Cognitive Computing

CEVA Links Cognitive Supply Chain to Holiday Season Rewards

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CEVA is a multi-billion dollar global supply chain management company that works with some of the busiest retailers in the business. We’re responsible for everything from contract logistics to freight management, packing and shipping, and all on a global scale.

Our business is much more than simply moving things from A to B. We operate as both a carrier and a mover in more than 160 countries and manage 8 million square meters of storage space and customs clearance at more than 600 ports around the world.

During the holiday shopping season, when the volumes of customer, supplier and manufacturer transactions skyrocket to over 17 million per month, the task of managing our supply chain becomes a particularly complex task, which requires zero down-time and pinpoint precision.

One of the most significant holiday shopping moments is the five-day period between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And the national holiday here in the U.S. just prior can add additional pressures.

To better manage and the deluge of data, and get greater visibility, automation, and predictability out of our supply chain, we turned to the cognitive capabilities of IBM Watson Supply Chain Business Network.

Through this process we adopted real-time contextual search capabilities across the entire lifecycle of any given transaction, which makes it easier to make informed decisions, respond quickly, improve performance, gain new data insights and deliver information flows efficiently with accuracy and transparency. Should anything affect a shipment, for example, a storm that’s predicted to hit a busy seaport, we have the option to quickly re-direct the shipment to mitigate delivery delays.

Some of the more specific stand-out benefits we have seen include:

  • Peace of mind with hour-by-hour notifications for the five-day period between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This year, CEVA processed approximately 4 million transactions from November 22 –29 2017, with hourly high points of 60,000 messages in a single hour.
  • Data now moves through our supply chain 90% faster with an increased capacity to exchange business documents in a standard Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) format.
  • Zero downtime and no interruption to data flows, even during seasonal peaks in demand. Since we moved our transaction flows to the IBM Cloud, we no longer worry about adding additional servers or resources to support increasing transaction volumes.

At CEVA, these days, we look forward to peak shopping periods. Our supply chain is cognitive and reliable and ready to handle the global rush.


IS&S – Integration Systems Architect based out of CEVA’s Center of Logistics Excellence in North America

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