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December 1, 2023

Transforming End-to-End Planning with AI/ML

— In an era of uncertainty, businesses are accelerating digital transformations, leveraging technology to manage data, make informed decisions, and drive growth, according to Haleon's CSCO Bart Derde.

The following are the main takeaways from his fireside chat at aim10x live London.

Anticipating Demand Scenarios to Support Business Growth: 

Anticipating demand scenarios to support business growth is more important than ever, according to Bart. Drawing on his experience during the COVID-19 pandemic, he highlighted the need for proactive planning. Bart shared the example of their products experiencing a sudden surge in demand in China, with sales skyrocketing by 4,000% in just three weeks. This unforeseen event stressed the importance of having robust plans in place to be prepared for such scenarios. He emphasized the value of visibility into the impact and tradeoffs of different outcomes to make well-informed decisions.

Self-limitations as a Constraint to Digital Transformation: 

One of the key constraints to digital transformation, according to Bart, lies within ourselves. While data quality is essential for building effective systems, he emphasized the significance of change management and the need to incentivize and clearly communicate expectations. Bart highlighted that successful transformation requires a holistic approach that addresses not only technical aspects but also the human element within the organization.

Importance of Data Infrastructure: 

Bart stressed the importance of establishing a clear data infrastructure and structured data sets to support business projects that deliver value. He discussed the need to systematize data and make it efficient, emphasizing the avoidance of time-consuming data cleansing activities that can hinder progress. A robust data infrastructure ensures reliable and accessible information, enabling organizations to make data-driven decisions efficiently.

Predictive AI for Supply Chain Management: 

The power of predictive AI in supply chain management was a topic of great importance during the fireside chat. Bart shared an intriguing use case, highlighting how AI can be leveraged to perform predictive analysis. He presented an example of using mask-buying and flu shot data to predict areas that will be worst affected, enabling better anticipation of demand for cold and flu medicine. Bart emphasized the importance of utilizing AI to predict variables, enabling effective scenario planning and informed decision-making.

Incorporating ESG Metrics into Decision-Making: 

Addressing the growing significance of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) metrics, Bart emphasized the need for companies to reduce their impact on the planet. He discussed the role of technology in measuring the impact of sustainability efforts and how companies can collaborate with suppliers to simplify data sets. Bart emphasized that utilizing the same technology used for traditional metrics can help incorporate ESG metrics into decision-making processes, providing a comprehensive view of an organization's performance.

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