Prepare Your Supply Chain for Generative AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) will shape the future of our world. And it’s already started for transportation and logistics.

As Director of Market Solutions from TMC, a division of C.H. Robinson, I recently had the privilege of joining Geoff Micks on the Executive Platforms Blueprint podcast to discuss the role of generative AI on supply chains and how this technology brings greater efficiency and improvement opportunities to our industry.

The power of generative AI

At a high level, AI is narrow, task-oriented computer intelligence, whereas artificial generative intelligence (AGI) refers to broader, human-like intelligence that is capable of learning and adapting across different tasks and domains.

Additionally, what is a true advantage for many industries—logistics especially—is generative AI’s ability to deal with unstructured data that is communicated via emails, physical documents, and offline systems to help customers deliver cognitive services without deep technical integrations.

My interview offers more information on what it is and how it applies to our industry. Watch highlights below or keep reading for a quick summary:

In the supply chain industry, we must collaborate across multiple providers, systems, and people, which can make day-to-day tasks time consuming and complicated. Generative AI can help automate these tactical activities, allowing people more time to work on opportunities that add value.

Using AI in supply chains today

C.H. Robinson has been working on several AGI applications to bring value to both our customers and carriers, and one of my favorite examples is how TMC applies it to the process of collecting proof of delivery (POD) documents for shippers.

These documents are crucial for payment verification and audit purposes. Unfortunately, the traditional method of gathering everything involves chasing documents from various sources—quite the time-consuming endeavor.

Generative AI automates this task, looking for documents across disparate systems, sending email requests to collect missing documents, and uploading them to the appropriate locations.

Prepare your supply chain for generative AI

This is just one example of generative AI’s potential impact on manual supply chain tasks. Imagine the possibilities it could have on your own strategy. By preparing different areas of your supply chain now, you’ll be ready to integrate generative AI into multiple areas of your business.

  1. Secure data privacy: Ensure robust data security and privacy measures are in place before deploying generative AI solutions. Protecting sensitive information should be a priority for all.
  2. Start small: Begin with a focused, well-defined use case that addresses a specific challenge your supply chain faces today. This allows for a controlled test and learn environment to maximize results.
  3. Focus on prompt engineering: Train your AI models with carefully crafted prompts to guide their responses and actions. This helps ensure the AI remains within defined boundaries and avoids fabricating information.
  4. Consult the right providers: Collaborate with experienced providers that have experience in generative AI solutions—specific to supply chain challenges. Experts at TMC can provide the guidance, knowledge, and technology necessary to implement customized solutions that meets your needs.

Streamline operations with advanced tech

A transformative era is upon us. As supply chains continue to evolve, technology options—like generative AI—have the potential to streamline operations, improve decision-making, and revolutionize our industry.

While still in the early stages, generative AI is already opening new doors—optimizing supply chains and generating better outcomes—for businesses around the world.

With our over $30 billion in freight on our platform and supply chain experts who work as an extension of your team, TMC can help you leverage the latest technology, like generative AI, to aid in better supply chain orchestration and drive efficiencies for your business.

Watch my full interview on this topic or connect with us today.

Chris Cutshaw
Director Commercial & Product Strategy | TMC
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