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The Relationship between ERP and AI

Neon sign that reads, "Data has a better idea."

Written by Laura Schomaker

October 29, 2020

Just a figment of our collective imagination until recently, AI (Artificial Intelligence) is now a driving trend in technology. According to Gartner, AI adoption increased by 270% between 2015 and 2019. The global market for AI is expected to reach an estimated $267B by 2027, according to Fortune Business Insights. One area in which AI is having an enormous impact is in Enterprise Resource Planning software, or ERP. What is the relationship between ERP and AI, and how is AI enhancing ERP? Let’s discuss.

 

Data Analytics & Forecasting

Parsing data and forecasting off that data is essential in any business software. In AI-driven ERP, data becomes a truly empowered tool thanks to AI’s ability to work with massive amounts of data. Besides its high-capacity calculations, AI also provides detailed real-time insights into business performance, customers, sales, and more.

With the help of AI, your ERP solution can also get a handle on historical data and forecast future performance and needs. For example, if you run a seasonal or cyclical business, AI and ERP can give you a much more reliable way to predict when downtimes and upticks will happen, allowing you to make more cost-effective choices for the future.

 

 Managing the Supply Chain

AI in an ERP can also give you more concise control of the supply chain. Managing your warehouse and stock will be significantly easier as AI parses various data points, including fluctuations in demand, supply chain disruptions and more. AI simplifies logistics and helps ensure on-time delivery to customers. Warehouse processing and even route planning are all made easier with AI-driven ERP.  

 

A Streamlined Business Office

Historically, the accounting department has been the most resistant to changes, perhaps thanks to the legacy of the spreadsheet or the high volume of hard copy files in many offices. AI and ERP bring the accounting department into the 21st century, giving you a way to verify reports and invoices quickly and easily across departments and separate offices and projects. AI can also automate processes to make quarterly and EOY reporting much easier.

 

 Enhancing the “Soft Touch”

It may feel counterintuitive, but AI in an ERP can also enhance so-called “soft touch” processes, including customer service and HR. It automates all data and processes in HR, it error-free and more efficient. And, it can even enable data-driven recruitment of new employees. From a CS perspective, having easy access to a complete customer file helps ensure that your CS agents know exactly where that customer’s pain points are and have been. So, they can deliver the best in customer service.

Finally, ERP and AI can help streamline your sales funnel. Chatbots can address segmentation and react in real-time early in the funnel, freeing up your sales agents to focus on and step in when a target is primed and ready for conversion.

ERP and AI are a transformative pairing for business software. What have your experiences with AI and ERP been? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. If you are ready to learn more about what an AI-driven ERP solution can do at your company, start by looking at some of the best options out there.

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