How AI can improve your enterprise resource planning

Today, effective enterprise resource management is impossible without a reliable ERP solution coupled with artificial intelligence (AI). This type of software facilitates processes related to sales, finance, inventory, supply chain, and human resource management, enabling businesses to manage even a complex, global, and growing business. According Software Path 2022 ERP Software Project report, more than 30% of companies are adopting ERP specifically to support their business growth.

Despite the importance and usefulness of ERPs, data from Panorama Consulting Group shows that only half (52%) of organizations are satisfied with the results of implementing these software solutions. However, the adoption of innovative technologies such as AI can increase business satisfaction by enhancing ERP with additional capabilities.

Benefits of AI for ERP

Today, AI-powered software systems have evolved enough to be able to read, recognize speech, execute transactions, place orders, make predictions, and perform other tasks related to enterprise resource management. Coupled with machine learning technology, AI-based ERPs can also continuously train themselves to perform the aforementioned activities even better.

Today, ERP solutions with AI are considered the best enterprise technology in their niche. By purchasing or developing an ERP system integrated with artificial intelligence, a company can achieve the following objectives:

Performance and productivity improvement

Since AI allows simple and fast automation of all work processes in ERP, organizations can continuously increase their performance and, therefore, their competitiveness.

Risk mitigation

By reducing the role of the human factor both in day-to-day ERP operations and in decision-making, companies can eliminate a series of risks associated with manual work. For example, companies can use an AI-based ERP to avoid errors when entering data.

Reduced enterprise resource planning costs

The ability to reduce and optimize costs is essential to the growth and development of any business, and this is where AI-powered ERP capabilities can help. For example, by delegating procurement-related tasks to an AI tool, organizations can use fewer staff for resource management and thus save money.

Related: Artificial Intelligence in Marketing

4 use cases of AI in ERP

Artificial intelligence can be implemented in enterprise resource planning in the following ways:

Autonomous management of business processes

In recent years, organizations have increasingly implemented ERPs with features for automating various tasks – invoice creation, order processing, supply chain management, etc. However, by integrating AI and ERP, companies can go beyond and choose a more revolutionary and advanced solution. approach to workflow automation – autonomous business process management (ABP).

Unlike conventional automation, whose primary goal is to replace manual work with automated interactions, ABP instead focuses on continuous analysis and improvement of automated workflows. Now let’s take an example to see how it might work in practice.

For example, a company has an ERP solution that automates the procurement process. The software generates requests and sends them to suppliers when a particular item in the warehouse is sold out. If this ERP is equipped with ABP functionality, it can automatically detect bottlenecks in the procurement process, provide recommendations and, if necessary, even make dynamic changes to the workflow.

Interdepartmental collaboration

The efficient work of a large company requires that all its departments are synchronized with each other, and here ERP solutions prove to be indispensable. Operating as a centralized data hub, an ERP system facilitates collaboration by providing employees with all the data they need at all times through a single point of access. Nevertheless, AI integrated into the company’s ERP can improve the collaboration process even more significantly.

Related: Future Technology and the Impact It Will Have on Collaborative Workflows

For example, AI can help track the performance of company employees, identifying those who have reduced activity or are having trouble with some aspect of ERP. The software can then automatically notify more senior colleagues so they can help team members who are having trouble. Additionally, if an ERP system is equipped with natural language processing, employees can use voice commands to manage their work schedules or quickly book meetings with colleagues.

Customer service

Additionally, the integration of AI and ERP enables organizations to improve the quality of customer service and support. For example, an ERP system can quickly deliver relevant data when requested by support agents, helping them communicate with customers. Similarly, an AI-powered system can analyze a particular customer’s purchase history and transactions in just seconds, allowing agents to craft a suitable solution to a customer’s problem.

Businesses can also integrate ERPs with smart bots that can communicate with unhappy customers or those who need help. Using machine learning models, these bots can learn continuously, allowing them to maintain a more human-like conversation and provide more accurate and relevant responses.

Advanced Analytics

Speaking of data analytics, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the capabilities of AI combined with ERP are nearly limitless here. So, as mentioned before, AI can analyze workflow data to suggest and implement improvements, but that’s not all of the capabilities of intelligent ERP analytics.

In particular, it should be noted that the power of machine learning enables ERPs to identify hidden sales and marketing opportunities. For example, an ERP system can analyze shopping behavior and user preferences to provide managers with insights into the most profitable market segments or how to improve marketing campaigns.

More importantly, AI can provide forecasting capabilities, allowing accurate future predictions to be made. This way, AI can help employees identify periods of high demand and recommend increasing or decreasing production volumes. Similarly, an ERP can help identify changes in customer buying habits, which can be critical in times of constantly changing market conditions.

Final Thoughts

Enterprise resource planning systems play a vital role in how modern businesses manage their enterprise resources and ERP-related workflows. Since this software facilitates such different tasks as supply chain management, procurement, customer support and many more, ERP is an indispensable tool for any growing business.

However, the value of the solution can be significantly increased if a company integrates it with artificial intelligence. In this way, organizations can take advantage of autonomous management of business processes, foster collaboration and customer support, and improve analytics, thereby improving their efficiency and competitiveness.