Sergio Macías
Business Consultant Automotive Industry
Blue Yonder
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Blue Yonder: Artificial Intelligence for Demand Forecasting

By Alejandro Enríquez | Tue, 11/10/2020 - 06:00

Q: How does Blue Yonder transform disruption into opportunity?

A: Our approach is based on our mission to help companies react properly to disruption. Regardless of the circumstances we are living in, disruptions are a constant in the industry. The company that adapts best is the one that emerges from disruption and regardless of the sector, technology has helped companies face these disruptions, such as demand volatility. Certain features within our solutions have helped us analyze scenarios to react appropriately. During the pandemic, our customers were able to make fast and better decisions.

Q: How would you describe Blue Yonder’s contribution to the automotive sector?

A: We offer end-to-end supply chain solutions, helping companies to define priorities. At the end of the day, the supply chain is broad and it is different from sector to sector. However, it is important to know when a decision needs to be made so companies remain competitive and efficient. Once priorities are defined, we can choose what the next step will be. The automotive industry plays a really important role for us, particularly OEMs, Tier 1, and Tier 2 companies.

Q: What is Blue Yonder’s advice to Tier 2 and Tier 3 companies that are at a technological impasse?

A: The first advice is to take advantage of the Cloud and SaaS solutions, this will help certain modules or applications to be deployed according to a specific need. It is not like when companies needed to purchase a license for specific software. Cloud solutions “flatten the curve” of the initial investment. Naturally, an ROI analysis must be conducted to explore the scenario in which the technology solution will be implemented.

Before technology, there need to be processes. Technology enables and integrates such processes. Technology is just a tool to be prepared for strict requirements, short times, and many other issues automotive suppliers face. The second element is to establish the data that will be required to make the decision, as well as streamlining the data. Once that is in place, we can decide which solution fits best. This applies to all companies throughout the chain, from big global players with clearly defined processes to small companies aiming to breakthrough.

My recommendation for Mexican companies is to be open to innovation and to adapt. Openness can change and create processes for the better. It is a balance between a long-term vision and being agile enough to achieve short-term results. An 18-month process to transform the organization entirely is not feasible anymore because the world changes faster than that. This is like a marathon. The long-term vision is to get to kilometer 42, while delivering good performance at kilometer 5, 10, and so on. The podium, by the way, is the end customer’s satisfaction.

Q: What role does the Luminate platform play in Blue Yonder’s solutions?

A: Luminate is our base platform with a variety of features to support end-to-end supply chain implementations. As technological solutions are integrated, they require a data flow and structure that needs to be designed and maintained. One of the first questions is how do we make that process easier for companies? Different modules on the platform can be enabled or disabled for specific needs. For instance, Luminate allows customers to integrate their own artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms for certain processes. Having a versatile platform helps us escalate solutions throughout the supply chain for different customer profiles.

Q: What are Blue Yonder’s priorities for the future?

A: One priority is to incorporate more machine learning and AI solutions. Our challenge in Mexico is to mind the data gap we have in the country. Machine learning and artificial intelligence require structured and unstructured data that is often unavailable for some companies, processes, and industries. They need to take the leap to make the most of these technologies. Mexican companies can be global players if they can successfully systematize data.

A clear example of the use of artificial intelligence is with demand forecasting. The pandemic was unprecedented and no algorithm could have predicted it. However, a machine learning algorithm that takes weather, natural disasters, economic variables, exchange rates, or a pandemic as an input can learn faster. Our goal is to help companies unleash their potential to transform disruption into an opportunity.

 

Blue Yonder is a provider of end-to-end supply chain solutions using cloud applications, artificial intelligence, and machine learning

Photo by:   Blue Yonder
Alejandro Enríquez Alejandro Enríquez Journalist and Industry Analyst

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