JDA Software partners with MIT to develop predictive supply chains

JDA Software partners with MIT to develop predictive supply chains

Supply chain specialist JDA Software has announced a joint research agreement with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to develop new supply chain applications.

The multi-year agreement is designed to explore intelligent edge technologies, such as machine learning, AI, the IoT, and advanced analytics, to help organisations predict supply chain demand. The result will be a “unique, prescriptive supply chain”, according to a joint announcement from the companies.

JDA’s product development and Lab teams will work closely with MIT’s Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS), led by Dr David Simchi-Levi, MIT professor of engineering systems.

“I’m very pleased JDA has entered in to a multi-year research collaboration with IDSS to develop sophisticated machine learning algorithms that may accelerate research in this area, as well as JDA’s digital solutions,” said Dr Simchi-Levi.

“The collaboration will make use of multiple data sources and emphasise the combination of machine learning, optimisation, and consumer behaviour modelling.”

Predicting behaviours

Under the agreement, new use cases will explore algorithms for both predictive behaviour and “prescriptive cognitive optimisation”. These will go further than current supply chain processes by not only taking into account past behaviours, but also by determining future behaviours based on a variety of demand signals, said the announcement.

“It is more critical than ever to infuse innovation into every aspect of the supply chain, as edge technologies such as the IoT and AI are essential for digital transformation,” said Desikan Madhavanur, JDA’s executive VP and chief development officer. 

“This collaboration allows us to tap into the extraordinary mindshare at MIT to accelerate research into more intelligent and cognitive capabilities moving forward. We are excited to be working on the future of supply chains with MIT, and to double-down on researching enhanced, innovative, and value-driven supply chain solutions.” 

No more monoliths

In an interview with Internet of Business, JDA CEO Girish Rishi said: “One monolithic supply chain is not going to work anymore. Monolithic supply chains are dead. So you have to adapt to your market, to your customer segmentation. And the monolithic way of approaching it belongs to yesterday. It slows down the velocity of how you can respond.”

Rishi added that JDA has increased its R&D expenditure by 20 percent, and that 40 percent of its research expenditure overall is now targeted at AI, machine learning, and the IoT.

• JDA Software also announced today that it plans to open a new London office within the next two months, and will be employing 100 new data science professionals in the US, and 100 more worldwide.

Internet of Business says

For many organisations, a whole range of business processes have long been a drag on innovation: warehousing, supply chain management, and distribution among them. For too long these have been reactive, monolithic, slow, and static. The promise of the IoT is to make these processes smarter, more agile, more responsive, and – as this agreement suggests – more predictive. That can only be a good thing, both for business efficiency and the environment.

Read more: Interview with JDA CEO Girish Rishi

Read more: Five predictions on the future of smart warehousing 

Read more: PAL value chains: how IoT transforms manufacturing and supply