Build a Strong AI Foundation and Be Ready for the Next Disruption

Before the COVID-19 shutdown — and despite the constant hype — artificial intelligence (AI) was lagging in the consumer goods industry. While what comes after a level of normalcy returns to the industry remains to be seen, one thing’s for sure: The use of AI to help minimize the impact of future disruption has been accelerated.

Thanks to the pandemic, the supply chain has been thrust front and center. “Prior to COVID-19, I think it’s fair to say that most people weren’t thinking about the state of U.S. supply chains,” Tom Madrecki, VP, supply chain and logistics for Consumer Brands Association, told CGT in its 2020 Supply Chain report. “And yet, they undergird everything we do and rely on every day. There’s a tremendous opportunity to leverage data and analytical tools to drive smarter, more predictive decisions, and to further optimize already highly efficient supply chain systems.”

CG companies are also applying the technology in the areas of product development and design, manufacturing, marketing and trade promotion management — although not always to the best ROI.

Still, McKinsey values the total potential of AI in CPG as $1.4 trillion. Of that, supply chain represents the biggest chunk at $976 billion, followed by marketing and sales at $286 billion and product development at $53 billion.

What steps should a CG company take to get in on this trillion-dollar opportunity? What are the top companies doing with AI? Read on to discover three requirements for building a strong AI foundation and see real-world use cases.