At the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Summit in Phoenix, Arizona, IBM have rolled out a Watson-powered machine learning algorithm for use in business supply chain management.
The Business Transactional Intelligence (BTI) service is powered by Watson and aims to help businesses detect anomalies that could potentially interrupt a company’s supply chain distribution.
BTI uses machine learning to identify velocity, volume and value patterns in an organisations data by ingesting all of the supply chain documents and transactions. Using this data it learns to spot patterns about which it can suggest optimisations, or it may detect anomalies causing it to send an alert to the client.
In an IBM paper they note that using BTI: “You can search and view the entire lifecycle of a transaction in real-time and in context – and drill down to see the details of a specific transaction. Correlate data across dozens of data points for each transaction to enable deep visibility into business transactions. You can gain insights across the entire order-to-cash or procure-to-pay cycle, down to the underlying order, shipment and receipt details.”
“Access to this level of data and transactional visibility enables users to monitor transactions and performance against KPls and other internal benchmarks. Critical information can also be mined and used to improve customer service and partner engagement.”
IBM Supply Chain Business Network
This machine learning supply chain software is part of big blues businesses management offering; the IBM Supply Chain Business Network (SCBN).
SCBN creates digital connections between suppliers and partners. When an organisations joins the network all of their documents are digitised and correlated so that deep searchers can be run on the data, while also creating a visible transactional lifecycle performance map.
Using SCBN an enterprise can search its complete business transaction environment allowing businesses to see information in real-time, with context given about each supplier and interaction. Leveraging their Watson offering IBM allows SCBN users to view information at the granular level on each specific transaction.
IBM’s SCBN uses a number of different technologies to help companies glean business insights from their data. One such technology in use is IBM’s blockchain as they note in a whitepaper: “With SCBN blockchain capabilities, organizations can provide shared, multi-party visibility into – and an immutable record of – critical business transactions, including orders, promise dates, key contract terms, shipment details and payment terms. With a single, shared view of events, partners can easily resolve issues and potential disputes.”
IBM’s blockchain technology is not reliant on cryptocurrency to act as a token to reward mining. Instead the system is built on the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric which is the first blockchain system that runs distributed applications written in standard, general-purpose programming languages, (e.g., Go, Java, Node.js), without a systemic dependency on a native cryptocurrency.
Bobby Bernard, Supply Chain Executive, Lenovo commented in an IBM release that: “The compelling thing about Watson Supply Chain Fast Start for SCI [IBM Supply Chain Insights], is that IBM actually demonstrates the value of Artificial Intelligence for your organization by using your data and applies AI to your objectives and preferred use cases. It’s a proof of concept with actual, tangible results. Our first three AI use cases were completed with our data in just under five weeks with the Fast Start program.”