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  • Writer's pictureJeremy Conradie.

Supply Chain Discussion: Supply Chains in a World of Disruption

In this discussion, Russell Goodman from Supplychainbrain talks to Volker Albrecht, chief executive officer of Siemens Digital Logistics.

Volker says disruptions will continue, so supply chains must be resilient, and artificial intelligence can help. Supply chain disruptions are mostly external. Just look at such natural events like hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis. Of course, there are pirate attacks, wars and other occurrences hampering or blocking ocean shipping. Then there are internal blockages to efficiency — they’re called silos. While outside events can be hard, if not impossible, to control, silos can be eliminated. And it’s critically important that they be dismantled throughout the supply chain, Albrecht says, even though a design that takes that into consideration from the get-go still isn’t enough by itself to guarantee resilience.

Bringing the digital and real worlds together is what gives one a truly holistic picture and comprehensive flow, Albrecht says. “When you look at how digital and the real world come together, that's what we think is important. That’s what makes a supply chain more resilient.”

Digital twins are necessary, he says. “A digital twin of the product, the production, your logistics, and your logistics network – then you’re ready to optimize all of that in the most comprehensive way you can think of,” Albrecht says.

AI fits in, he says, but only as an aid. “AI on its own won't solve your problem, but it can help you with it.”

In Albrecht’s view, AI is just another arrow in the quiver.

“It will help us be more efficient and be more resilient, but it's not like a magic moment. I don't see that this is something that enables us to reduce our workforce. It should enable us to do much more, and to make much better decisions that you can rely on.” - Volker Albrecht

Source: Supplychainbrain

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