Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a computer capability to perform tasks which require analytical thinking skill. AI software are programmed to learn large volumes of past data, so it can perform some tasks which human can do. Currently, AI covers from visualization, image recognition to deep learning tools that process massive amounts of data to learn patterns of data and provide data for making decision.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is an efficient and reliable system for managing and processing data. However, ERP system requires users to input data into the system, and change data manually to support business operation changes. After processing the data, the system provides outputs for the users to make business decision, recognize income and pay employees.
In many years, ERP system has been modernized, for example, making data input become easier and automated, sending notification and message when events in the system occur, using visualization tools for creating reports. Many ERP systems have been changed to run on Cloud system and become compatible on many devices. Anyway, the above-mentioned modernization did not fundamentally change the nature of these ERP systems.
What is AI in ERP systems?
AI technology in ERP system is applied to the tasks previously needed human’s capability, e.g. business data management, data analysis, report creation. When adopting AI software, the system is enabled to learn these tasks and perform them more instead of having people to verify or analyze large amounts of data.
Samples of adopting AI in business operation are as follows; using Chatbot to interact with customers by sending messages. Chatbot can answer questions, receive order, process data to output a report, update work status, confirm product delivery, etc. Therefore, it does not need to assign employees to answer customers’ questions, or even input data manually as before.
Using AI in ERP system can also solve incomplete data problem of common ERP data, for example, lack of necessary data for calculation, the current data is not up-to-date. This is because AI can access massive data and process them better than human. It can provide necessary data for decision making, for example, after analyzing data by AI, you can see product types that tend to generate the profit for your business. AI can provide you the most suitable service price you should charge from the customer. It can analyze employee data to see who is likely to quit the job. Providing these data, AI is different from other process automation.
Sample of AI in ERP process
Autonomous Mobile Robots
Robots have been used in the automotive industry and other manufacturing industries for a long time. Nowadays, these robots have evolved to be able to move from place to place and work automatically. Autonomous driving technology is used with 2D or 3D surrounding maps, so the robots can convey materials and goods in warehouses instead of people.
Chatbots work much like human assistants, especially in customer service. Customers can ask questions to chatbot and get answer immediately. Chatbots can search for information inquired by the customer and record chat data in the system. Chatbots’ capabilities have been developed continuously and they become very useful for today’s business. This is because it greatly reduces resource hiring cost.
AI tools can access to large amounts of past data of customers and analyze them to improve sales. For example, AI can recommend prospective customers, suggest how to upsell and cross-sell, and provide data for you to set the optimal price of your product.
Marketing can leverage customer insights gathered by AI. For example, using data from social media or customer service’s conversation records to improve products and services you want to propose to your customers.
AI’s algorithms can gather data from ordering system, manufacturing system, and warehouse system to calculate and help users to maximize warehouse utilization. Moreover, it can suggest how to manage materials and goods storing location for more convenient to pick up.
By using AI, you can create production plan in a specific period time to respond to consumers’ needs which may change depending on consumer sentiment, weather, or other factors.
Human resources or employees are a key component of an organization. AI tools can screen and validate employee data, as well as review working processes that require people to deal with. It can analyze data in each working process in terms of employee performance evaluation and resource allocation to fulfill enough manpower in each department.
AI is the process to compute and analyze big data, it needs to have sufficient and reliable data to output the result efficiently. Users have to select the algorithms in AI tools to train the data set and then use the results for business decision making. However, AI does not replace the data processing capabilities of ERP, but AI can enhance the efficiency of ERP systems.