March 28, 2023

Will ChatGPT Truly Transform the Supply Chain Industry? The Promise and Predictions of Open AI

Overall, ChatGPT says, OpenAI has the potential to revolutionize the supply chain industry by providing new ways of analyzing data, automating processes, and improving customer service.

Across businesses, industries and mainstream consumer interests, the buzz and curiosity about ChatGPT has nearly everyone wondering what new dawn of possibilities open-source AI may be ushering in for the world. The same is true for supply chain leaders who see ripe potential in OpenAI’s ability to deliver new visibility, capabilities and tools that could transform supply chain operations. But will the new ChatGPT era deliver? How soon? And how can companies best prepare?

Promise of Potential

For certain, the ChatGPT (Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer) AI system has the enormous potential of driving supply chain efficiency, vastly improving visibility with real-time data, streamlining communication and optimizing operations.

ChatGPT, launched by San Francisco-based Open AI in November of 2022, introduces a new category of tools that unlock the power of artificial intelligence (AI) in ways previously unimagined, or at least not available with a simple question and a click.

From transportation and storage, to delivery, distribution and customer experience, Open AI capabilities can increase productivity and profitability by transforming the speed and availability of data and information.

In fact, here’s what ChatGPT, itself, had to say about its own game-changing potential for the supply chain industry.

ChatGPT and OpenAI have the potential to significantly impact the supply chain industry by improving efficiency, reducing costs, and increasing accuracy in various areas. Here are some ways in which ChatGPT and OpenAI may impact the supply chain industry:

  • Demand forecasting: ChatGPT and OpenAI can analyze data from various sources, including social media, news, and other publicly available data, to provide accurate demand forecasts. This can help supply chain companies to optimize their inventory management and reduce costs.
  • Route optimization: By using machine learning algorithms, ChatGPT and OpenAI can help supply chain companies optimize their delivery routes. This can reduce transportation costs and improve delivery times.
  • Customer service: Chatbots powered by ChatGPT and OpenAI can provide customers with personalized support and answers to frequently asked questions. This can improve customer satisfaction and reduce the workload of customer service representatives.
  • Quality control: ChatGPT and OpenAI can analyze data from sensors and other sources to identify quality issues in real-time. This can help supply chain companies to detect and correct quality issues before they become bigger problems. .

Overall, ChatGPT says, OpenAI has the potential to revolutionize the supply chain industry by providing new ways of analyzing data, automating processes, and improving customer service.

Industry watchers agree.

Pros and Prognostications

Post COVID-19 pandemic, the global supply chain continues to struggle with chronic disruption. This has forced supply chain operators to look more deeply into their blind spots, improve their ability to anticipate and manage trouble and invest in technology that will better prepare and shore up their systems for the present and future.

With profitability hanging in the balance, having the ability to avoid problems and respond quickly to issues that arise can provide a competitive advantage to organizations across verticals. ChatGPT could potentially be a solution to support fast, effective decision-making leading to greater customer satisfaction.  

ChatGPT also could help operators obtain measurable KPIs, forecast supply chain trends, and streamline compliance. Currently, supply chain software solutions and automated equipment are internet connected systems. ChatGPT has the ability to tap into IoT devices and leverage associated data to provide new benefits.

Take customer service, for example. Customers or internal customer service agents could ask questions about an order and receive an instant response. Imagine the scenario where communication between customers, third party logistics providers, distribution centers, warehouses and manufacturers could all be seamlessly linked, reducing the risk of misinformation and mistakes. That, alone, could improve efficiency, cut costs, and speed productivity.

But, experts predict these transformative benefits are still some years away for the supply chain industry.  

Gartner notes that generative AI will become a full-blown mainstream technology in non-supply chain applications in two to five years. Supply Chain models, however, are so complex and specific to each company, the expected arrival into the mainstream is anticipated to be 10 years out, their report indicates.

Still, Gartner warns, supply chain leaders shouldn’t wait to start the work needed to full leverage this new frontier of AI. That means improving the availability and quality of data that accurately represents end-to-end supply chain processes, Gartner reports.  

ChatGPT does what it does now, answering questions, writing pithy content, and offering general analysis on a wide variety of topics because it has been trained with loads of available data and information from the internet. Now, how much solid, accurate supply chain network data will ChatGPT need to function optimally for the industry? Already there are companies taking on master data initiatives, according to Gartner.

Fair Warnings

Amid all the hype, there are caution flags being thrown about ChatGPT and the future of open-source AI.

McKinsey reports that businesses are using an abundance of caution as the technologists driving OpenAI work out the kinks and manage the practical and ethical issues already rearing their heads. Among the concerns and implications, according to McKinsey, are accuracy and security.

Like humans, generative AI can be wrong. McKinsey notes. ChatGPT sometimes “hallucinates,” meaning it confidently generates entirely inaccurate information in response to a user question and has no built-in mechanism to signal this to the user or challenge the result.  

There aren’t effective filters yet for content, so inappropriate words and images can appear unprompted. Systemic biases inherent in the massive amounts of data ChatGPT draws from have not been weeded out, and even things like individual company norms are unlikely to reflected just yet.

Add to that intellectual property concerns. How will IP be protected? If AI creates a model or product design, who can claim it as property?

Despite natural concerns about a future ruled by artificial intelligence, experts note that the smartest companies will study up on the potential benefits and be prepared.

Technology Partner

A keyway to prepare for supply chain’s unpredictable future, is to ensure that technological systems are up to speed.

ketteQ's technology leverages machine learning and artificial intelligence to create dynamic models and scenario planning, allowing a broad range of customers to optimize their inventory, logistics, production, material and service parts operations. ketteQ offers supply chain organizations extended capabilities to fill in the gaps left by legacy systems with unparalleled analytics and visibility for today’s supply chain needs.

Built on Salesforce and AWS platforms, ketteQ is building a new paradigm for supply chain planning and operations, enabling companies to make data-driven decisions and reduce costs while improving customer service.

With ketteQ, companies can easily get started now preparing for the promise of the next generation of artificial intelligence-driven capability.

Reach out and learn more about how ketteQ can help you level up your supply chain operations.

Share on social media:
Nicole Taylor
Director of Marketing
About the author

Nicole has over 18 years of marketing experience across a wide range of industries including SaaS, Advanced Manufacturing, Hospitality, and Non-Profits. She is a data-driven, detail-oriented marketer adept at developing and executing all aspects of marketing to optimize and leverage visibility to drive growth for brands.