Business challenge

To maintain its industry-leading position, Lenovo must orchestrate its complex supply chain cost-effectively. To drive efficiency, the company looked for a way to gain greater visibility.


Lenovo took part in the Watson™ Supply Chain Fast Start program, enabling it to complete its first analyses with IBM Supply Chain Insights in just five weeks.



cognitive insights that help Lenovo optimize decision-making

Up to 95%

faster reactions to supply chain disruptions help Lenovo reduce risk


opportunities to reduce costs and drive incremental revenues

Business challenge story

Staying lean to drive growth

Among PC manufacturers, competition for global market share is intense. As commoditization continues to erode margins, obtaining worldwide reach has never been more important. For leading global players like Lenovo, which manufactures and distributes products worth more than USD43 billion each year, it is crucial to orchestrate the global supply chain effectively and cost-efficiently.

Lenovo’s supply chain leaders play a critical role in the company’s success, and aim to ensure the quality, delivery and availability of materials. This process requires careful monitoring and planning, as anything from bad weather and natural disasters to financial crises and political unrest can break crucial links in the supply chain.

The more nodes a supply chain has, the more variables there are to manage—and Lenovo’s extensive supply chain generates vast amounts of data every day. The company knew that this data contained valuable insights that could help it improve the efficiency of its processes. However, the sheer volume and velocity of the information made it almost impossible to analyze manually.

Transformation story

Cutting time-to-insight with AI

To solve the challenge, Lenovo took part in the Watson™ Supply Chain Fast Start program. Within just five weeks, the IBM team helped Lenovo complete three AI-driven use-case analyses using supply chain data from its production system.

By surfacing predictive analytics insights during the Fast Start program, Lenovo quickly realized that it could harness IBM Supply Chain Insights to gain greater visibility across its supply chain. Crucially, the company can use those insights to enable better decision-making.

Equipped with the IBM Watson solution, Lenovo’s supply chain professionals are now gaining the visibility to drive faster, better-informed decisions. If a key link in the supply chain is disrupted, Lenovo can drill down to identify which of its orders are affected, determine the potential financial implications, and start taking action to mitigate the impact.

To support this new way of working, Lenovo is embracing a collaborative approach to decision-making. Today, supply chain managers from across the business meet in “resolution rooms”—digital spaces that bring stakeholders together quickly for even shorter response times.

Results story

Reacting fast to protect the business

Lenovo is using IBM Watson Supply Chain Insights to rapidly predict, assess and mitigate the risk of disruptions to its supply chain. With an AI-powered approach to risk management, Lenovo can shrink its average response time to supply chain disruptions from days to minutes—up to 90 percent faster than before.

Building on its success with the Watson Supply Chain Fast Start program, Lenovo is digging deeper into its supply chain data. By gaining an end-to-end view of its entire network, the company is confident that it will be able to find ways to reduce its operational costs.

Thanks to its rich source of supply chain data, Lenovo is free to explore new approaches to production such as “available to promise” (ATP). These innovations could ultimately enable Lenovo to generate more precise delivery estimates for its clients in real time, adding value to its offering.

Bobby Bernard, Global Procurement and Supply Chain Executive at Lenovo, concludes: “Supply Chain Insights is an end-to-end platform that we're really excited to explore further. Not only does it provide visibility across the entire supply chain, it has an analytics engine that's proven in other industries.”

About Lenovo

With over 50,000 employees and USD43 billion in global sales in 160 countries, Lenovo is a global leader in providing innovative consumer, commercial and data center technology. Lenovo’s products and services portfolio includes PCs, workstations, servers, storage, networking, software, smart TVs, mobile products, tablets and apps.

Solution components

Take the next step

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