Organizations are making deep investments in artificial intelligence (AI) technology, using it alongside machine learning and advanced analytics to make their business data more actionable than ever. By 2025, the global AI market is expected to be valued at $38.46 billion.
Are you planning on following suit? By integrating AI tools into your enterprise software, you can expand the functionality of your core features and get more out of your investment.
Today, we’re talking about the role of AI in ERP, and how it’s changing business for the better.
2023 Clash of the Titans
SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, and Infor go head-to-head on project cost, duration, and more! Should you consider one of these ERP vendors for your software project?
5 Benefits of Combining AI and ERP
1. Identifying Complex Data Patterns
One element that sets AI apart from mechanical or rules-based data analytics is that AI can adapt and learn. As it processes the data flowing through your ERP system, it doesn’t just repeatedly mine it for the same details. Rather, it looks for deep and complex patterns within it.
In many ways, this processing action is similar to how the human brain works. It doesn’t operate based on hard-coded, static rules that never change. It’s fluid and flexible, interpreting new information on a regular basis and using those insights to make decisions.
When ERP is allowed this same degree of adaptability, you can move beyond simply capturing your business data. You can utilize it to drive stronger, more efficient operations.
With minimal human guidance, AI in ERP can assist with planning, problem-solving, and strategizing within your organization.
2. Advanced Forecasting Models
Accurate predictions help functions like warehousing and supply chain management run more smoothly.
For example, supply chains change on a near-constant basis, making it difficult for traditional ERP systems to keep pace. When AI capability is integrated into ERP processes, you can improve predictions by measuring historical data against current conditions.
In the production sphere, this makes it easier to balance supply and demand, helping organizations avoid common issues in overproduction or underproduction.
AI tools can also detect inefficient processes as they occur, offering solutions to improve performance and reduce unnecessary costs. They can even identify which processes use up too much energy, suggesting alternatives and using predictive diagnostics to minimize resource waste.
In the warehouse, AI helps managers improve demand forecasting so they can prepare their workforce for supply chain disruptions.
On the sales side, more accurate and granular data analyses help team members target more viable leads, which improves employee performance and conversion rates.
3. More Accurate Auditing and Accounting Software
Many companies already rely on ERP software to assist with accounting, auditing, and financial document preparation.
With AI software, you can run those reports through an intelligent program that’s capable of spotting common issues, from irregularities in data entry to suspicious or unusual transactions.
With a few clicks, AI can quickly analyze all the data accumulated by users and vendors alike, assessing your general degree of financial risk. Some tools are even capable of being trained with expert CPA knowledge through machine learning applications.
With this level of intelligence, finance departments can use AI in ERP to improve their forecasting accuracy, similar to the way warehouse managers leverage the software to make smarter predictions.
In accounting, AI can do more than forecast a profit and loss (P&L) statement. It can also leverage internal and external data drivers, looking for trends and correlations that support your forecasting tasks.
Examples of internal data drivers include:
- Your company’s past financial performance
- Your current work backlog
- Forecasted project bookings
- Upcoming product releases
- New market opportunities
Your financial planning and analysis (FP&A) team should already keep a running tab on these forecast drivers, as they’re predictable and specific to your business.
External drivers, on the other hand, are usually beyond your control. These may include:
- Fluctuating commodity prices
- Macroeconomic trends
- Supply chain impacts
4. Enhanced HR Functions
Most ERP solutions provide basic human resources (HR) functionality. With the increased analytical capabilities that AI systems provide, you can amplify these features.
AI can help HR managers keep a closer eye on employee performance so they can make better-informed decisions around compensation and rewards.
AI can also simplify and streamline recruitment and onboarding processes, using applicant data to more precisely analyze their skills and experiences.
5. Improved Customer Service
Excellent customer service hinges on robust data. Company representatives need quick access to buyer information as soon as an issue or inquiry arrives. With this information in hand, they can deliver a custom response that caters to the individual’s needs.
In some cases, you can offset some of this manual labor by using a chatbot. Studies show that nearly 40% of global internet users would rather interact with a chatbot than a virtual service agent, and for good reason. Modern, AI-powered bots are more intelligent, intuitive, and capable than ever before.
Discover More About AI in ERP
If you’ve already implemented an ERP system, have you considered augmenting it with AI functionality? Doing so can help your team pinpoint inefficiencies, eliminate inaccuracies, and improve service levels.
If you haven’t implemented an ERP platform yet, there’s no better time to start exploring the role of AI in ERP. More solutions are providing these advanced features, and it’s important to know what you need and don’t need before beginning ERP selection.
Our team of ERP consultants can help you assess where AI can benefit your operations the most. Contact us below for a free consultation.