Research Preview February 6, 2024

Seizing This AI Moment

This Zero100 research report uncovers a unique window of opportunity for AI first-mover advantage and a risk of stasis or failure for those who wait. We offer six immediately actionable strategies to help supply chain executives mobilize resources fast and land on the winning side of the AI ledger.

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Steve Hochman
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Our research uncovered that over 85% of supply chains remain stuck in pilot mode when it comes to AI use, while just a handful of pioneers are making use of it to drive gains. Zero100’s research report defines the gap and opportunity here through the analysis of AI-related practice and performance data at over 200 companies, an in-house review of over 350 global supply chain AI use cases, and interviews with AI innovators at leading global brands and AI technology startups.

The report, available now in full for Zero100 members, details how to set a strategy for AI leadership, why it is critical for supply chain to take ownership of AI, what operating model capabilities are vital, where to start the journey, and how to accelerate. This preview shares some of our key findings and conclusions.

The Stakes for Supply Chain

Assessing the opportunity for supply chain and quantifying the gap between pioneers and those falling behind, our research uncovered that:

  • The top quartile of AI performers in our data set grew revenue nearly twice as fast as the bottom quartile group and did so at +1.5% higher gross profit.
  • Comparable benefits accrued in inventory turns (0.89% correlation) and Scope 3 carbon (leaders were 60% more likely to achieve SBTi targets).
  • AI, its application, and the possibilities it creates are only going to grow—private investment in AI is growing at a 30% compound annual growth rate on a 2022 baseline of $92B.
  • Leaders are moving quickly, with the top five most aggressive AI recruiters hiring for AI/ML skills at 4.5x the rate of the rest of our data set overall.

This places us at a moment of historic opportunity and risk and, by definition, the AI learning effect favors firstmovers. The number one question, then, for supply chain leaders is how to see and seize this AI opportunity ahead of the curve. What we found came down to what we call “altitude agility”—the ability to zoom out, think laterally, and explore new, untested operating model configurations while zooming in to sweat the execution details and ensure value at speed. Our research points to the breakthroughs, enablers, and strategies to achieve this.

Our framework for AI-powered supply chain advantage is based on the differentiators between those leading the way and those falling behind. To this end, we identify the keys to breakthrough alongside immediate next steps to get started and capitalize on the AI opportunity.

Image depicting the Six Keys to AI Breakthrough.

How CSCOs Can Move Forward... Now

As with any substantial transformation, quick wins are of the essence. The full report lays out specific strategies for progress relating to the keys to breakthrough above, based on Zero100 data and use cases—but the rate of change in the AI technology landscape means that continuously updating your long-range vision is its own short-term deliverable. We identify five steps to that end, beginning with stepping back.

Since moving forward first requires stepping back, we recommend mapping your current AI capability and roadmap against the AI success factors outlined in the full report. Then, ask if you have the right mindset, operating mechanics, and infrastructure in place to run ahead of the AI curve and win. If not, ask yourself what gaps remain and focus on how to fill them. The following steps can be found in the full report.

At present, there is no practical playbook for operationalizing AI at scale or where to start. Our AI blueprinting capability helps customers visualize their current AI activity, see gaps, and set a
high-level prioritized roadmap. Our AI talent benchmarking service helps customers deep dive on AI talent and define a go-forward AI talent strategy. What has been missing is an integrated AI strategy and operating manual to get moving – this report is intended as that manual and includes a full set of proprietary data and insights, detailed recommendations, and practical guidance for leaders to seize this AI moment and achieve competitive advantage at scale.

To access the full report, visit

If you are not a Zero100 member, please email to inquire about membership and report access.