New Supply Chain Jobs Are Emerging as AI Takes Hold

Artificial intelligence (AI), in the form of devices that act and react like humans, has been gaining momentum in transforming supply chain management. To work smarter, more and more companies are employing technologies including computer vision, machine learning, natural language processing, speech recognition, and robotics. Companies are cutting supply chain complexity and accelerating responsiveness using the tools of artificial intelligence. Through AI, machine learning, robotics, and advanced analytics, firms are augmenting knowledge-intensive areas such as supply chain planning, customer order management, and inventory tracking.

What does that mean for the supply chain workforce?

Although many people fear that with the advances in technology humans at some point would be replaced by computers, the reality is that both machines and humans are essential: By collaborating in roles such as supply chain planning and inventory management, the combined power of humans and machines will create new sources of value for businesses. We've explored the nature of the new value-enhancing roles that will emerge and identified three new categories of AI-driven jobs:

Trainers: Individuals will be required to help AI systems learn how to perform, which includes everything from helping natural language processors and language translators make fewer errors, to teaching AI algorithms how to mimic human behaviors.

Explainers: AI systems might make the data processing easier but new careers will emerge for individuals who can interpret the results of algorithms to improve transparency and accountability for AI decision making and processes.

Sustainers: This is one the most essential roles emerging in the AI space, individuals will be required to ensure intelligent systems stay true to their original goals without crossing ethical lines or reinforcing bias.

Technology in Supply Chain is opening up some exciting new avenues and possibilities for the industry and will enable supply chain planners to make more forward-looking, strategic decisions and spend less time on reactive problem-solving. These planners will lead the charge in moving away from a traditional supply chain-operating model, which is inflexible and slow, to a new dynamic model with true end-to-end segmentation. That means planning multiple supply chains that meet the needs of specific customer micro-segments as well as managing business relationships and exceptions. The importance of strong analytical skills will grow with the demand for human workers with a digital engineer's skill set.

The supply chain is and always has been a people business. We're moving towards a world where humans and machines are collaborating, not just co-existing. The result will be an efficient, sustainable supply chain that delivers better business outcomes.

Are you ready for new opportunities in your Supply Chain career as AI takes hold?

Tech-pro Recruitment can assist you with all your Supply Chain Jobs : or +27 11 514 0463