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Just Like Being There: SMTAi 2017 & Smart Supply Chain

We’re all aware of smart home, smart watches, and more importantly smart gactories, but what about smart supply chains, how smart are they, and how much can be gained by adding some real, augmented and artificial intelligence into the mix?

According to published statistics, 79% of companies with high-performing supply chains achieve revenue growth greater than the average within their industries. Add to this the fact that there were more than 250 major natural disasters in 2016, creating an economic loss of over $200 billion, and it’s easy to see why supply chain data and how to use that data to make better decisions is vexing the entire sector. 

Big data is just part of the equation; artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) are both starting to play a role and for that reason I was determined to get a panel together at SMTAi 2017 to discuss the topic.

My first choice to talk about AI and its role in the supply chain was Marie Cole, distinguished engineer, speaker, author and supply chain specialist at IBM. Marie was joined on the panel by Michael Ford, European marketing manager for Aegis Software, one of the key players in the manufacturing software space both within and beyond the SMT sector.

Cole and Ford joined me to explore some of the supply chain developments coming from the application of smart factory principles and AI. It was fascinating to hear Cole tell us what IBM’s Watson was providing in this sector and how it operates in concert with supply chain experts with years of experience, particularly when supply chains are disrupted.

This panel was filmed on location in the SCOOPstudio , which was sponsored by Fuji America, KIC, Jabil, Mentor, Radius Innovation, and the Smart Factory Awards.

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