Logistics 101: Computational Power vs. Brainpower

Visualization of a Computer vs Human Mind

Do you feel more meaningful? You should, because as of September 2022, the term “supply chain” has become an official part of the Merriam Webster Dictionary

In honor of that milestone, we’re pleased to present the second installment of our ever-popular supply chain lexicon.

Up this month? Two common but frequently misunderstood decision support terms. 


Computational Power
The combined efficacy of the computer hardware and software that a company has access to for data processing and analytics. Until a few years ago, the lack of substantial computational power was a key barrier for many companies that wanted to execute extensive machine learning algorithms. But now the availability of Open-Source Software options and advances in cloud computing have made this rather affordable and attainable for all.


Heuristics (aka Brainpower)
A commonsense method of decision-making that’s based on a person’s own expertise and intuition rather than the use of formal analytics. A lot of logistics professionals still rely on this experience-based, rule of thumb approach to a degree (even if they don’t think of it as such). And rightfully so, because even in today’s technology-driven world, there are some choices that really don’t require a complicated algorithm or customized computer model.


To Be Continued…
Allow us to leave you with a quick thought: As advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, like machine learning, become more feasible, it’s worth your while to take another look at how you can meaningfully apply AI across more of your operations, because exciting advances are happening all the time. However, don’t ever expect to do away with human decision making altogether, because ultimately the strongest supply chain operations will rely on a combination of real-world heuristics and cutting-edge analytics. Want to know more? Feel free to contact us. We’re always happy to hear from you – and always happy to talk shop.



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