Enterprise Resource Planning, or ERP tools, are just starting to become more intelligent and more reliable in terms of the levels of efficiency and accuracy they offer. That’s because many ERP platforms are now outfitted with artificial intelligence.
You may picture autonomous robots and Terminator-style bots, but we aren’t talking about that type of AI. The AI incorporated into ERP platforms is software-based, so you could say it’s practically invisible, like Siri or Amazon’s Alexa.
It isn’t really meant to interact with humans, either. It simply does what it needs to in order to keep the system well-oiled and operational. Of course, it does beg the question, why is this shift happening?
How Does AI Improve ERP Tools?
ERP is primarily used to streamline decision-making processes and make companies more efficient, especially when it comes to production, development, and even sales. No doubt you’re already familiar with Enterprise Resource Planning.
Artificial intelligence extends and augments the decision-making capabilities in a couple of different ways. For starters, the AI has access to a wider range of data and historical data sets in order to make better and more accurate decisions. Second, it can be leveraged to make said decisions in a plethora of new ways, again thanks to big data access.
For example, with AI added, a predictive maintenance strategy can be adopted. The AI scans a historical data set to find patterns or trends indicating a maintenance schedule, like how often hardware needs service or when it experiences the most failures. Then it can help decide the ideal time to perform maintenance, keeping everything operational and functional for longer.
AI Improves Data Input, Freeing up Valuable Resources
With traditional ERP platforms and tools, you need to manually enter data or information. This is a long, tedious process, and it’s also remarkably expensive. Workers need a suitable amount of time to input this data, check it for errors, and further maintain data sets — like updating them with new information. The hours required for such a thing add up quickly and are costly.
But an ERP platform with AI built in can handle the data input automatically. It can be trained to scan and analyze data-input sources and then populate the necessary fields with that information.
Furthermore, once the data is propagated, it becomes another resource for the AI. In other words, the AI can leverage and access that data to influence future decisions and actions. The more you feed into the system, the smarter the AI becomes. It’s genius, really.
Not Just for Internal Processes
ERP systems — and, by proxy, any AI platforms associated with them — are commonly used for internal processes like workflow strategies, production and more. But it’s not the only area they prove useful in the business space. You can actually repurpose these systems to work great with external processes, too, like customer service or marketing. In this way, your ERP tools can help you gain a new perspective and see new solutions to old problems.
For instance, consider an AI system that can leverage historical data to suggest an interaction process for customer service reps. As they sort through a list provided by the AI, it can analyze and suggest new things on the fly. In this way, it allows the customer service team to better interact with customers, and in a more efficient way, too.
Not just that, but it also becomes a more reliable way to get the kind of interactions you want to with your customers. If the AI knows how a customer will respond or what they’ll do to a particular suggestion, it can create a real-time script that just works.
It’s Tough to Imagine the World Without AI Now
Today, artificial intelligence is leveraged across many industries, providing a considerable boon. In fact, it has helped improve the world so much, it’s tough to imagine a time we were without it.
That is the same scenario with AI and ERP platforms. Pretty soon, they will be commonplace, and for you, they will be nothing more than an afterthought.