Thyssenkrupp Materials Services GmbH (Essen, Germany; www.thyssenkrupp-materials-services.com) continues to drive digital transformation: since early 2019, an artificial intelligence (AI) solution, supported by Microsoft's cloud platform Azure, has been integrated into the processes of the largest materials distribution and service provider in the Western world. Dubbed "alfred" after his namesake Alfred Krupp, the AI solution supports his colleagues at Materials Services in dynamically managing the global logistics network with 271 warehouse sites and more than 150,000 products and services.
As a first step, alfred will help to optimize transport routes and thus save the transport of thousands of tons of material per year. In addition, materials will be available more quickly at the right locations in the future. In the medium term, Materials Services will be able to make all processes along the supply chain more flexible, for example, in order to better take into account specific customer requirements for delivery speed, pricing or material quality.
With the AI, the approximately 14-million order items received annually by Materials Services can be processed and analyzed much more efficiently. For the first time, the materials experts are also bringing all company data together on a single platform. Using self-learning algorithms based on Microsoft Azure Machine Learning, alfred analyzes all relevant information, generates important findings and supports employees with appropriate recommendations.