Press release

Embrace the inevitable – how consumer organisations can transform their supply chains through AI and Robotics automation

24 April 2018

PA Consulting Group and The Consumer Goods Forum today launch a research paper AI and Robotics automation in consumer-driven supply chains. This paper helps consumer goods organisations navigate the complexities of AI and Robotics automation technology and suggests they should embrace this rapidly evolving source of competitive advantage.

AI and Robotics automation has the potential to transform supply chains into high-performance, flexible supply networks which are genuinely consumer-centric; delivering improved responsiveness, customisation, and supporting the multi-channel buying behaviours of the modern consumer.

Yet many supply chains remain stuck in traditional linear models, relying on bulk materials and producing standardised products in large centralised factories to maximise economies of scale.

The benefits of transforming a supply chain with the latest technologies are clear but the process is not simple. In PA’s paper AI and Robotics automation in consumer-driven supply chains, created with The Consumer Goods Forum as part of its End-to-End Value Chain Learning Series, five key actions are identified to help organisations implement AI and Robotics automation. The paper recommends that organisations:

  • tailor and constantly evolve their strategy
  • align their strategy to the business ecosystem
  • adapt their workforce to collaborate with, not compete against, machines
  • implement changes in an agile way
  • protect their organisation against the risk of cyber-attacks.

PA Consulting Group’s JJ Van Der Meer, a supply chain and procurement expert, says: “Things are now possible with AI and Robotics automation that we could only dream about a few years ago. But there’s still a lot of hype. Businesses have questions about where the real opportunities are, where to start and whether this is a top down or bottom up strategy.”

PA Consulting Group’s Syed Hassan, a supply chain automation automation specialist, says: AI and Robotics automation represents a major source of competitive advantage for consumer goods manufacturers and retailers. Now is the time to explore how your organisation can capitalise on this inevitable evolution – and go further, faster.”

Ruediger Hagedorn, Director, End-to-End Value Chain Pillar, The Consumer Goods Forum, says: “Technology innovation is the foundation that supports businesses looking to drive positive change across their value chains. A whole new world of automation opportunities are now opening up across end-to-end supply chains. Adopting AI and Robotics automation isn’t an overnight exercise, but it will enable organisations to enhance productivity and business growth while keeping the consumer at the heart.”

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