AI or artificial intelligence was launched more than sixty years ago. Now it is finally being recruited to streamline and boost manufacturing efficiency and productivity. AI readily accomplishes this task by using Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) engineering systems.
A few examples of potential affected areas include:
• Warehouse Management
• Financial Management
• Customer Service
• Human resources
• Sales Automation
Although there are still some obstacles and risks to overcome, I feel the real benefits will eventually be realized.
Just What is ERP?
ERP is the integrated management of core business processes, often in real-time and mediated by software and technology. This makes it a perfect target for AI employment. This is especially true since the building blocks are currently in place for AI to deliver results. ERP engineering applications can be used to boost American manufacturing innovation and technology!
Sensors can now track products at every stop of their life cycle from the shop floor to customer sites. Cloud solutions enable the collection of millions of data points to create the foundation for machine learning. Personal assistants are readily available to simplify and accelerate information retrieval for more informed decision-making.
Today’s Labor Department job numbers shared its 95th straight month of new employment creation, which is another new record including 201,000 new jobs being created. This was a solid number, but if more emphasis were placed on AI education, I feel exponentially more jobs would be created by the U.S. economy.
AI Is Changing ERP
Here are just a few examples of how AI is changing ERP engineering and why we need more engineers trained in this field:
1. Warehouse Management. AI and machine learning can test hundreds of demand forecasting models and possibilities. They possess a new level of precision and can automatically adjust to different variables. These variables include new product introductions, supply chain disruptions or sudden changes in demand.
Every single part can be tracked from when it’s first manufactured to when it’s assembled and shipped to an end customer by recruiting AI systems.
Walmart Inc. reduced the time needed to take physical inventory from one month to 24 hours. They did so by recruitment of sophisticated drones that fly through its warehouses. The drones both scan products and check for misplaced items.
BMW can follow a single part from the point it was manufactured to when the vehicle is sold. They use make use of engineering algorithms that learn from experience to optimize logistics. Data is accumulated from all of its 31 assembly facilities, which are located in over 15 countries.
2. Financial Management. Robotics or bots can automate repetitive accounting functions. This can include categorizing invoice information into various accounts and even distinguishing between a monthly phone bill and a phone purchase payment.
AI can close operations and automate monthly, quarterly and year-end processes. They can even compare account balances between various independent systems and verify statements and reports for accuracy.
Bots can learn from different human input to make better judgments by recruiting machine learning. They can also adapt to the behavior patterns of different accounting professionals.
3. Customer Service. AI solutions can learn from customer service history. This enables chat bots to answer customer inquiries more cost-effectively, quickly and consistently.
The quality of customer service can also be improved by integrating real time data from different customer-facing departments. This can provide a 360-degree view of the customer.
An AI solution can use knowledge about the required parts and skill sets to assist in planning and scheduling of service calls as required by customers.
4. Human Resources. Recruitment software can scan, read and evaluate applicants. Thus 75% of unqualified candidates can quickly be eliminated from the recruiting process. AI systems can successfully plan, organize and coordinate training programs for all staff members.
AI engineering systems can be proactive and solve the problem of employee churn even before it happens. They can determine individual affinities and even reveal who should get a raise or who might be dissatisfied with their life-work balance.
5. Sales Automation. Current sales automation systems are focused on tracking, reporting and team productivity. Future engineering systems will focus on making individual interactions smarter. They will use data to determine which content, answers and sales prospects are more likely to drive results.
AI can be recruited into the process early by pulling in the mountains of data from outside the organization. This will help outside sales reps build comprehensive profiles of their targets.
In addition, customer engagements for inside sales can be fully automated. Conducting basic sales triage such as information gathering, initial qualification and segmentation as well as real-time response handling will be streamlined.
Some Obstacles Still Remain
There are still some hurdles to overcome despite the immense potential benefits to arming ERP systems with AI. There are risks surrounding the sharing of sensitive data and regulations – such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) – to consider.
In addition, the infrastructure behind AI is still evolving. This must eventually be able to meet the challenge of analyzing real time data from different sources with a high level of reliability.
The Benefits Will Shine Through
The kinks will be worked out no doubt in time. Investing in smart technology to get even smarter will become the norm.
Engineering ERP with AI can introduce so many efficiency boosters throughout the organization. AI will be necessary for companies to continuously improve efficiency, excel and stay one step ahead of the competition.
By further recruiting of AI into ERP, U.S. manufacturing will become even more efficient and competitive with the rest of the world. In turn these increased applications of AI into improved ERP systems will create exponentially more jobs for our economy than the 201,000 jobs the Labor Department just announced for last month!