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From Data to Delivery: How AI is Transforming Supply Chain with Inna Kuznetsova

Ninaad Acharya, Dan Coll, Inna Kuznetsova

Episode Description

Inna Kuznetsova, the CEO of ToolsGroup, is a seasoned leader in the realm of AI-powered solutions for supply chain management. With a career dedicated to integrating technology and innovation into the supply chain, Inna oversees ToolsGroup’s cutting-edge solutions utilized by retailers, manufacturers, and distributors globally. Her impressive track record includes prior roles as the CEO of 1010data and key positions at INTTRA, CEVA Logistics, and IBM. As an independent director, Inna contributes her expertise to the board of Freightos, a publicly traded SaaS marketplace platform. A distinguished mathematician with MS and Ph.D. degrees from Moscow State University and an MBA from Columbia Business School, Inna is also a recognized author and speaker, having received the Women in Supply Chain Award for three consecutive years.


In this episode of eCom Logistics Podcast, Dan Coll and Ninaad Acharya interview Inna Kuznetsova, CEO of Tools Group, about the role of AI in demand planning and supply chain management. Inna shares her insights on how AI can improve demand forecasting, optimize inventory management, and enhance pricing and markdown strategies. She emphasizes the importance of leveraging data and implementing dynamic planning to navigate the complexities of today’s supply chain landscape. Inna also discusses the challenges and opportunities for e-commerce brands in diversifying their sales channels and managing returns effectively.


[00:00:00] Introduction to the podcast and guest’s background
[00:03:12] The impactful moments and philosophies in the guest’s career
[00:09:02] The role of AI in demand planning and supply chain
[00:13:10] The use of probabilistic models in demand forecasting
[00:14:19] The advantages of using artificial intelligence in forecasting and managing inventory
[00:18:20] The role of AI in reducing the bullwhip effect during disruptions like COVID-19
[00:23:48] The role of AI in allocation planning and optimizing inventory distribution
[00:25:05] Case study example of allocation planning for a retailer in a resort area
[00:27:33] The benefits of fulfilling orders from stores and intelligent optimization of markdowns
[00:31:24] Importance of dynamic fulfillment and holistic approach to e-commerce
[00:40:43] The proliferation of shipping from store and its advantages/disadvantages
[00:43:29] Rethinking shipment strategies and returns
[00:44:17] Managing returns and decision-making
[00:46:20] Implementing digital twin for intelligent returns


[00:11:44] “The reason why I was so attracted to ToolsGroup, why I left my previous role to jump into this current journey was because ToolsGroup was a pioneer in using machine learning in demand forecasting, which they started doing 15 years ago.”
[00:18:20] “With the help of machine learning, you can fulfill better from the stores. It’s not just fulfillment from the warehouse. It’d be much more efficient fulfilling from a store where that item may be marked down by 50 percent tomorrow, even if it costs you a little bit more in shipping.”
[00:43:29] “Moving from static planning to dynamic planning and then to navigation through the supply chain is the future trend I’m most excited about. It will minimize the amount of unproductive work made by human beings and allow them to focus on more strategic discussions.”

Find out more about Inna Kuznetsova in the link below:

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How to Reimagine the Future of Supply Chain
by Ninaad Acharya, Dan Coll and Shekar Natarajan
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