Business Intelligence

How Can AI Ease the Semiconductor Supply Chain Qualms?

Once a term reserved for industry insiders, ‘supply chain’ is now frequently used by customers worldwide, and for a good reason. However, supply chain operations have been tripping up on everything from baby formula to luxury products. This includes the semiconductor supply chain. Can technology assist in repairing these damaged and shattered supply chains? Maybe a little bit. While most supply chain professionals concur that technological investments are necessary to amplify or tighten supply networks, there is yet to be a significant return on those efforts. Only a few businesses have experienced favorable effects of technology in their supply networks. This article at CNBC by Bob Violino discusses how AI analytics can optimize the semiconductor supply chain.

Executive’s Take on Supply Chain Solutions

The CHIPS and Science Act, passed into law in August of 2022, aims to increase semiconductor production in the United States. However, how or when the legislation would affect supply is still being determined. Rohit Tandon, managing director and global AI & analytics services leader at Deloitte, claimed that the Covid-19 pandemic vividly showed the impact that unanticipated events can have on global supply chains. By sifting through the enormous volumes of data produced by today’s supply chains, AI can forecast various unforeseen occurrences, including weather conditions, traffic, and labor strikes, helping to foresee issues and reroute shipments around them, according to Tandon.

In addition to demand forecasting, risk management, supplier and customer management, transportation, and warehousing, Tandon noted that AI could also allow dramatic gains in other critical supply chain sectors.

According to Tandon, this can result in increased operational effectiveness, better working capital management, increased openness and accountability, more precise delivery forecasts, and fewer supply disruptions. Additionally, firms that use AI for visibility in their smart factory processes may better react to possible interruptions to prevent delays and pivot, if necessary, enabling them to be more flexible.

How Other Companies Are Using AI to Meet Demand

Data analytics is being used by independent distributor Rand Technology to address semiconductor supply chain related client problems. Jennifer Strawn, vice president of solutions and sourcing for the Americas and EMEA at Rand, says, “For example, if a customer has a need to alleviate inventory surplus, we use data and analytics to identify other users of these products and create an opportunity to rehome them.”

Additionally, Rand uses cutting-edge data analytics to find trends and patterns that allow it to lead consumers through risky market conditions strategically.

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