Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

IBM AI mitigates supply chain disruptions

Steve Rogerson
May 21, 2019



IBM has released AI-powered anomaly detection capabilities to mitigate supply chain disruptions.
 
The tech giant launched Business Transactional Intelligence (BTI), an AI-powered way to provide anomaly detection and visualisation capabilities for mitigating supply chain disruptions and accelerating data-driven decision-making.
 
BTI, part of IBM's supply chain business network, helps companies garner deeper insights into supply chain data so they can better manage, for example, order-to-cash and purchase-to-pay interactions. The technology does this, in part, using machine learning to identify volume, velocity and value-pattern anomalies in supply chain documents and transactions.
 
Machine learning is a method used to teach artificial intelligence how to learn from data, spot patterns and make decisions on its own. This helps companies discover potential issues faster and resolve them before they escalate and impact the business.
 
More than 140 Watson supply chain customers are early adopters of BTI, of which Greenworks, Master Lock, Whirlpool and others discussed their initial successes in February at IBM's Think Conference.
 
For Master Lock, fast-paced global growth means onboarding and transacting with more partners each year. To empower its lean EDI team and manage the rising requirements, it migrated its trading partner integration processes to the supply chain business network. This security-rich, cloud-based offering powered by business transaction intelligence reduces manual work for the EDI team, resulting in 50% faster onboarding for acquired trading partners to help support business growth, while 100% availability ensures mission-critical EDI services are always online.
 
"If one of our EDI transactions fails for any reason, IBM’s supply chain business network sends us an alert, which is valuable on a tactical level because it helps us start to pinpoint the underlying cause straight away," said Connie Rekau, EDI manager for Master Lock. "With IBM business transaction intelligence, we can dig deeper into our EDI data to identify patterns that wouldn't otherwise be obvious. As well as building a scorecard to track our performance against internal service-level level agreements with the business, we have set up reports that highlight trading partners with higher-than-average error rates."
 
Jeanette Barlow, vice president for IBM Watson supply chain, added: "Today's intelligent supply chains must rise to the challenge of adapting to changes in complex business environments by unlocking the value of existing systems, while providing increased agility and seamless collaboration to improve business outcomes. We're excited to introduce our latest AI innovation with the launch of BTI – further complementing our blockchain and IoT capabilities – which helps our customers proactively mitigate disruptions and business risks by augmenting their workforce's capabilities."
 
IBM has deployed Watson in thousands of engagements with clients across 20 industries and 80 countries.