The coronavirus pandemic has underscored the importance of operational agility. Consider this future scenario: Before the next crisis or disruption strikes, your artificial intelligence (AI) system, analysing continuous streams of data from suppliers, customers and public sources, has already predicted it. Digital reflections (also known as digital twins) model the range of possible effects on your operations — on your suppliers, your distributors, your workforce and your market demand — to inform your response.
With a diversified, localised supply chain (seamlessly managed through the cloud and AI), you quickly scale up supplies from local producers and change product offerings. Your use of technologies such as robotics and 3D printing to automate complex operations makes the shift to new production, products and distribution seamless. Meanwhile, advanced analytics, supported by data from Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, have made your operations so efficient that the switch to new suppliers barely adds to your costs. The technologies to support this scenario are available today or will be soon. But to realise their potential, companies must:
• Assess what they are currently capable of and what they want to be able to achieve
• Understand how to shape their operational priorities, aligned with their strategy and customer and end-market needs
• Consider how the implementation of these technologies and tools will strengthen their organisation’s data fabric and enable effective and pervasive use of AI.
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