Increasing capabilities in artificial intelligence (AI) could help supply chain control towers live up to the promise that supporters have long touted, according to o9 Solutions, a planning and operations platform vendor that today said it has partnered with supply chain visibility provider project44

The linkage is the latest sign that AI is emerging from the computer lab to gain traction in everyday applications, ranging from rolling warehouse robots and self-driving forklifts to supply chain planning software and digital freight matching platforms to flying DC drones and piece-picking robots.

Under terms of the new deal, project44 will provide a data signal to the o9 planning platform’s control tower to identify disruptions in the global transportation network. Dallas-based o9 will then generate “actionable insights” and pass them on to the partners’ joint customers, enabling them to implement agile planning and scenario management to mitigate risks and drive delivery excellence within the supply chain, the companies said.

“Global supply chains continue to experience immense pressure from constant market disruption. By joining forces with the global leader in advanced visibility, we will help our customers gain better control of their increasingly complex and fractured supply chains,” o9 CEO Chakri Gottemukkala said in a release.

The integration comes as supply chain control towers have evolved rapidly in recent years, increasing their ability to identify opportunities and respond to shifts in demand and supply, according to o9. Despite that progress, the control towers cannot create visibility without access to “the highest quality data” across all modes and geographies, including predictive tracking, real-time estimated time of arrivals (ETAs), and comprehensive historical data, the company said.

In search of that precise logistics data, o9 made a similar match last month to access FourKites’ real-time in-transit freight tracking information, likewise saying move would allow customers to receive proactive notifications of freight disruptions and reduce friction in complex global supply chains.

Chicago-based project44 says it can also create that high-quality data by applying machine learning (ML) techniques to incorporate the context of each trip and comprehensive historical data, including historical carrier data, local weather and road regulations, driver hours of service, and dock hours.

“Project44’s partnership with o9 combines game-changing digital powers that will help our mutual customers make faster, more effective decisions and, as a result, build more resilient supply chains,” project44 Founder and CEO Jett McCandless said in a release. “With project44’s high-quality contextualized data and o9’s AI-powered planning capabilities, we will unlock the value of supply chain transparency and predictability in an entirely new way.”


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