The Emerging Role of AI in Supply Chain Management

An expert panel at a DCAT Week education program examined how AI may change how bio/pharma companies and their suppliers will do business. Will your company’s next supply deal be negotiated by AI? Can AI protect your company from costly supply-chain disruptions?

An expert panel at a DCAT Week education program examined how AI may change how bio/pharma companies and their suppliers will do business. Will your company’s next supply deal be negotiated by AI? Can AI protect your company from costly supply-chain disruptions?

AI in supply-chain management
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 promise of AI has been a challenge, and its adoption has been slowed by perceptions relating to its cost and the complexity of applying it.

Although the bio/pharma industry is readily adopting AI in drug discovery and marketing, companies are just starting to pilot use cases for AI in supply-chain management. Still, it is important for bio/pharma companies and their suppliers to understand AI’s potential in supply-chain management and how may it shape how companies do business in the supply of direct materials used in bio/pharma development and manufacturing.

To address this crucial issue, an expert panel at a DCAT Week education program discussed how AI is changing supply-chain management and procurement and facilitating companies to be more proactive in managing their supply chains.

The program, DCAT Research & Benchmarking Executive Summary: The Emerging Role of Artificial Intelligence in Supply Chain Management, featured leading experts from inside and outside of the industry to provide first-hand knowledge on how AI is and can be used in supply-chain management.

Companies with a large numbers of global suppliers are using AI applications to manage supplier relationships and negotiate supply deals. Martin Rand, CEO, Pactum, a leader in AI-driven supplier-management applications, counting Walmart and Medline among its clients, explained how AI is now being used in negotiations between suppliers and customers.

AI-based applications can also anticipate the risks of geopolitical, climate, and economic events so that companies can proactively prepare for, even prevent, interruptions to even the lowest tier of their supply chains. Koray Köse, Chief Industry Officer, Everstream Analytics, a leading provider of services to monitor and anticipate potential supply-chain disruptions used by a number of bio/pharmaceutical companies, explained how AI is and can be used by companies to more proactively manage their supply chains.

To gain a perspective from an industry view, also on the panel was David McCarthy, Senior Director, Enablement & Strategic Insights, Pfizer, where he leads overall third-party risk management for the enterprise, with a particular focus on supply assurance and risk mitigation for direct materials. Also on the panel to provide a supplier/CDMO view was Jeet Sarkar, Global Head of IT at SK pharmteco. The panel discussion was moderated by Vishal Bhandari, Partner, Healthcare & Life Sciences Practice and Co-Leader, Global Life Sciences Sector, with the global management-consulting firm, Kearney. He is also co-founder of Kearney’s Center for Supplier Risk Management and is co-leading its offering PRISM (Proactive Risk Intelligence in Supply Management).

Results from DCAT’s latest research & benchmarking study
In addition to the panel discussion, Jim Miller, Consultant and Content Advisor, DCAT,  provided the highlights of DCAT’s latest Research & Benchmarking study, The Emerging Role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Supply Chain Management. Developed through the DCAT Research & Benchmarking Committee, the study gained the input of DCAT Member Companies—both bio/pharma companies and suppliers—on the role and potential of AI in supply-chain management in the bio/pharma industry. The study gained input from senior executives on the role of AI in sourcing and supply-chain management—its potential, the types of projects and activities for which AI may be applied, and its challenges to use and adoption.

More in-depth coverage of that study will be featured in an upcoming article in a forthcoming issue of DCAT Value Chain Insights, and the full report of that study will be available to DCAT Member Companies for download in mid-April 2024. Click here for further details.

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