The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Boston, Mass., surveyed 1,000 executives and managers across many industries to examine the status and expectations of artificial intelligence (AI) adoption. The analysis revealed that “use of AI can reduce producers’ conversion costs by up to 20%, with up to 70% of the cost reduction resulting from higher workforce productivity.” AI was particularly useful in generating more sales when used to produce products tailored to specific customers with faster delivery times.

The survey revealed that transportation and logistics, automotive and technology companies are at the forefront of AI adoption, while process industries (such as chemicals) lag behind. Companies in the United States, China and India have taken a lead in adoption over their counterparts in such countries as Japan, France and Germany.

While companies in emerging nations such as China tend to be enthusiastic about these benefits, those in many industrialized nations, such as Germany, have a more conservative view. Because German companies have also fallen behind in developing detailed plans for AI adoption, their status as laggards is likely to persist.

The survey results also indicate that industrial producers must significantly ramp up their implementation efforts if they are to achieve their ambitions for AI. Technology alone will not make it happen. To tap into the full potential of AI, companies must consider at an organizational level all of the necessary enablers.

This report also contains critical insights on the adoption of next-generation supply chain technology, including blockchain for supply chains, building the future supply chain workforce, last-mile logistics, leadership in the digital future, cybersecurity and predictive analytics.