Guest Column | July 19, 2017

How Artificial Intelligence Can Help F&B Supply Chain Management

How Artificial Intelligence Can Help F&B Supply Chain Management

By Rachel Murkett, Ph.D., PreScouter

Supply Chain Management is a constant struggle for food and beverage companies. Consumers want more insights about where their food is coming from, and on top of meeting consumer demands, manufacturers have two additional concerns: first, turning around inventory quickly at competitive prices while maintaining stock and supplier relations. Then, manufacturers must keep a close eye on quality, ensuring all products in the supply chain meet industry and consumer specifications. Obviously, there’s a lot to track in the data-driven supply chain. That’s where Artificial Intelligence (AI) can provide F&B companies with new supply chain insights to stay ahead of the curve.

AI is essentially programming computers so they can receive data, evaluate it, make a decision based on the evaluation, and then perform a given task based on the decision. This emerging technology helps F&B companies with Supply Chain Management through logistics, predictive analytics, and transparency. Companies from every sector of the food industry — such as perishable foods, like dairy products, and dry food products, like grains — are using AI to improve quality assurance, provide better forecasting models, and keep up with consumer trends.

AI, Food Safety, And Quality Assurance
Having robots milking cows isn’t new, but testing milk for quality and safety using AI is. Preventing foodborne illnesses is top of mind for all food companies and having perishable foods in transit at the right temperature, preventing contamination, is a major part of the food industry’s supply chain process.