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How artificial intelligence is making our logistics fit for the future

Innovations and modern technologies are changing the way we work and live -and are creating new jobs. Artificial Intelligence, autonomous driving and robotics are no longer dreams of the future. They are part of the daily lives of our engineers and developers. For our #DigiJobs series, we spoke to the digital minds at thyssenkrupp and asked them how digitalization is influencing their work.

 Christian Jabs works in sales & supply chain management at thyssenkrupp Materials Services and drives the new pacemaker® solution developed inhouse. What is it all about, and why does his job require digital expertise?


Warehouse at the thyssenkrupp site in Duisburg.

Supply chain management: What is it all about?

 Jabs and his team make sure that their customers have the materials they need, in the right quantities, at the right time, and in the right place. And they do this through efficient processes. The CO2 footprint should be as small as possible. But what does this have to do with digitization?

 Jabs explains: "Together with our customers, we are working on the world of tomorrow. We network wherever possible. We design processes collaboratively and transparently so that we are able to maximize all potential along the supply chain." And that is only possible with modern digital technologies.

thyssenkrupp headquarter in Essen.

With pacemaker® to the digitalized supply chain

 One of these solutions is pacemaker®. It consists of artificial intelligence (AI) based software that can use historical data to make accurate predictions about warehouse stocks, customer requests, and transport routes. "Here, people and machines work hand in hand," rejoices project manager Jabs. The software can thus lead to significant resource savings.

However, this optimization is not just about economic benefits and the availability of materials, the expert tells us. "Our goal, in addition to warehouse optimizations, is above all to reduce the C02 footprint of our customers," Jabs explains. pacemaker's integrated AI has many advantages: "We can predict future demand, taking into account past values. The system is updated on a daily basis so that a continuous and automated learning process can take place," says Jabs.

 And it is now ready for the market. pacemaker® is already in place with some customers and soon to be launched on the market as an independent company. The focus will be on the automotive and aviation industry markets that are close to existing customers.



Digital progress thanks to AI

 For Jabs, it is clear what logistics work will look like in 50 years: transparent, digital, and innovative! In his eyes, artificial intelligence will play a major role in this, but the expert also makes clear: "AI is only as good as its data basis. Humans set the direction and the machine learns."

 The fear that the advancing digitalization and development of intelligent technologies could displace jobs is therefore unfounded in his view. "Humans will have to continue to orchestrate everything in the future," says Jabs. "The art of dealing with data will become increasingly important." That's why the expert sees jobs in the future especially where complex data sets have to be handled - for example, as a datascientist..

 Regardless of the skillset, the expert advises young professionals and students to take care when choosing a career. His tip: look for a forward-looking topic that you're really passionate about and always stay curious!