How is AI Transforming ERP?


Artificial Intelligence for ERP 

For years, industry analysts have been speculating how artificial intelligence (AI) will make its way into our workplaces. Now, those speculations are starting to become reality. ERP vendors, such as Epicor, are increasingly embedding AI functionality into their software solutions, giving manufacturers and distributors cutting-edge tools to optimize their enterprise performance. AI is making ERP more intuitive and responsive than ever. 

But just how is AI transforming ERP? Below, we give some explanations and uses cases of AI’s role in your ERP software and your business.  

Data Analysis 

As datasets grow larger and larger, it’s increasingly difficult for enterprises to detect patterns in their business performance. AI tools and machine learning functionality have the ability to mine all your ERP data to pinpoint trends. With deep levels of insight at a moment’s notice, users can respond instantly to issues and make smarter decisions.  

The possibilities are endless when it comes to using AI to analyze enterprise data, but here are just some use cases to demonstrate how AI can maximize the value of your data: 

  • Machine learning algorithms can be designed to track and trace lots, so you can predict which suppliers are more likely to deliver quality materials on time. 
  • Machine learning can reveal the buying behaviors of specific customer demographics to enable users to optimize product design and marketing strategies. 
  • AI leverages data from throughout your shop floor to identify inefficiencies in your production. It can also measure your energy consumption to help you find ways to reduce costs and waste. 
  • AI analyzes your product failure rates, Return Material Authorizations (RMA) and supplier inspection data to locate the source of quality management issues. 
  • AI looks through inspection reports and work orders to help service agents respond to customer inquiries. It will even find the earliest possible dates to dispatch service technicians.  
  • AI uses historical data to create accurate forecasts, allowing users to plan production accordingly and improve inventory management. 

User Experience 

ERP customers often struggle with their software’s user experience. If the system is rigid or includes a poorly designed interface, users might not be able to perform tasks or locate data with ease. Artificial intelligence transforms the ERP user experience by simplifying processes. AI can accelerate and automate operations, so users can spend less time on manual tasks and more time on creating value-added opportunities for their organization. 

The AI tool most valuable for the ERP user experience is the virtual agent. Virtual agents, such as Amazon’s Alexa, are computer-generated platforms that communicate with users. Natural language processing (NLP) enables people to interact with these bots through everyday language. The new Epicor Virtual Agent (EVA), for example, allows users to speak directly to their ERP system to request whatever information they need. EVA can also deliver real-time alerts to keep users up to date on business performance. With AI virtual agents, employees can communicate with their software just as easily as with their colleagues to gain instant insights.    

Machine Monitoring 

Manufacturers can’t afford unplanned downtime. When machines stop functioning, your entire supply chain is stalled, hurting your reputation with customers. One of the powerful advantages of using AI in your ERP solution is gaining real-time performance metrics from your equipment. Machine learning and AI help businesses detect and even predict anomalies on your production floor. This sophisticated insight allows manufacturers to proactively manage machinery.  

Artificial intelligence is especially powerful when it’s combined with the Internet of Things (IoT). When IoT sensors transmit data from your machines to your ERP, the AI tools can analyze the performance of your equipment. Through this functionality, you can identify anomalies and fix issues before they impact your operations. EVA even enables users to schedule preventative maintenance and shift production to other machines with just a few clicks. These capabilities empower manufacturers to improve Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) and prevent costly shutdowns.  

Wrap Up 

AI isn’t just transforming ERP software; it’s transforming enterprise performance. The cutting-edge technology is giving manufacturers and distributors unprecedented visibility and agility to optimize their operations. Available in the upcoming releases of Epicor ERP and Prophet 21, the Epicor Virtual Agent leverages AI and machine learning to analyze data and deliver real-time alerts in an intuitive platform. 

The certified consultants at Datix will help you instill artificial intelligence into your ERP software and business processes. We’re an Epicor Gold Partner with extensive experience in multiple manufacturing and distribution environments. From start to finish, our ERP experts ensure you’re leveraging the tools you need to gain a stronger competitive advantage. 

Position yourself for future enterprise growth by capitalizing on innovative ERP functionality. To learn more about transforming your business through software, get in touch with Datix today!  


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