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Tuesday, 25 June 2024 12:49

The power of Generative AI in transforming ERP systems.

By Mark Wilson, CEO, SYSPRO EMEA & APAC.

Photo Credit: iStock.

As the hype around AI, and more particularly, Generative AI, continues to grow, manufacturers must assess the benefits of adopting this cutting-edge technology into their platforms and processes. Similar to the innovation in cloud technology, the closer AI is to a business's processes, the more transformative it will be. In context of ERP, generative AI is ushering in a wave of revolution that will dramatically change how manufacturers manage and optimise their businesses.

Manufacturers have long understood the importance of enhancing their operational efficiency and decision-making processes, leveraging predictive algorithms, and unlocking new possibilities for automation and data analysis. ERP systems have evolved significantly in recent years, incorporating new technologies to run businesses with higher levels of efficiency. Generative AI will increase these gains in business agility, further connecting dots across the organisation to identify and recommend process efficiencies and deliver new insights.

Generative AI also has the advantage of allowing manufacturers to ask questions and get an immediate response regarding finance, geographical, environmental, or other needs – which means game-changing opportunities for interacting with business systems.

ERP systems handle a wide range of mission-critical business processes, from procurement and production to sales and customer service. Generative AI significantly enhances the data analysis capabilities of ERP platforms, with the capacity to analyse vast amounts of data that business systems generate and identify patterns that can improve these processes. This enables businesses to uncover process behaviours and profits from best practices and AI-powered recommendations to gain faster insights that power transformation and continuous innovation.

Personalization to align with your organisation

Every manufacturer is different, with different needs and priorities. One of the great benefits of Generative AI is that it brings personalisation and customisation to ERP systems that were previously more challenging to achieve. By analysing user behaviour and historical data, AI algorithms can tailor user recommendations, which helps reduce friction in decision-making processes. Additionally, ERP interfaces can become adaptive, adjusting their layouts and functionalities based on individual user preferences. This personalisation not only increases user satisfaction but also contributes to more effective utilisation of the ERP system as it aligns more closely with the specific needs and workflows of the manufacturer.

Making information more accessible business-wide

To ensure adaptability, generative AI can enable users interact with ERP systems using natural language commands and queries. Any user can ask a question and get a response that leverages all available documentation and data. In this regard, Generative AI is quite revolutionary when it comes to interacting with business systems. By accessing data through natural language, everybody – from executives, to analysts, to end users – can bring analysis, collaboration, communications and decision making to a new level with quick and intuitive access to information, regardless of their tech skills, or lack thereof.

This natural language approach lowers the barrier to engaging and getting information from an ERP or any other system in a more human and conversational way. Natural language also simplifies user training by making interactions intuitive and user-friendly, allowing the user to focus on the task at hand rather than the jargon or process needed to complete the task.

Preparing for future growth

By learning, analysing the patterns and structures within the training data, generative AI has the capacity to create descriptive, easy-to-understand content, analysis, and actionable outcomes. It can augment existing data, improve accuracy, and provide deeper insights. For example, it can identify anomalies in financial transactions or recommend personalised marketing strategies. Generative AI analyses historical data to predict future trends. In an ERP context, this means it can forecast demand, optimise supply chains, and recommend inventory levels. These insights help businesses make informed decisions and stay ahead of market changes. Enabling predictive algorithms within ERP systems, generative AI will optimise decision-making with real-time recommendations for strategic, data-led decision-making.

The future is now

Since the emergence of the fourth industrial revolution, manufacturers have embraced next-gen technologies to future-proof their ERP systems. It has become increasingly important to keep pace with the rapidly evolving technology landscape to sustain the unsparing market competition. Generative AI handles this growth efficiently.

Predictive analytics is a standout feature, allowing organisations to foresee future developments and potential challenges. By harnessing the power of generative AI, ERP systems process data more efficiently and provide decision-makers with actionable insights. This transformation empowers businesses to move beyond historical analysis and adopt a more forward-thinking, strategic approach based on data-driven predictions.