Bart De Muynck, CIO at project44 chats about the future of ERP and automation and it’s impact on supply chain and logistics:
Welcome to this SalesTechStar chat Bart, tell us about yourself and more about your role at project44…
I am the Chief Industry Officer at project44 responsible for driving supply chain industry thought leadership and supporting customers with their strategies. As a logistics industry thought leader with over 30 years of experience, I previously served as VP of Research at Gartner and held logistics roles with PepsiCo, Elemica, Penske Logistics, GE Capital, and EY earlier in my career. Through my time at Gartner, I got to know the project44 team and witnessed how the platform is leading the charge in supply chain visibility. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to join this team and continue to evangelize the need for and benefits of supply chain visibility when the chance came in 2022.
How have supply chains evolved over the years: can you highlight more on the growing importance of automation and AI to this cycle?
The supply chain has evolved drastically in recent years, much of which was spurred by disruptions and shortages faced in the wake of COVID-19. All these challenges further highlighted the need for more technology in the supply chain space.
For example, every sector is struggling to find the right skill sets. Next generation AI and automation tools help automate mundane tasks easing the burden on understaffed or overworked teams and allowing them to focus on more interesting, challenging tasks. AI combined with real-time data is also valuable in helping retailers and service providers predict demand. Despite unforeseen supply chain challenges like factory shutdowns and weather-related incidents, AI and machine learning can make it possible to achieve more accurate forecasts of the need for capacity and inventory.
In what ways do you feel the future of supply chain and logistics will be impacted by tech in future (role of ERP/robotics/etc)?
The level of unpredictability around economic, geopolitical and natural disruptions makes It difficult to peacefully operate in the supply chain space, but technology is continuously helping us adapt. Given so much uncertainty, companies must manage their supply chains in such a way that they can be more proactive or at the very least react in an informed way.
End-to-end visibility and real-time data is key. There is a real opportunity for data emerging from supply chains to offer strategic insights into critical business decisions in the future, but access to that information will only be possible with end-to-end visibility and increased collaboration between everyone in the ecosystem. Insights will have to be delivered in real-time to keep companies ahead of uncertainty and unpredictability and support real-time decision execution. Get those steps right and the supply chain can demonstrate critical value to the business under any circumstance.
A few thoughts on the biggest tech trends in supply chain that will dominate 2023?
Two of the biggest areas tech will play a vital role in are economic stability and sustainability. The economic situation in the US will likely stay volatile in the next year and decision-makers will need to predict how consumers’ buying behaviors will change or stay the same.
This uncertainty is a challenge supply chain leaders will need to be prepared for with the right technology. They will need to be armed with accurate, accessible real-time data to make better-informed decisions about their supply chain and manufacturing functions.
Similarly, real-time data will be a necessity for companies looking to focus more on sustainability as new regulations are coming out that will hold companies accountable on their Scope 3 carbon emissions – a statistic only a small percentage of companies are currently tracking. Data in combination with AI and ML will continue to drive huge impacts on Supply Chains in 2023. It will lead to further agility and resilience which in turn will result in improved cash-flows.
project44 is a leading advanced visibility platform for shippers and logistics service providers.
Bart De Muynck is Chief Industry Officer at project44 where he drives supply chain industry thought leadership and supports customers with their strategies. A logistics industry thought leader with 30 years of experience, Bart previously served as VP of Research at Gartner. He has contributed to publications including WSJ, Inbound Logistics, Logistics Management, DC Velocity, Transport Topics, and Bloomberg. Earlier in his career, Bart held logistics roles with PepsiCo, Elemica, Penske Logistics, GE Capital, and EY. He enjoys spending time with family and his two dogs, Nico and Whiskey, traveling, listening to music, cooking, and wine tasting.
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