Pepsi’s Innovations with Artificial Intelligence

Supply Chain Briefing

April 9, 2019

Artificial intelligence appears to be taking over the world. I read a fascinating article in Forbes about Pepsi’s innovations using artificial intelligence, and it is quite clear that those executives who are thinking about how to lead this effort will leave the rest in the dust.  For example, Pepsi is working the University of the Pacific to have a Snackbot deliver snacks and drinks from an app to 50 locations across campus for no fee! Quite an intriguing idea, and it delivers rain or shine.

Similarly, in Pepsi’s Frito-Lay factory, they use lasers to hit chips and listen to sounds to determine texture. And this is just the beginning of how AI can relate to process control.  They also used machine learning and a vision system to predict the weight of potatoes which led to millions in savings. There seems to be no limit to the number of ideas and ways to utilize AI. Have you thought about what you can do in your operation? 

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?
You better get up-to-speed quickly! One way to do this is to join our APICS-IE chapter in our symposium on “The Talent Transformation: People or Robots?“. We have an amazing lineup of panelists including a robotics expert, the world’s leader in GIS mapping software, and more. You can also read mountains of articles on-line, ask colleagues, attend conferences, network with industry professionals and much more.  The key question is as follows: Are you exploring these technologies and what can they do for your business?

These types of advanced manufacturing and leading edge technologies are becoming quite accessible. But that isn’t enough. Are you involving your team in the process and providing opportunities for education, testing of new ideas and for failure? Otherwise, write all the checks you want; however, it will fall apart when trying to integrate these technologies into your organization in a smart way to achieve a value-added end result. Just pose the question – how can we create a resilient yet automated end-to-end supply chain? No doubt, you’ll circle back to this topic!