The Technological Solution to Supply Chain: Machine Learning

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The supply chain is a chain managing the Flow of Goods and Services to transform the raw material into a finished good for final consumption and has been recognized to be one of the most challenging business processes. This process had begun long back in the 1980s when the technology was used and spoken about only but the Accountants and was of no major use for the inventory Managers.

Data Silos is still a major problem wherein, CRM, ERP, and other systems accept multiple data types. Accounting data is not similar to the manufacturing data and does not match the sale order system. One example is the Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) through which a Company keeps a track of the inventory. In an organization, one product may have multiple SKUs in different systems and departments of the organization. Here comes the major function of Machine Learning, which can resolve the problem by identifying similar objects, and hence, one product may have a single SKU throughout the organization. Even a medium-scale organization faces the issue of inventory management. The distributors and the suppliers are the major users of the data and the information related to the sales, revenue, turnover, etc. On one hand, the distributors struggle to provide the available information about the product clear to the supplier and on the other hand, the supplier wishes to know about the product sale status and the turnover achieved from the distributor. In a medium or a large-scale organization, maintain such vital information is still a major concern. Such complexities have led the Information Technology Section to focus only on the internal request ignoring the external complexities. Machine Learning is a major solution to all the concerns of such suppliers and distributors, who can easily maintain all the required information through ML. Moreover, the routine work would enable machine learning to use statistical data and neural networks for enhanced efficiency and faster turnaround. Machine learning, when combined with the Internet of Things (IoT), can do wonders for the food industry also. The trucking industry has already started using IoT, which is helping the transfer of Information through the organization. Refrigerated trucks and cars are currently a major means of storage. IoT combined with ML is helping the industry to avoid food wastage as it can track the SKU of a product and provide information about the temperature and other relevant data. This helps to avoid the risk of wastage.

While the focus now lays on the normalizing information within the organization, the next focus would be to track products and bring the easy of availability of Information to the suppliers and the distributors at their fingertips. Machine Learning will be an essential tool to solve the major concerns for these organizations.

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