IBM Sterling Supply Chain Insights with Watson

Remarkable new levels of visibility, predictability and proactivity help you mitigate even the most unfathomable supply chain disruptions.

Services & Solutions > Capabilities > Supply Chain > IBM Sterling Supply Chain Insights with Watson

Gain powerful insights to avoid supply chain disruption and accelerate resolution.

In the past few years, supply chain professionals have been challenged by situations that used to be the plots of disaster movies. Climatic catastrophes. Political unrest. Economic collapses. Piracy. Pandemics. 

There is no end to the calamities that have occurred to disrupt the global supply chain. What could possibly come next?

Despite the seemingly endless stream of challenges that keep occurring across the planet, legions of dedicated professionals have risen to the challenge to keep our supply chains operating…trucks moving, loading docks bustling, and store shelves adequately stocked. Supply chain leaders who might once have performed their roles in quiet anonymity have become celebrated heroes of the industry.

They have achieved this by assessing their obstacles, analyzing the situation, making bold decisions, and taking immediate action to adapt whatever, whenever, and wherever changes were needed. To do this requires remarkable foresight and skill. And to do this successfully time after time under the most difficult circumstances takes the expert insights you get only from experience and wisdom.

Knowledge is power.

Recognizing this, IBM built capabilities into the IBM Sterling Supply Chain Insights solution to harness this knowledge and experience.

IBM Sterling Supply Chain Insights (SCI) leverages AI to provide end-to-end visibility throughout the supply chain. It compiles and evaluates tremendous volumes of structured and unstructured data from a wide variety of sources – both internal and external – including news, weather, and social media data. 

Through personalized dashboards, it provides a single view of all relevant data, including KPIs and event monitoring.

By analyzing all of this data, SCI develops a complete, accurate, and timely assessment of what’s happening, and predicts where disruptions might occur. It also helps to assess the potential impact of those disruptions.

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From insights to action.

Furthermore, SCI can alert individuals of emerging problems proactively, and even suggest an appropriate course of action based on organizational best practices and previous outcomes. Armed with the real-time information, insights, and guidance that this solution provides, supply chain professionals are better able to predict, assess, and mitigate disruptions. They can find the right answers quickly, collaborate with experts across the organization to resolve issues, and take immediate and effective action.

This solution will help enable a more intelligent, agile, and resilient supply chain, while helping you optimize performance and profitability. Companies leveraging Supply Chain Insights report a wide variety of benefits, including:

Improving productivity by reducing information retrieval time by 90%.

Cutting costly disruptions by 50%.

Reducing expedited shipment costs by 50%.

Retrieving supplier data up to 90% faster.

Improving forecast accuracy by as much as 50%.

Reducing time to value by up to 85%.

Driving up to 95% efficiency when tackling recurring challenges.

Uncovering savings opportunities were previously undetected.

By avoiding disruption and accelerating processes, companies improve supply chain operations, reduce costs, and improve customer satisfaction. Our team can help you explore this solution’s capabilities and leverage it effectively to achieve benefits like these and more.

Are you facing these supply chain challenges?

Is Supply Chain Insights a good fit for you?  Here are just some of the challenges it can help to overcome.

Disruptions and delays

Disruptions and delays

You must monitor and mitigate an ever-increasing array of potential disruptions. These include common events, such as weather, delivery delays, and quality defects, plus the impact of major unanticipated events such as political unrest, natural disasters, and the financial instability of suppliers.

Huge volumes of untapped data

Huge volumes of untapped data

You have massive amounts of data inside and outside your business, including social media and IoT. Much of this data is unstructured and not being used to advantage, such as weather and news that impact your business.

Lack of integration

Lack of integration

Manual processes, siloed systems, and disconnected teams conspire against a fully integrated supply chain. If you’re running WMS, TMS, or ERP, there’s a good chance these systems aren’t connected and working together.

Limited supply chain visibility

Limited supply chain visibility

Most organizations lack end-to-end visibility into their supply chain and inventory. Additionally, the partners, clients, and suppliers on which they’re so dependent may have a very limited view across systems.

Legacy, outdated infrastructure

Legacy, outdated infrastructure

If you’re running on an old platform, you need to create a more flexible and cost-effective infrastructure that’s conducive to adapting new technologies. You’re likely under pressure to move to a hybrid cloud environment using a scalable solution that preserves existing IT investments while reducing maintenance costs.

Increased customer demands

Increased customer demands

Customers expect more, faster. The pressure to deliver the perfect customer experience has accelerated the rate of new product introductions and has created additional burdens on you and your partners. Despite these strenuous market forces, you need to safeguard your brand by ensuring that suppliers and product components live up to customer expectations.

Tougher competition

Tougher competition

Your competitors are beginning to apply AI to their supply chains, and they’re gaining competitive advantage. You must not only keep up but get ahead.

The need for repeatable processes

The need for repeatable processes

With so many transactions happening so quickly, you don’t have time to continuously relearn processes. You need to capture organizational knowledge and create digital playbooks. Additionally, as baby boomers are retiring, you need to gather and share the knowledge of experienced supply chain professionals within your organization.

Pressure to improve performance while also reducing costs

Pressure to improve performance while also reducing costs

Every organization in the world is under pressure to optimize performance and reduce costs. Supply chain professionals must often balance a lot of variables over which they have little control.

Make faster, smarter decisions that help prevent supply chain delays and disruptions.

