of artificial intelligence (AI) in supply-chain management. Where does Bio/Pharma stand? Provide your company’s input by December 20, 2023.

AI and the Supply Chain: Where Does the Bio/Pharma Stand? 
Artificial intelligence (AI) has created enormous interest across all industries for its potential to create new products, increase productivity and enhance sustainability efforts, including procurement and supply-chain management.  Despite its potential, however, separating reality from the hype of AI has been a challenge, and its adoption has been slowed by perceptions relating to its cost and the complexity of applying it. A new study by the Drug, Chemical & Associated Technologies Association (DCAT) is gaining input from senior executives in the bio/pharma industry on the potential and current use of AI in supply-chain management in the industry and the challenges of implementing it. 

AI and the supply chain 
AI is a potentially transformative technology across all business functions, but what is its potential and current use in supply-chain management? How can AI be applied, and to what extent is it now being used? 

A recent study by the management-consulting firm, PwC, underscored the strategic interest of supply-chain executives in employing digital technologies, including AI, to drive overall business growth and reduce costs. The study, PwC’s 2023 Digital Trends in Supply Chain Survey, surveyed 305 executives across multiple industries: C-suite executives, upper management, directors, managers, and board members who either have sole responsibility for business decisions on supply chain or procurement operations or share influence with others regarding those decisions. 

When asked about the levels of investment in the next two years, AI and machine learning are seeing the most spending, with 22% of executives saying their companies plan to invest at least $5 million in those technologies. As for their main objectives with supply-chain tech investments, driving growth (53%) and optimizing costs (51%) were the two major reasons driving this investment. 

The bio/pharma industry, the supply chain, and AI 
To delve deeper into the bio/pharma industry, the Drug, Chemical & Associated Technologies Association (DCAT) is currently conducting a study on how companies are using AI or view its potential in the supply of direct materials used in bio/pharma development and manufacturing. The survey is being fielded to senior and mid-level executives in DCAT Member Companies—bio/pharma companies and their suppliers—to gain their feedback. Further information, including how to participate in the survey, may be found here. 

The study has several key objectives, information which will be invaluable in companies’ decision-making and evaluation of their supply chains: 

  • Gauge the current status of AI in supply-chain management in the bio/pharma industry. 
  • Understand the challenges when implementing the technology in the bio/pharma environment, at companies where AI is being tried for supply-chain management. 
  • Understand what are the barriers to adoption and where it is not being tried or adopted. 
  • Help bio/pharma companies and their suppliers understand how the adoption of AI will impact how they work together, and how it might change their relationship. 

The study’s results will be presented exclusively to DCAT Member Companies at DCAT Week, the industry’s premiere event for companies engaged in the global bio/pharmaceutical manufacturing value chain and DCAT’s flagship event, March 18–21, 2024. The study’s report will be available for download to DCAT Member Companies thereafter. Individual survey responses and company information will be kept strictly confidential; only aggregate survey findings and analysis will be reported and made available to DCAT Member Companies through DCAT.  

This invaluable insight depends on the important participation of DCAT Member Companies. A survey was sent to representatives of DCAT Member Companies. If your company has not already responded to the survey, we ask that you do so by December 20, 2023. Further information may be found here.  

About DCAT Benchmarking 
DCAT Research & Benchmarking is a complimentary, value-added, and exclusive benefit to DCAT Member Companies providing in-depth studies that examine the crucial issues impacting the bio/pharmaceutical manufacturing value chain and the bio/pharma customer—supplier relationship. DCAT Research & Benchmarking studies are developed by the DCAT Research & Benchmarking Committee, composed of member representatives with diverse industry experience, to identify the topics of greatest interest for DCAT Member Companies and are administered and prepared using an external research firm. 

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