Theme: Disruptive Technologies

Supply Chain Risk Insights - Powered by Watson

Create a sustainable competitive advantage
Tuesday, Oct. 25 Location Code
2:15pm-3:15pm Houston Ballroom B/C, 3rd floor TP/15

Learn about Suppy Chain Risk Insights, an IBM internal use climatic risk management program, and all its business benefits. Discover how risk analysts are able to investigate the magnitude of the risk, compare it to previous events in the region and inform supply chain site leaders, procurement professionals or suppliers of the pending event.


Managing global supply chains can be a risky business. Monitoring the supply chain is complicated. The race for leaner and more efficient supply chains has placed supply chain sites and suppliers in some unstable regions of the world. Events, ranging from major hurricanes to social unrest and epidemics, threaten to disrupt the delivery of products and services. Risk Insights is a threat visualization service which uses the transformative power of cognitive and cloud computing with big data from The Weather Company (TWC) to give supply chain risk managers the insights needed to know when to mitigate against a risk event and when they can ignore it. Discover how Risk Insights applies cutting edge IBM technologies to provide risk analysts cognitive insights obtained from the Watson analysis of terra bytes of social media news. Data is ingested from dozens of real time reports ranging from the Global Disaster Alerts and Coordination System (GDACS) to Twitter feeds from the National Hurricane Center. The trajectory of each named storm is monitored and displayed on Risk Insights. Risk analysts get the latest view of typhoons and hurricanes and are alerted when these intersect with their supply base. Risk Insights provides a quick comparison of the current storm with historical events in the region. IBM’s acquisition of TWC provides new weather insights for risk analysts. TWC technology assets include the world’s leading meteorological data science experts, precise forecasting capabilities and a high-volume cloud platform that ingests,  analyzes and distributes enormous data sets at scale in real time. Risk Insights consumes TWC Data as a Services (DaaS). The service allows users to integrate historical and real time weather data into a Bluemix based application.


IBM CEO, Ginni Rometty, set the IBM corporate strategy to lead cognitive business. Cognitive is a new era of technology and business with three attributes: Understands unstructured data; reasons from synthesized information; learns - the more information provided, the more it learns. IBM Procurement led by CPO, Bob Murphy, owns the end-to-end procurement transformation and operations from source to payment. IBM has thousands of procurement professionals world-wide and manages over $50B of spend annually for IBM and clients.

Presenter: Tom Ward

Tom Ward is currently the IBM Enterprise Services Cloud and Cognitive strategist. He has led supply chain cloud projects over the past five years, and for the past two years has led Watson applications for the supply chain. He has been a featured supply chain conference speaker and is a published author. Ward has presented for two IBM Academy of Technology virtual conferences on the cognitive supply chain example, Risk Insights. He is one of 25 certified consulting supply chain management professionals across IBM with over 25 years of experience in all areas of the supply chain. Ward has a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute.