Enterprise AI for Major Industrial Manufacturer


A multinational industrial manufacturer that supplies equipment, products, technology, and services has a key initiative to upgrade their sourcing operations. The manufacturer’s sourcing department faced challenges in obtaining clear insights into their supplier network, evaluating supplier data, and swiftly adapting to shifts within their supply chain. To address these issues, the manufacturer sought a solution that would empower their sourcing team to optimize decision-making with suppliers and improve their current operational processes.

The following challenges continued to impact the company’s ability to improve their sourcing team’s decision-making:

  • Insufficient and disjointed data sets result in a difficult and tedious process to analyze data. Sourcing managers lack granular visibility into supplier prices
  • Lack of visibility into data beyond their immediate geographical domain inhibits the ability to make optimal sourcing decisions
  • Limited ability to conduct analysis. Sourcing managers face an inability to systematically evaluate a complex supplier base based on performance (e.g., delivery time, quality, accuracy, completeness)
  • Slow reactivity to changes in the supplier portfolio. Sourcing managers face difficulties with identifying, detecting, and responding to anomalous supplier prices

As a result of these challenges, the industrial manufacturer missed out on potential saving opportunities.


Over six months, C3 AI configured the C3 AI Sourcing Optimization application for nearly two million part numbers across over 70,000 suppliers and five facilities. C3 AI Sourcing Optimization enabled data unification across major ERPs as well as external data sources such as Taulia, IHS Markit, and R&R. The unified data is now extensible to re-use for other supply chain use cases (e.g., demand forecasting, supply network risk).

The application improved sourcing decisions to lower costs, increase efficiency, and minimize supply chain risks by monitoring sourcing activities within a single pane and leveraging AI and advanced ML capabilities. Savings opportunities were identified through anomaly detection, enabling the industrial manufacturer’s sourcing team with the ability to detect abnormally low or high prices. C3 AI Sourcing Optimization also provided alerts to be triggered when key sourcing events occur, enabling users to act on optimal sourcing recommendations. Sourcing managers now have quick access to near real-time market data, and anomaly detection alerts to support negotiations with suppliers.

About the Company

  • $20+ billion annual revenue in 2022
  • 50,000+ employees
  • Conducts business in 100+ countries

Project Objectives

  • Build a single unified data image for visibility across sourcing operations
  • Detect sourcing price anomalies and identify savings opportunities
  • Automate analysis of spend by supplier and contract type and management
  • Automate supplier risk assessment workflows
  • Expose sourcing insights to sourcing managers on both desktop computers and mobile devices

Project Highlights

  • 6 months from kickoff to production application completion with one small team of app developers and data engineers
  • 5 global sites for initial implementation
  • 70 thousand suppliers
  • 2 million item details ingested, monitored, and analyzed
  • Daily data ingestion from eight systems including common ERPs, and a cloud-based data lake into a unified data model


reduction opportunity across sourcing costs
in savings opportunity from reduced open spend
enterprise users following production scale out
global facilities following production scale out

Solution Architecture

C3 AI Platform


By using the C3 AI Sourcing Optimization application, sourcing managers can:

  • Access critical information needed to make the right sourcing decisions for optimal procurement performance
  • Receive actionable alerts generated based on order detail and pricing analysis
  • View correlation between price indexes and part pricing based on the IHS Markit Integration to support pricing negotiations
  • Receive alerts based on purchase order line changes including short-cycled purchase orders and changes in requested delivery dates
Next Steps

Upon successful initial deployment, the industrial manufacturer and C3 AI defined a joint expansion plan for C3 AI Sourcing Optimization to monitor and optimize sourcing across over 100 facilities and an additional one million items, enabling over 500 enterprise users at scale and encompassing billions of dollars in open spend.

Proven results in weeks, not years

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