“Walmart Is Using AI to Negotiate the Best Price With Some Vendors”

From Bloomberg this afternoon, article here.

“As ChatGPT dazzles the general public with fanciful uses of artificial intelligence, such as writing Hollywood scripts or opining on fantasy baseball and art theoryWalmart Inc. is leaning on AI for a more pragmatic purpose: bargaining with suppliers….”

“Artificial intelligence isn’t a threat to Walmart’s human negotiators, at least not yet. Instead the company is using the tool to squeeze savings from contracts that might not be big enough to justify taking up much—if any—of a procurement manager’s time. Pactum’s software can haggle over a wide range of sticking points, including discounts, payment terms and prices for individual products.

When a vendor says it wants to charge more for an item, Pactum’s system compares the request with historical trends, what competitors are estimated to pay and even fluctuations in key commodities that go into making the item, among other factors. It then tells Walmart the highest price it thinks its buyers should accept, a figure that a human procurement officer can modify if needed.”

Lots embedded in the full article, and I could imagine a useful classroom discussion going many different directions.

From a research perspective, can you imagine the value of datasets such as this…?




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