Automating Supply Chain Decisions with AI: TransformX Discussion Panel
The panel included:
- Dave Glick, CTO Flexe
- Jim Miller, CTO Wayfair
- Dr. Ganapathy Krishnan, VP Engineering FlipKart
- Akshat Kaul, Head of Data Science and ML at Redfin
You can view a recording of the event on-demand here. Lots of great discussion, including some historical Amazon lore.
The most interesting part to us was how to leverage AI / ML to automate supply chain decisions.
It's very hard for humans to scale operational decision making. This is because humans aren't good at modeling, they are only good at making rules. What typically happens is an operations team will get started by creating a set of rules to govern decisions. Some examples:
- If the order has SKU#123, ship it from FC#A.
- If the customer is in Oregon, ship from the Reno FC.
- If it needs to be delivered in 2 days, use FedEx 2-Day service method.
This is okay to start. But as operations get more complex, scaling those rules becomes untenable.
The secret at Amazon, and the unlock for ecommerce companies aspiring to better cost structures and improved customer experience, is to switch from making decisions based on rules to decisions based on modeling.
This is where AI / ML come into play.
The better data you have, the easier it is to leverage AI / ML to begin to model how decisions should be made.
Check out the panel discussion to learn more!