- Microsoft added a new demand planning capability for its Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management product, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning models to predict and adapt to demand shifts, according to an Oct. 31 blog post.
- Users can tailor the forecast input to simulate the possible impact of those changes, with public preview starting Oct. 31. Microsoft said the results could aid demand planning by helping to help reduce inventory and increase working capital. Customers can also use their own custom-built machine-learning models.
- Microsoft also announced Copilot enhancements, an AI tool which is used in Dynamics 365, to improve productivity and mitigate disruptions, per the blog post. Microsoft is trying to embed Copilot “into every role” so users can make “better, faster decisions,” Georg Glantschnig, VP of Dynamics 365 Finance and service-centric ERP at Microsoft, told Supply Chain Dive in an interview.
The tech company is trying to understand how they can help users do things in minutes or hours instead of days, Glantschnig said, and the new capabilities aim to make that possible.
“It’s not about trying to find what you want to do next, it’s more like the system telling you [where the] choke points or roadblocks are,” Glantschnig said. “So, it’s more like [addressing] through the data you have in the system, but then also bringing people together on the same problem so they can solve it together.”
Domino’s Pizza in the United Kingdom and Ireland is currently using Microsoft’s demand planning capabilities, and are using AI to ensure they are properly stocked with the required ingredients while reducing food waste. Previously, the pizza company was trying to balance this using separate tools.
“If you do this in a manual process, you know, they have to talk to people [to] align data points, and this is kind of offline and not intelligent,” Glantschnig said. “It’s very difficult to do this [at] a very fast pace.”
Microsoft's new supply chain offering could help companies break away from traditional processes, particularly by simulating "what if" scenarios, he added.
Microsoft plans to build on its Copilot capabilities, including one that will help enhance inventory visibility and accuracy, which will be available for public preview Nov. 15, the VP said. In June, Microsoft introduced a capability that enables procurement teams to handle orders and assess the impact of production and distribution changes, which will be generally available starting Dec. 1.
Microsoft’s new Copilot and demand planning capabilities are part of its larger push to offer AI-powered supply chain assistance that leverages data collaboration to inform faster decisions. Microsoft initially unveiled its Supply Chain Center alongside Kraft Heinz and Daimler as its first customers in 2022. Earlier this year, the tech company introduced new AI capabilities to its supply chain management platform that will help flag and respond to disruptions.