AI In Supply Chain Management Across Bio & Pharma Sector

The Drug, Chemical, & Associated Technologies Association- DCAT has gone on to recently release a study from DCAT Research & Benchmarking- The emerging role of Artificial Intelligence in Supply Chain Management.

The fact is that the bio- and pharma sectors are indeed moving pretty rapidly in terms of applying AI in certain critical areas, and that too mostly in drug discovery. However, it remains unclear to what degree supply chain management has been looked upon by the industry.

Since the implications when it comes to AI happen to be so significant for companies throughout the bio/pharma supply chain, the DCAT Research & Benchmarking Committee intended to benchmark the uptake when it came to AI within supply chain management.

So as to shed some light on this sort of development, DCAT went on to conduct an online survey that had 20 content questions as well as many demographic questions. Overall, 41 companies went on to participate in the survey. The split was- 29 suppliers and 12 bio/pharma companies.

The main idea behind the study was to:

  • Understand the status of AI within supply chain management in the bio/pharma sector.
  • Gauge the issues that crop up when executing the technology within the bio/pharma landscape.
  • Comprehend what the hurdles to adoption happen to be in case they are not being adopted or tried.
  • Enable the bio and pharma companies as well as suppliers to gauge how the AI adoption will go on to affect how they are working together and, in a way, how that might as well change their bond.Some of the major findings from the study happened to be as follows:

Generic Uses of AI within the scope of Supply Chain Management

Among respondents who happen to be actively making use of AI in supply chain management, one of the most common use cases pertains to demand forecasting, logistics, and inventory management. There are more companies that happen to be pursuing initiatives when it comes to supply chain risk management.

Hurdles when it comes to adoption

It is well to be noted that the non-user responses go on to indicate that adoption happens t be being held back largely due to a lack of understanding of the benefits as well as the implications of supply chain AI applications and also the absence of expertise so as to mount a push in order to pilot an AI application.

The strategic significance of artificial intelligence

As per the results of the survey, companies that happen to be already making use of AI in supply chain management are indeed doing so as a part of their corporate commitment to technology.

More than 80% of the companies that happen to be already making use of AI for supply chain management go on to consider AI to be very significant so as to achieve corporate strategy targets; however, only 20% of non-user companies view AI that way.

Hurdles to executing supply chain AI applications

Data availability as well as confidentiality happen to be by far the biggest issues when it comes to executing supply chain AI applications. It is well to be noted that most AI adopters happen to be feeding their applications by way of combination of internal as well as external data.

There is no doubt whatsoever that the non-adopters will be expected to have a similar set of problems when they finally go on to adopt. GXP compliance as well as acceptance by the regulatory agencies also happen to be a matter of concern.

How AI systems happen to be used?

Most of the AI users make use of the system to pinpoint problems as well as opportunities and also recommend what kind of actions need to be taken, but the fact is that none are enabling the systems to act in an independent way.

Most AI users make use of the system to identify problems as well as opportunities and to recommend what actions need to be taken; none are allowing systems to act independently.

Machine learning applications happen to be the most common; however, there are as few as 20% who have experience of generative AI.

Almost all the users are leveraging the vendors so as to get applications and support, but only 30% are in the process of building in-house capabilities as well.

How is AI going to impact suppliers?

The fact is that the late adopters will have to prepare now so as to respond since their customers execute the AI-based systems with which they happen to interact. As per the results of the survey, more than half of the respondents having AI experience went on to indicate that their suppliers will be expected to give out more data with regards to their operations, therefore needing the suppliers to go ahead and invest more as far as their information technology is concerned. Person-to-person relationships are going to be augmented through interactions with AI-driven systems.