Three ways to embed Artificial Intelligence in your ERP

The proposed business case to migrate your company to a cloud ERP solution used to be based mainly on a lower TCO, or a maintenance-free platform. Nowadays, modern technology enables us to do so much more. The possibilities a cloud platform can provide your business are endless and gives you opportunities that not long ago would have been impossible to imagine. Not only do you save costs by outsourcing your infrastructure and maintenance, but you can also make manual labor obsolete by deploying autonomous solutions that work intelligently.

Autonomous databases, just an example

Oracle, for example, provides an autonomous database, which can be described as a cloud database that uses machine learning to automate database tuning, security, backups, updates, and other routine management tasks traditionally performed by DBAs. Unlike a conventional database, an autonomous database performs all these tasks and more without human intervention.

How Artificial Intelligence in ERP can optimize your organization

The use of an autonomous database is one example of how Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be used to optimize your business, but the options are not limited to technical infrastructures. Gartner predicted that in 2020, 30% of all B2B companies would employ AI to augment at least one of their primary sales processes. Another Gartner survey pointed out that from organizations that are piloting or deploying AI technologies, 61% of respondents reported the resulting value delivered to the organization as significant. When asked how AI will improve its sales organization, respondents cited increased efficiency, cost reduction, and improved revenue streams.  

These outcomes seem to make sense, I think most of us believe AI can make organizations more efficient, but to make this investment successful, you must think about what you are trying to automate and what you want to achieve. The implementation of AI, as such, shouldn’t be a goal on its own. So when you think of utilizing AI from an ERP perspective, it helps to think in terms of its practical applications. Below you find a summary of 3 directions you could go for if you are thinking about embedding AI in your architecture:  

1. Deeper insights and knowledge in your data

Within your ERP — especially when you are hosting it in the cloud— you can create and maintain massive data sets. In these sets, patterns and correlations might exist, that aren’t always visible to the human eye. AI allows you to identify these less obvious trends and make insightful inferences about specific business operations or execute compliance and risk functions that were first performed by the first line of defense.  

 2. Industrialization of Routine Processes

An employee executes many tasks within your ERP, following a set of rules (consciously or subconsciously). Such behavioral tasks can often be expressed in mathematical terms and programmed into software, which enables you to automate manual tasks and make intelligent decisions more quickly than any human could. Routine responsibilities such as entering invoices or executing the payroll administration are, in that case, as effortless as the click of a button. This could be a significant step in efficiency optimization and allows you to free-up valuable human brainpower to focus on more high-level tasks and processes that no machine can reliably handle. 

3. Improved User Experience Through Interaction

One example of improving your user interface through interaction is to integrate chatbots within the application. Instead of opening your ERP application and navigating to the procurement catalog when you need something, you can address a chatbot that advises you which product best covers your need, and automatically creates the correct purchase transaction and submits it for approval. By making it so easy to make a purchase, you avoid maverick buying, and it saves your employees time that they can spend on other tasks. By making this process voice-activated, you can simplify even more.  

What could you do with AI?

These are just three examples of how Artificial Intelligence in ERP can be embedded in your organization and written down to stimulate your imagination. There is much more to think of ways to integrate AI in your organization to optimize your processes. If you are looking for a way to utilize AI, we are excited to explore which options will add the most value. Just reach via our chatbot or email, and we will get back to you in a wink.

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