Decision intelligence is becoming key to the ability of companies to deal with an unprecedented volume of data that's necessary to making supply chain decisions today, says Fred Laluyaux, president and chief executive officer of Aera Technology.
Laluyaux defines decision intelligence as “the automation and augmentation of decision-making.” It’s the process of digitizing key decisions made within the supply chain as well as across the enterprise. And it’s especially valuable today, in light of the growing complexity of supply chains and the rise of the digital age.
The COVID-19 pandemic amplified a lack of traditional resources, especially the people needed to carry out key actions and processes under the old way of doing things. “The digital approach makes decisions autonomously,” Laluyaux says. “It’s absolutely paramount these days.”
Decision intelligence augments current processes, but it also enables analyses that weren’t possible to conduct before, given the complexity of modern-day global supply chains and limitations on human capability. These days, Laluyaux says, “we’re asking operators to make decisions that are getting more complex, with more dimensions, faster. That becomes impossible to manage.”
“Digital tools can capture tribal knowledge that sits within the organization, and enable better and smarter decisions,” Laluyaux says. “But they’re also actually enabling decisions that are currently not being made, such as connecting promotion planning to the supply chain.”
The technology doesn’t cut humans out of the decision-making loop altogether. “We advocate going from a world of people making decisions to having machines make the decisions, guided by the people,” Laluyaux says. Humans are still essential to the process, but they’re augmented by processing power that previously was beyond their reach.
Industries that stand to benefit the most from decision intelligence are those for which supply-chain is core, such as consumer packaged goods, retail, life sciences and manufacturing.
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