SGS Maine Pointe's Nate Powrie on the transformative power of GenAI in supply chains

13 December 2023 3 min. read

Nate Powrie, managing director for data analytics at consulting firm SGS Maine Pointe, was recently featured in the November/December issue of Inside Supply Management Magazine.

In the article, “This AI Will Generate Innovation Beyond Business,” Powrie outlines key points on how companies can successfully leverage generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) in their supply chain functions.

“Over the next 12 months, in my opinion, this will become the fastest technology in our recent lives,” Powrie said. “It’s going to transform not only consulting, not only manufacturing, not only technology companies, but also will be adopted everywhere in our daily lives.”

In the business sphere, companies looking to jump on the GenAI train need to develop solid plans first. That includes hammering out clear timelines and creating pilot programs. Companies also need to identify the supply chain areas that can realize the greatest return on investment for GenAI.SGS Maine Pointe's Nate Powrie on the transformative power of GenAI in supply chains“Accounts payable and purchasing are two of the hottest areas of opportunity,” Powrie said. “But we’re also starting to use this in sales and operations planning.”

GenAI has various benefits in supply chain operations, including eliminating repetitive tasks like manual coding, increasing accuracy, and increasing data granularity and visibility.

Powrie notes the integration of AI into SGS Maine Pointe’s Total Value Optimization (TVO) methodology has realized valuable results.

“In a project that involved sifting through more than 350,000 invoices, generative AI enabled us to efficiently extract and classify line item level data,” Powrie said. “What would’ve been an enormously time-consuming task for our data analysts became significantly streamlined.”

TVO enables firms to dynamically anticipate and meet demand by eliminating functional silos and synchronizing the buy-make-move-fulfill supply chain. The approach aims to deliver the greatest value to customers and investors, while also achieving lowest costs to the business.

There are concerns about the trustworthiness of responses from GenAI models, however, including whether they are up to date with current laws and regulations. As such, companies should ensure there are clear boundaries around what the model searches for and that quality data is inputted.

“When you start to get into audits and putting this into financial or executive reports, the trustworthiness comes back to the quality of the data, more than anything else,” Powrie added.

Powrie keynoted at last week’s Supply Chain Outlook Virtual Summit, speaking on GenAI’s applications in supply chain and how to capitalize on them.