Supply Chain Digital Show: AI-driven supplier relationships


The last Supply Chain Digital Expo on LinkedIn had as guest expert Sheldon Mydat, CEO of Suppeco, an AI-based collaborative platform for customer-supplier ecosystems.

Mydat offered fascinating insights into how Suppeco is helping to ensure resilience throughout the supply chain through AI.

Below is an edited version of the conversation between Supply Chain Editor Sean Ashcroft (SA) and Shelon Mydat (SM)

SA: How do you manage something intangible like relationships using technologies like AI?

SM: Relationships are our daily activities. Historically, the relational element of contracted services has been overlooked, in favor of the more addressable gains found in the contract itself. But none of us live inside a contract, and to change that, we’ve created structure in that space, taking unstructured relational data between suppliers and customers and applying the AI, in the form of modules

So, one of our new modules coming out is called Auto Risk, which provides autonomous risk management in the relational space.

We use a set of artificial intelligence algorithms to study unstructured data – such as texts, documents and photo uploads – and fine-tune them to get the most out of it. This is the data equivalent of turning crude oil into fuel.

SA: Suppeco works in many different sectors. Does your AI engine work the same way in the beauty industry as it does in, say, defence?

SM: There are differences, of course, but in general, yes it works the same.

Let’s take another one of our new modules, which is called Heat Map. This is a reciprocal survey – a series of ready-to-use performance-related, industry-independent Q&As.

This creates some very interesting results when, for example, you asked or answered questions about flexibility. The word “flexibility” may appear on the screen, and the question surrounding it may be, “Does your supplier demonstrate flexibility in a contract?” »

This same question can be asked on both sides of the relationship and the results are often different – and that’s the value of it, because if you have one party saying flexibility is a lower priority, then the another has it as a higher priority, so what explains this difference? Why does one part think one way and the other part think another?

So this leads to a series of actionable insights and steps to close that gap.

SA: What role does automation play in your products?

SM: There are a lot of automated workflows in the platform. We have taken an active approach to data management, so that we have an ongoing process of data quality scoring, as well as data age processing – because data ages; it’s more valuable when it’s live.

And then we pass it on to the community. Data finds you wherever you are in the community, and in this way we help ensure that customers do not lack compliance, that key activities are not overlooked. Our AI automation is essentially a way for companies to spin all their plates in a highly distributed environment. This is especially important when it comes to remote work.

SA: How has the pandemic changed business relationships?

SM: I think relationships have become more important. Supplier relationship management and collaborative supply chain engagement are much stronger. We realized that in the past, relationships were largely about numbers. But when business goes through a downturn, you need to find another way to achieve those valuable goals.

And how do you do that? Through relationships – and suppliers are really good at relationships and collaboration. They do it with so many customers.

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