IT professionals involved in shaping, implementing, and managing their organization\u2019s supply chain operations are counting on artificial intelligence (AI) to help make those operations more efficient and effective. Just how much they\u2019re expecting from AI became evident in a recent IDG survey of 150 IT professionals across the U.S.\nAI clearly topped all emerging technologies: 57% of the respondents said AI would have the greatest impact on their supply chain in the coming two years. That put AI well ahead of data analytics and visualization tools (47%) and Internet of Things (IoT) sensors (46%).\nIn practice, of course, AI technologies such as machine learning, natural language processing, and pattern recognition will often work hand-in-hand with data analytics, IoT, and other technologies. For example, AI is already helping data analytics systems identify trends and other valuable information\u2014information that often is buried in massive volumes of data that comes from many diverse sources, IoT sensors included.\nThe intersection of AI and the supply chain will be multifaceted and wide-ranging. AI will help manufacturers automate their factories and warehouses by powering robots, managing inventories, and identifying process inefficiencies. It will transform logistics and transportation operations by guiding self-driving vehicles and mapping the least congested, most direct routes. And it will provide critical insights to aid in everything from product demand forecasting to supplier relationship management.\nProcurement is among the many supply chain functions in which AI is already having an impact. In a report exploring \u201cintelligent procurement,\u201d Ardent Partners found that AI would likely deliver \u201cgame-changing value\u201d across several procurement tasks such as spend analyses, supplier optimization, predictive purchasing, and supply risk management.\nIn the risk management area, for example, Ardent Partners noted that AI-based programs could automatically collect and analyze internal and external data streams to provide instant \u201cin-context\u201d alerting, reporting, and recommendations for risk avoidance or mitigation. Users could also configure the programs to take precautionary actions such as calling up second- or third-tier suppliers, suggesting alternative transportation routes, or assessing expected market conditions to inform predictive purchasing models.\nIn a separate in-depth analysis of how AI will impact procurement and the broader supply chain, GEP explains how AI\u2014along with I0T, big data analytics, and other technology advances\u2014are playing central roles in the emergence of \u201cIndustry 4.0,\u201d the latest stage in the evolution of digital supply chains.\nA large majority of companies\u2014represented by 89% of the IDG survey respondents\u2014have already established supply chain digitization strategies or are in the process of doing so. Given the variety of technologies maturing under the AI umbrella and the collective power and functionality of those technologies, it\u2019s a safe bet that AI will be tightly intertwined with virtually all supply chain operations in the coming years.\nLearn how GEP can help you leverage AI and other emerging technologies to digitally transform your procurement and supply chain operations. Visit www.gep.com.