Roundtable 2: AI for Building Resilient Supply Chains

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The supply chain disruptions created by the Covid-19 pandemic have elevated manufacturing resilience to a national imperative by demonstrating the impossibility of managing national scale supply disruptions through company specific supply chains without vastly increased information sharing and coordination. Current efforts in applying AI methods to supply chain management are almost exclusively implemented in the proprietary supply chains of individual companies.

An open agile view associates manufacturing resilience with the ability to adjust, reconstruct, and link supply chains to provide better management of productivity at a national scale, across companies and industries. This further implies that each manufacturer has the flexibility to change product lines and/or adjust product specifications. AI tools can improve manufacturing resilience by increasing supply chain visibility and coordination, decreasing duplication of productive capacity, and improving productivity management across companies by linking supply chains at a national scale. AI tools also support individual manufacturers with the complementary capability and flexibility to re-tool machines and re-specify operations to provide greater flexibility in product lines and volumes. Supply chains and individual manufacturers will need to act in concert, requiring the day-to-day availability of appropriate data, data interconnectedness, and decision support for industry-wide operational management, with full understanding that supply chain data is among the most sensitive data that manufacturers hold.