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outside of the lorry, the speed it is travelling at, and if there are any roadworks which will slow the delivery down. Every detail is pinpointed with time and date stamps. Now think of thousands of sensors everywhere; the autonomous supply chains need to capture and process every detail in real time. To do this, organisations need to build a platform that can manage and interpret all the signals and insights with a processor capable of managing and integrating data from AI, ML and IoT. 64

DRAWING CONCLUSIONS The capacity to both store and manage every piece of information is necessary,

required to respond to the growing

but without translating these billions of

pressures across industries.

nuggets of information, every detail is

The anticipatory shipping technology

rendered powerless. A standard

that Amazon patented in 2013, which

approach of applying a rule under

calculates the expected demand for

specific conditions could miss dozens

items in certain locations, is the perfect

of other factors. The autonomous

example. The ability to predict supply and

supply chain uses AI and ML to connect

demand in advance enables Amazon

all the seemingly unrelated pieces for a

to move products with efficiency and

clear picture of supply and demand.

precision so they can ship to a customer

Leaving it to dashboards that report

sooner and at the lowest possible cost.

conditions or status systems, an

Calculating demand and pre-positioning

approach commonly used across the

supply can offer a formidable edge over

supply chain, won’t fuel the autonomy

competitors, something Amazon has

MARCH 2019