For California-based Infinera, 2017 was not an easy year. The manufacturer of telecom equipment saw revenue drop from $870 million in 2016 to $740 million in 2017. Gross margin went down from 45 percent to 33 percent. In the end, the company, which employs about 2,000 people across the U.S., Canada, China, India, and Sweden, reported a net loss of $195 million for the year, compared to a net loss of $24 million in 2016.
To turn things around, one of the things the company is focused on is technological improvements, CEO Thomas Fallon told investors earlier this year.
“In addition to increasing our go-to-market focus, our restructuring was about putting an organization in place that ensures both faster product delivery in the near-term and perpetually differentiated technology over the long-term,” he said. “We are making progress on this front.”
To do so, the company is turning to artificial intelligence, as one of the areas it is targeting is supply chain management (SCM), where Infinera will be using machine learning to make better predictions about delivery dates by analyzing past variability in production lead times and logistics provider performance.