Artificial intelligence (AI) has been swiftly changing our lives over the last few years, from Siri to Amazon Echo, we’re living differently than ever before. But the use of AI extends further than Facebook’s ability to pick you out of a group photo or making a phone call without ever touching a button. Companies are recognizing the importance of using machine learning to improve their existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools.
On their own, ERP’s have long ago proven their value with regard to streamlining IT solutions, looking at smarter ways to manage inventory, automate finances, and more effectively communicate with customers. But what about the integration of a machine learning with an ERP? It’s looking like a game changer. Let’s explore five ways machine learning can improve your ERP.
1. Root Cause Analysis
ERP systems enabled with machine learning are equipped to assist in getting to the root cause of a problem based upon the history of similar problems. For example, a technician working on a maintenance issue can more easily identify any potential danger or hazards, and even improve Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) with greater accuracy to the component and part level.
2. Tailored Insights
A machine learning enabled ERP helps companies gain more insight into processes, customers, and workflows. They’re not only able to increasingly improve the accuracy of those insights, but can target them specifically to help better understand specific areas, for example, identifying purchasing patterns in specific locations or the exact problem point in a process that is breaking down.
When integrating an ERP with machine learning, you’re able to create highly accurate predictive analytics. Forecasting is one of the most attractive reasons organizations couple machine learning with their existing ERP. It goes further than just letting you know that you’ll need to order more tents for your sporting goods store at the start of summer. Using historical data, it can tell you exactly which weekends you’ll sell the most tents, and which models have the highest likelihood of being your biggest sellers. This helps companies with things like avoiding running out of a product by being better prepared in advance.
4. Production Capacity & Quality
ERP systems with machine learning are more adept at improving production capacity. You’ll be better able to optimize the efficiency with which you’re running your machines, and save money and waste with regard to raw materials. If you’re facing issues with finished products or services, machine learning is able to drill down to find exactly what is contributing to those problems. Is it a process or workflow problem? Perhaps a malfunction with equipment or a programming issue? You’ll be better positioned to identify where you’ll be able to improve the quality of your products and services.
5. Identify New Opportunities
ERP’s do a great job of providing loads upon loads of data, but what many companies find difficult is figuring out exactly how to navigate that data and use it to benefit them. One of the benefits of machine learning is using it to identify opportunities within that data. Machine learning within an ERP is able to provide patterns that produce insight into where you may have an opportunity to improve within manufacturing, sales, and service. This predictive data can prove to be innovative as you move toward establishing new goals.
Some experts are claiming that it’s impossible to have an ERP without machine learning in today’s market, suggesting that without it, organizations will be left behind. AI is growing on a global scale and at a rapid rate. The traction machine learning is gaining is largely due to the benefits of not only having specifically tailored data, but in knowing how to utilize that data.
Machine learning provides a level of insight that until now hasn’t been available. Companies are becoming savvier as it relates to their clients’ behaviors, the way they manage their resources, and the way they streamline processes.
Standard ERP’s are proving to be more robust tools when coupled with machine learning by offering organizations a deeper look into their businesses, and by finding opportunities previously unidentified.
Jessica Barrett Halcom is a writer for TechnologyAdvice.com, with specializations in human resources, healthcare, and transportation. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay and currently lives in Nashville, TN