High-Growth Supply Chain Businesses Adopting AI and Machine Learning at Faster Pace than Competitors, Epicor Study Finds

Austin, TX June 25, 2024

According to the 2024 Agility Index research study from Epicor and Nucleus Research, nearly half of surveyed companies across the make, move, and sell industries cited concern over escalating costs as the foremost challenge confronting supply chains, with more than half using artificial intelligence, automation, or machine learning for at least one supply chain management application to address. Notably, a higher percentage of businesses (63 percent) that identify as high-growth – defined by revenue growth of 20 percent or more over the past three years – have already integrated generative AI into their respective supply chain operations to manage cost and operational challenges.

Nucleus Research surveyed more than 1,700 supply chain management leaders worldwide to understand how they are leveraging powerful technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning to thrive while navigating challenges like supply chain disruptions, escalating costs, and skilled labor gaps. The study also uncovered anticipated future investments in these technologies.

“When workers are empowered to spend more time innovating—what humans do best—that’s where the real value creation happens. That is agility,” said Vaibhav Vohra, Chief Product and Technology Officer at Epicor. “Our 2024 Agility Index underscores the growing adoption of AI and other automation technologies as an essential factor in enabling supply chain businesses to better thrive and compete. These cognitive capabilities are coming together to empower workers and their businesses to more readily adapt to shifting market conditions and better serve their customers.”

Survey respondents indicated they are integrating generative AI into digital supply chain operations across various functions such as product descriptions, customer service chatbots, natural language querying, reporting, and in-application assistance. Specifically, the adoption of generative AI in customer service chatbots, noted by 72 percent of organizations, is highlighted as the most prevalent use case. This widespread implementation is attributed to the technology's ability to streamline customer interactions across various sectors.

Similarly, 67 percent of organizations currently employ generative AI for crafting product descriptions, leveraging the technology's capacity to analyze customer sentiment and forecast market demand. This enables a more informed approach to product design and feature development.

Businesses are also implementing machine learning most frequently in inventory optimization (45 percent) and demand forecasting (40 percent), underlining the critical role of these technologies in managing inventory levels and accurately predicting future demand.

According to survey respondents, the greatest hope for the impact of automation technologies lies in increased efficiency and productivity (32 percent), cost savings (26 percent), and improved supply chain automation (23 percent). This reflects a strong belief in the potential of these technologies to drive significant improvements in supply chain management.

To download a copy of the 2024 Agility Index, please visit our website.

Survey Methodology

Nucleus Research administered a survey January to March 2024 to more than 1,700 supply chain and operations leaders across the U.S., U.K. and Ireland, and APAC. The sample was evenly split between the Enterprise market ($250 million to $1 billion in annual revenue) and Small to Medium-sized Businesses (SMB) (less than $250 million in annual revenue).


Aaron Masterson

Global Head of Corporate Communications



About Epicor

Epicor Software Corporation drives business growth. We provide flexible, industry-specific software designed to fit the precise needs of our manufacturing, distribution, retail, and service industry customers. More than 45 years of experience with our customers’ unique business processes and operational requirements are built into every solution―in the cloud or on premises. With this deep understanding of your industry, Epicor solutions dramatically improve performance and profitability while easing complexity so you can focus on growth. For more information, connect with Epicor or visit www.epicor.com.

# # #

Epicor and the Epicor logo are trademarks of Epicor Software Corporation, registered in the United States and other countries. Other trademarks referenced are the property of their respective owners. The product and service offerings depicted in this document are produced by Epicor Software Corporation.