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IMARC 2020: BHP uses AI to strengthen supply chain

The Olympic Dam operation. Source: BHP

BHP has fortified its supply chain during the COVID-19 pandemic by using advanced technologies that help to protect the company against any unprecedented impacts.

Speaking at a keynote during IMARC 2020, BHP chief procurement Sundeep Singh said the resilience and sustainability of supply chains was tested during the pandemic.

According to Singh, BHP’s continued strength in its supply chain is derived through its partnerships with external companies such as Deloitte, who worked with the mining giant using artificial intelligence.

This was part of BHP’s supplier illumination program which enhanced the company’s use of advanced analytics.

“We were able to leverage advanced analytics – (artificial intelligence) with Deloitte,” Singh said.

“This helped us to create visibility through multiple tiers of our supply chain. We can now see information on our suppliers’ suppliers and their suppliers.

“The resilience came from taking those analytics and sharing them with our other partners, which in turn made their supply chains more robust.”

Singh said BHP’s partnerships and increased transparency enabled quick and effective adaption to the pandemic.

The competitive advantage of BHP’s partnerships within the supply chain also enabled the miner to create new value propositions.

“The competitive advantage of a resilient and sustainable supply chain comes from the work that we do together – how we innovate, how we improve, how our relationships unlock future value opportunities that are hard to replicate and that others don’t have,” Singh said.

Singh said the partnerships had enabled a rapid repair from the pandemic’s impact through a collaborative effort that demonstrated resilience.

It has made BHP rethink how it can build an adaptable supply chain in a COVID-19 environment.

“Through partnerships, we not only got advanced analytics but had the right collaboration to enable our supply chain to adapt quickly and meaningfully – this is real resilience,” Singh said.

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