Inbound Logistics | January 2024


The Power of AI-Powered Decision Making (Contributed by Ram Krishnan, Global Head of Customer Success, Aera Technology) Despite buzzy headlines about ChatGPT, the real transformative potential of AI lies in its ability to analyze real-time data, identify patterns in evolving environments, and help companies make faster, smarter decisions with better outcomes. Many supply chain leaders, however, are wondering how this new technology will improve on-time in-full performance, reduce labor and expedite costs, and help them better manage capacity. Leaders are also concerned with whether they can trust AI to deliver accurate decisions and quantiable results. What Every Executive Needs to Know About AI-Powered Decision Intelligence , a recently commissioned IDC Global survey of Fortune 1000 companies, addresses some of these questions. Leaders from eight countries and a range of industries were asked about the challenges and opportunities of AI-powered decision making. Here are some of the takeaways: • Survey respondents identify IT, operations, and supply chain as the top three business functions where AI-powered decision intelligence technology would have the greatest positive impact. ( See chart below ) • Only 20% of survey respondents say they feel completely comfortable with the number of decisions that need to be made each day. • 33% still rely on intuition or experience to make business decisions. • There is a disconnect between executives and employees regarding “in-the- eld” decision making: only 55% of executives say they mostly, or fully, know how these decisions are made. • Companies that use AI-powered decision intelligence are improving business metrics up to 20% across product and service innovation, employee productivity, and customer and employee retention, among others. Business Functions with Greatest Potential Benefits From Decision Intelligence

A SEA OF INVESTMENT The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway system, a marine highway that supports more than 100 ports and commercial docks located in each of the eight Great Lakes states, and the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, has been the recipient of significant investment from public and private sources over the past five years. An independent survey conservatively estimates that investments made between 2018 and 2027 will total $8.4 billion. Prepared by Martin Associates, and titled Infrastructure Investment Survey of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway System , the survey quantifies ongoing investments in the navigation system to help support long-term planning and economic development goals, while also building confidence in the system’s future viability. The survey also reveals investment in specific aspects of the system, including: • $636 million in vessel enhancements between 2018 and 2022; $328 million planned between 2023 and 2027. • $2.1 billion to enhance port and terminal infrastructure between 2018 and 2022; $1.1 billion planned between 2023 and 2027. • $3 billion in waterway infrastructure (locks, breakwaters, navigation channels) between 2018 and 2022; $1.2 billion planned between 2023 and 2027. “The survey’s conclusion is clear: both the public and private sector recognize that maritime commerce on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway remains essential to the economies of the United States and Canada, and are investing to protect this irreplaceable system,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

Q. Select the top 3 business functions where decision intelligence technology would have the greatest positive impact on your organization.

Organizational Functions

IT Operations Supply Chain Marketing Sales Logistics Finance Human Resources







(% of respondents)

Source: IDC Global

44 Inbound Logistics • January 2024

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