IBM Sterling Supply Chain Insights can help you overcome these challenges and more. It provides comprehensive, end-to-end visibility and real-time insights that enable you to optimize supply chain performance.  Its capabilities include:

  • Proactively predict and mitigate disruptions
  • Leverage and analyze structured and unstructured data from many sources
  • Gain end-to-end visibility across systems and partners
  • Gain actionable insights and proactive alerts to mitigate disruption and drive improvements
  • Leverage AI to harness the power of knowledge and experience
  • Improve connectivity and integration across the supply chain
  • Leverage AI to proactively predict and assess delays and disruptions.
  • Use smart alerts and real-time insights to flag potential risks.
  • Acquire AI-empowered forecasting and predictive capabilities.


  • Mitigate disruptions and delays in minutes – rather than hours or days.
  • Create a more resilient supply chain that delivers more value to your business and safeguards your brand.
  • Unlocks relevant data that is currently residing in organizational silos.
  • Quickly process massive volumes of disparate data, including data from IoT, social media, and third-party vendors such as news and weather sources.
  • Quickly collates, correlates, and harmonizes vast amounts of data
  • Analyzes both structured and unstructured, and at an enormous scale and speed, for deeper insights.
  • Provides open and rapid integration of disparate silos, systems, and sources, such as planning, sourcing, production, warehouse, transportation, and other systems, as well as external services and sources of data
  • Scales and manages disparate sources of data to keep data complexity in check


  • Unleash the full value of data from a variety of sources relevant to your supply chain.
  • Connect existing systems (ERP, WMS, TMS, etc.) to provide end-to-end visibility across the supply chain – from sourcing to customer delivery.
  • Purpose-built control towers create a single view of processes and data from disparate sources
  • Employ intelligent dashboards, KPIs, and end-to-end supply chain views to deepen visibility and collaboration.
  • Rely on a single solution that is trained in supply chain and understands supply chain language.
  • Achieve a single, shared view of supply chain data—including dark and unstructured data.
  • Leverage Watson technology to predict, assess, and mitigate risks, delays, and disruptions.


  • Gain end-to-end visibility across systems and partners and optimize collaboration to align supply chain operations to customer needs
  • Get an aggregate view of the health of the supply chain so you can anticipate and avoid disruptions.
  • AI-powered dashboards provide 360º visibility and insights.
  • Dashboards display personalized KPIs and intuitive alerts based on user requirements.
  • Event monitoring with smart alerts to help you quickly focus on and prioritize issues.
  • Get insights to see, manage and more effectively act on inventory to meet customer demand
  • Understand the impact of external events to predict disruptions, and take actions based on recommendations to mitigate the upstream and downstream effects.


  • Quickly assess the financial impact of risks and disruptions, and intelligently prioritize actions
  • Facilitate better, faster decision-making.
  • Respond faster to market changes and deliver better customer experiences while helping to reduce costs.
  • Make informed decisions that improve operations and increase value.
  • Respond proactively, quickly and effectively to competitive threats and opportunities.
  • Resolve critical issues in real time to optimize your supply chain to deliver greater business
  • Augment the knowledge and experience of supply chain professionals with the power of IBM Watson AI.
  • Make Watson your trusted business advisor—learning about the business, partners, and processes, and providing guidance and expertise to help resolve issues when they arise.
  • Get AI-powered insights instantly on-demand.
  • Facilitate better decision making based on continuous learning and training in your organization’s supply chain, and by drawing on your own best practices.
  • AI trained in the language of the supply chain enables users to ask questions and search for information in their natural language.
  • Captures events and resolutions to develop Digital Playbooks that curate organizational knowledge to optimize responses to future events.
  • Includes Resolution Rooms with Ask Watson that recommend the right team members to help resolve specific disruptions.


  • Leverage learned best practices to enable greater speed and accuracy in responding to future events.
  • Get immediate access to knowledge from prior issues and event resolution.
  • Receive actionable, intelligent advice based on learned best practices.
  • Employ smart alerts and playbooks to take optimal action in responding to or preventing disruptions.
  • Achieve superior outcomes by leveraging an online collaboration tool that is assisted by cognitive capabilities.
  • Get the confidence of using data and insights that are based on past decisions and results from your own supply chain operations.
  • Promote strong ecosystem growth through an open platform that has additional value-added capabilities.
  • Use composable, supply-chain-ready AI building blocks that enable developers to achieve rapid integration of all relevant data sources and legacy applications.
  • Extend the value and reach of legacy applications and data using enterprise-ready containerized software.


  • Complement and leverage existing systems with analytics to get full value from your technology investments.
  • Eliminate boundaries and limits across organizational and technology silos.
  • Connect disparate data and systems silos to provide deeper visibility and insights.
  • Elevate your existing systems and achieve rapid ROI with AI-enabled, hybrid-cloud capabilities.
supply chain

IBM Sterling Supply Chain Insights helps you predict the future. Our knowledgeable team will help you get the most from it.

The Lightwell team has helped organizations like yours leverage solutions like these for over 20 years now. We’ve helped them evaluate and implement the tools they need to compete in a high velocity, high stakes business environment.

Through our comprehensive supply chain consulting services, we help them select, deploy, manage, and optimize these solutions so they can perform more profitability in an increasingly complex business environment.

Learn more about how our combined solutions and services will empower you to conduct fast, secure, and intelligent supply chain transactions — and drive better business results. 

The related IBM Sterling Supply Chain solutions we represent include:

Our complementary supply chain services and innovations include:

supply chain solutions

Take the next step in your journey to supply chain excellence.

Learn about the additional solutions and services from Lightwell and IBM that can help you improve your overall business performance and seize competitive advantages.

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Let’s Get Started

The performance of your supply chain is absolutely essential to your success. With our extensive industry experience, technical knowledge, and renowned collaborative approach, we can help you transform your organization’s supply chain to perform better than it’s ever performed before.

Contact us today. Discover how Lightwell and IBM can help you acquire complete visibility into your supply chain, and leverage powerful insights to drive exceptional business outcomes.

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