Kimberly-Clark: AI-enabled transportation transformation

In the article “Kimberly-Clark: AI-enabled transportation transformation” in Logistic Management Magazine (November 3, 2023), Michael Levans examines how AI transforms the Supply Chain, optimizing it.

Introduction

We’re peeling back the layers of one such trend reshaping the logistics landscape: artificial intelligence.

Kimberly-Clark’s AI transportation transformation

Kimberly-Clark, a household name in personal care, has embarked on a transformative journey, leveraging AI to overhaul its transportation networks.

The company’s AI-enabled platform is a marvel of machine learning and optimization algorithms designed to scrutinize demand forecasting, transportation capacity, and customer service requirements.

The result?

A streamlined plan that not only slashes costs but also upholds every customer commitment.

“A human being can’t do that fast enough because they’d have to look at too many systems, each of which changes quickly,” explains Scott DeGroot, VP of global planning and logistics.

With AI, Kimberly-Clark continuously routes orders to their precise destinations, saving millions annually.

Methodology

But how do we sift through the hype to find the actual value of such technology?

Gartner’s “hype-cycle methodology” offers a visual guide to the maturity and adoption of emerging tech.

It’s a tool that helps us discern the commercially viable from the mere buzz.

And it’s only when we see technologies like Kimberly-Clark’s AI platform in action that we truly understand their potential impact on logistics operations.

The future of AI in the supply chain

Looking ahead, the conversation around AI in supply chain management is only getting louder.

With keynote addresses like Dr. Yossi Sheffi’s “Supply Chains, AI, and the Future of Work” and sessions like Nathanael Powrie’s “Generative AI and its Impact on Logistics and Supply Chain,” the Supply Chain Outlook: Virtual Summit is the place to be for those navigating the AI hype-cycle.

As we delve into the findings of our 2023 Warehouse & DC Operations Survey, we see a similar trend: steady investment in technology and a surge in the use of automation and software.

Editor at large Roberto Michel notes, “It was encouraging to see that the capex budgets held nearly steady, and that use-levels were up for technology like mobile robots, voice-directed solutions, and several other types of automation and software.”

In the relentless pursuit of operational excellence, it’s clear that AI is not just a buzzword but a beacon guiding the future of logistics and supply chain management.

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