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The top supply chain priority is…

A new survey of supply chain execs reveals their technology goals.

According to the JDA & KPMG Digital Supply Chain Investment Survey, a study of 93 supply chain executives in the retail, manufacturing and logistics industries conducted by Incisiv, end-to-end visibility continues to be the number one priority (77%) for the second consecutive year.

To achieve this level of visibility, supply chain executives plan to deploy or test cognitive analytics (82%), artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) (62%), or digital control tower (55%) technology in the next 24 months. Together, AI/ML technologies are viewed as the most impactful technology this year (80%), given its wide applicability and promise of addressing complex business problems across the value chain.

Cognitive/predictive analytics was also ranked highly, as 75% of respondents believe it will have a disruptive impact in the year ahead. Overall, since last year, AI has shifted into the high impact/high planned adoption quadrant for surveyed executives.

Drilling down further into AI/ML, survey respondents found the highest value use case for these technologies to be the ability to optimize inventory (51%), followed by predictive distribution (45%), and optimizing distribution networks (42%). Retail executive respondents identified increasing inventory and pricing accuracy as the highest-value use case for AI.

Other notable findings include:
• 69% of respondents ranked speed-to-market as a top investment driver.
• 42% of respondents said resistance to change is the number one challenge to driving innovation.
• 64% of respondents believe cloud helps them quickly adapt to business needs and drive business agility two times faster than any other technology.

“Competing in a world of infinite customer choice and increasing distribution complexity will be impossible for firms that don’t upgrade their supply chain innovation and agility quotient,” said Gaurav Pant, chief insights officer at Incisiv. “Leveraging advanced analytics to focus on specific use-cases, using cloud-based software to improve business agility and investing in the right talent are core ingredients to what will move the needle on innovation.”
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