Supply chain AI creates eco benefits by reducing wasted resources

AI-based platforms designed for supply chains not only improve workflow, but they generate significant environmental advantages, including through the reduction of waste product.

This is particularly the case in the fashion industry, where traditional demand-forecasting inaccuracies can cause massive oversupply. Design-to-store timeframes, demanded now by fast fashion consumers are getting speedier. That means there’s more room for error through demand miscalculation.

“Twenty percent of all the clothes that are made globally goes unsold,” said Dominique Dubois (pictured), global strategies and offerings leader at IBM.

Dubois spoke with Lisa Martin, host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio, during IBM Think. They discussed the ROI of AI for business and how it’s not just financial. (* Disclosure below.)

Sustainable fashion

Using AI to help guide decisions about what garments to design and manufacture — on the face of it for cost benefit — has had a secondary reward, fashion house Bestseller India has found. It reduced unsold inventory by 5% or more, according to Dubois. That excess inventory would have gone to landfill.

“I think every industry has been looking more about how they can be more environmentally sustainable,” Dubois said. “And the clothing industry is no different. Bestseller India really took it to heart.”

Fabric AI, as the IBM supply chain platform is called, has also helped the company fine-tune a brand that had been underperforming, according to Dubois. “That problem was lack of transparency, lack of data-driven, predictive, and automation to be able to drive a more effective and efficient kind of supply chain in the end.”

Getting disparate departments, like HR and IT, to work together and adopt Fabric AI was a key achievement, too. “Different objectives, right, they’re coming from a different lens, from a different space,” Dubois stated.

IBM Garage, a data-driven, digital transformation accelerator framework leaning on hybrid cloud and AI was used to achieve it.

“It’s that adoption [by the employees] that really is critical to get the use of AI in enterprises at scale,” Dubois said. Eco, perhaps, is one of the persuaders.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of IBM Think. (* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for IBM Think. Neither IBM, the sponsor for theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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