Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have already started to make an impact on many technology-driven industries. As per a report by Gartner, by the end of 2020, 30% of all B2B businesses will deploy artificial intelligence (AI) to augment at least one of their primary sales processes. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are no exception. AI and ML are changing the way business operations are controlled and managed by shop floor supervisors and business leaders.
To start, AI and ML are changing the way large-scale companies collect and use customer and operational data to increase business efficiency and effectiveness.
This is true for many industries, and the most significant impact comes in process-heavy and data-intensive sectors like automotive, industrial manufacturing, high-tech, pharmaceutical, life sciences, consumer products, and food and beverage, which depend heavily on historical information and trends.
Actionable insights provided by AI and ML can help businesses make more informed decisions and help them to discover and tap many opportunities of which they were not formerly aware. For instance, in a market like India where pricing is a significant driver for people purchasing their first car, suppliers must provide efficient, reasonably priced products for automobile manufacturers.
An AI- or ML-based ERP system allows manufacturers to work with an array of suppliers and ancillary units, without much human intervention. This smart manufacturing approach enables them to optimize their supply chain basis pricing, refilling cycle, customer demand and other dynamic parameters. This optimization enables them to offer much more competitive pricing points to their prospective customers.
How does an Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning-powered ERP system make a difference?
Embedded in the ERP system, AI and ML change the way day-to-day business operations function. The smart technology recognizes the users’ behavior patterns, keeps track of various data items entering the system, and automatically performs the routine analysis, reporting and alerts in case of process failure. All these tasks are performed more quickly and more accurately than what could be done by a human analyst. This capability allows floor supervisors and business leaders to focus their energy on more strategic issues facing their business.
An AI and ML-equipped ERP system is a powerful business management tool that can deliver a wide range of benefits, including the ability to:
Predict problems with advanced forecasting
AI and ML integration gives an ERP system advanced forecasting capabilities. The advanced algorithms can search through and analyze the massive data sets collected in an ERP system, identify trends and make predictions for upcoming periods.
This capability allows the system to pinpoint or detect possible problems before they occur. Therefore, shop floor supervisors can plan to handle the problem. AI- and ML-enabled ERP systems can enable production teams to unlock the real potential of data and use it to manage business functions with optimal efficiency.
Automate routine tasks with “smart” system intelligence
An ERP system requires a defined methodology to perform any given task. AI and ML can be programmed to follow governing rules for each possible task and develop recommendations about each next activity the way a human supervisor would have.
Moreover, these decisions are made much faster and more consistently, saving time during crunch situations. This allows the ERP system to automate iterative responsibilities. By doing so, people involved in these functions can concentrate on higher-value activities, adding to the top and bottom line of the business.
Improves personalized user experiences through learned behavioral interaction
One of the main features of AI and ML is to provide intelligent outputs based on human inputs. Artificial intelligence-based ERP systems can read historical data and learn from earlier behavioral patterns of the users. This capability makes AI-enabled ERP applications provide an extensively personalized experience to the user as well as function faster and in a more useful way.
If the progression of AI and ML across various technology streams is any indication, they are going to be a part of many ERP systems very soon. Businesses should get ready for this adaptation if they want to remain competitive in the future. They need to take a fresh look at their current technology strategies so that they can embrace the new AI and ML capabilities.
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