Is demand planning ready for AI? – Technology – CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly


Artificial intelligence (AI) continues to draw a lot of attention as companies and technology vendors look at how machine learning could improve supply chain operations. In particular demand planning, understood here as the process of developing forecasts that will drive operational supply chain decisions, is being touted as the next potential field for innovation. Technology giants like Amazon and Microsoft have announced AI tools for improving demand planning, and several consulting companies are promoting their skills to bring AI to companies' demand planning processes. In fact, a recent survey by the Institute of Business Forecasting and Planning (IBF) identified AI as the technology that will have the largest impact on demand planning in the next seven years.1 It's not hard to see the fit between AI and demand planning. Demand planning involves lots of number crunching and data analytics, and it is repeated cycle after cycle.