From business analytics to artificial intelligence and the Internet of things (IoT), learn about the cutting-edge technologies disrupting how manufacturers do business. In this special blog series regarding Digital Transformation & the Evolving Role of ERP, we will discuss ERP’s new place at the heart of manufacturing’s digital transformation.When we look back at of the mind-boggling depictions of the future in books and movies, we can, in some cases, now say those predictions were not so far-fetched.
Thanks to emerging artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, many of the “futuristic” portrayals are now reality. Robots can understand and speak natural language and “digital assistants” are ready to provide instant answers to our questions.
Experts are still unable to predict the reach of AI in the manufacturing world. Developers are seeing the effects of AI in applications across numerous industries. Manufactures are seeing an opportunity for AI to integrate with their ERP software. The integration of these technologies are soon to deliver a number of benefits for those manufacturers willing to take advantage of them.
Smarter Business Intelligence
ERP software will have the capacity to deliver even more complex insights when paired with artificial intelligence. Since ERP systems are relied upon as a data aggregator, AI technologies allow larger data sets to be analyzed, including historical data. Combining these systems can be valuable for conducting predictive analysis based on established patterns of past activities. As an example, an AI-enabled ERP system can process several years of past sales to determine any seasonal patterns in order to anticipate needed inventory for the next quarter of manufacturing production.
Automated Workflow Management
Typically, workers spend about one-fifth of their time researching information or looking for a colleague to help execute a given task. Providing an intelligent framework to automate workflows, an AI-enabled ERP system could help minimize these types of issues.
Often a gradual process, it begins with a user making a decision that triggers a series of actions that is then recorded by the software. The system can make a recommendation based on previous user behavior the next time that same decision must be made.
“In the past, we didn’t have the ability to automate many of our business processes or have access to real-time information vital to our operations,” said Alan Nili, Operations Coordinator at Mastercool. “With Copley and Infor CloudSuite Industrial we will be able to centralize our infrastructure, while giving us the necessary feedback we need to make better business decisions that will ultimately accelerate growth and save us valuable time and money.”
Once the recommendations have been reviewed and approved, the system can take that action automatically, with users revising exceptions as needed. Workers are then free to focus on projects that demand expertise rather than painstaking unfulfilling tasks.
A Competitive Edge
Technology will continue to evolve as will an organization’s skill in applying these tools. As AI continues to increase its presence, competitive companies will invest in replacing legacy ERP systems with advanced software that can be updated to keep pace with emerging functionality.
Some eager, forward-thinking manufacturers are already beginning to design pilot projects for AI-enabled ERP. Those who embrace AI as an integrated part of ERP software will find it to be a critical tool for optimizing existing processes, enhancing organizational efficiency and ultimately reducing operational costs – in turn, giving them the edge to get ahead, and stay ahead, of the competition.