IBM & SAP Unveil AI-Powered Solutions for Supply Chain

Joe Dittmar, Industry Leader for Retail & Distribution at IBM Consulting, says IBM & SAP Partnership Brings Al into the Digital Core of Retailers

IBM has announced its collaboration with SAP to create supply chain solutions using generative AI to help support the retail sector against ongoing disruptions.

The two company’s have worked together previously, using IBMs IT skills and SAP’s software development innovation. Now, they’re embedding IBM’s watsonx, an AI and data platform, into SAP solutions. This new AI solution will be focused on solving problems in the direct store delivery business process and product portfolio management. 


IBM and SAP collaborate to drive efficiency and sustainability with AI

The aim of this collaboration is to help wholesale distributors and retailers easily manage store-level assortments and product distribution through a series of methods: 


Enhancing transportation planning 

IBM will feed data such as weather, traffic and local events into the SAP Direct Distribution solution. AI will then let consumer packaged goods companies select optimal store delivery routes, which will reduce costs and lower their carbon footprints by giving drivers real-time updates.

Optimising assortments

IBM will apply AI and generative AI to process store-level assortments, which will be based on the market dynamics of each store, prior sales patterns, anticipated demand and current product mix. In doing so, preliminary planning will ensure enough products are added, to maximise sales.

Automating orders

The two will develop automation solutions to deliver operational efficiencies and help increase settlement accuracy based on the AI, in the last mile distribution component for SAP Direct Distribution. 

IBM's strategic partnership with SAP to transform distribution with AI and automation

Joe Dittmar is a Senior Partner and Industry Leader for Retail & Distribution at IBM Consulting, as well as a Board member of NRF. He’s worked at IBM for seven years and is excited to work alongside SAP in the future.

“Our Partnership with SAP is bringing Al into the digital core of Wholesalers, Distributors and Retailers by leveraging Al and Automation to enhance real time route planning and execution without breaking the important ties back into the transactional system of record,” said Dittmar. “This will have a direct impact on selection and availability of products in store, 37% of consumers were looking for more.”

The team at SAP are looking forward to collaborating with IBM on this initiative and helping consumer goods companies transform their operations and improve their bottom line. 

"We understand the complexities that come with managing direct store delivery and by leveraging the power of AI we aim to help our customers  better manage their last mile distribution more effectively, minimise waste, improve customer satisfaction and achieve business value in today's fast-paced consumer industry," said EJ Kenney, Senior Vice President Consumer Products Industry and Life Sciences Business Unit at SAP. 



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