Supply chain leaders plan aggressive implementation of GenAI: Gartner

According to a recent survey conducted by Gartner, 50% of supply chain leaders intend to integrate generative AI (GenAI) within the next 12 months, while an additional 14% are already in the implementation phase. The data from the survey also reveals that Chief Supply Chain Officers (CSCOs) allocate an average of 5.8% of their function’s budget to GenAI.

Noha Tohamy, Distinguished VP Analyst in Gartner’s Supply Chain Practice, commented on the findings, stating, “CSCOs view GenAI as a supportive element for their broader digital transformation goals. Many leaders in the supply chain were already leveraging advanced analytics and supply chain technologies. The data indicates that a majority recognize the value of GenAI in enhancing productivity, boosting business agility, and cutting costs. The challenge for these organizations in the coming year will be to scale their pilot projects to achieve broader adoption.”

The survey, conducted in November 2023, involved 127 supply chain leaders, and nearly two-thirds of the respondents either plan to implement or are already in the process of implementing GenAI technology. Only a minimal 2% of respondents have no plans to utilize GenAI in the next year.

However, Tohamy pointed out that the survey responses indicate a lag in supply chain compared to other enterprise functions, such as marketing and sales, in terms of GenAI adoption. This discrepancy presents an opportunity for supply chain organizations to act as “fast followers,” leveraging early insights and technological investments from their counterparts in different functions. The survey data highlights that the most impactful use cases for GenAI in the supply chain include code augmentation, offering deeper insights into key performance indicators, and the implementation of staff assistance chatbots.

Additionally, the survey reveals that supply chain leaders are not just expressing intent but are backing their implementation plans with substantial budget allocations. Allocating 5.8% of their budgets to the technology, along with incremental spending on personnel for GenAI deployment, demonstrates the commitment of supply chain leaders. Sixty-five percent of respondents indicate their intention to hire dedicated staff and experts to facilitate the technology’s deployment in 2024.

Tohamy emphasized that the budget projections signify the seriousness of supply chain leaders in advancing GenAI solutions this year. Moreover, they recognize the necessity for additional resources to transition successfully from small-scale pilots. She suggested that Chief Supply Chain Officers (CSCOs) may be considering the impact on employee roles, anticipating a shift toward higher value-added activities as lower-level tasks become increasingly automated.

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