Should you be looking for AI in an ERP?

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Artificial intelligence (AI) has enjoyed a steady rise in popularity across almost every industry since its formal inception in the mid-twentieth century. 

After decoding the Enigma machine in WWII at the hand of world-renowned mathematician and computer scientist, Alan Turing, AI technology has gone on to revolutionise countless fields. Robotics, computers, voice recognition software, virtual assistants, music composition, and chatbots, most recently including the infamous ChatGDP.

To date, there can be no argument that technology has tapped into a new realm of efficiency in recent years. On the brink of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we can acknowledge that supply chains are more efficient and informed than ever before. 

The question remains, can AI take us to the next level?

As manufacturing companies find themselves searching for the enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform that helps them build the ‘supply chain of the future’, it’s time to contemplate all the reasons an AI-powered ERP could be the solution.

Greater efficiency

AI has the power to optimise your supply chain by automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks, reducing the occurrence of errors, and increasing efficiency. Processes like inventory management, procurement, and production planning can therefore be systematised by an AI-powered ERP system to drive growth, mitigate risk, and optimize costs.

Researchers at multinational manufacturer, General Electric, are in the process of developing an AI-driven design tool with the potential to cut design times in half. By combining workflow process knowledge and decades of accumulated data and learnings, their DT4D system could instantaneously do what would otherwise take 10,000 years of supercomputing on 1,000 cores.

Smarter decision-making

AI technology is continuously learning and improving. An AI-powered ERP solution can therefore support manufacturers in making better decisions by providing real-time insights and data analytics. Armed with the right learnings, companies can sooner identify areas for growth and improvement, and make informed decisions about critical business processes. 

Manufacturers of industrial automation and information solutions, Rockwell Automation, uses its smart devices, machines and systems to optimise production, quality and safety. These smart devices provide insights from the plant floor, the smart machines optimise productivity, while the smart systems improve quality on top of providing insights to make enterprises more profitable. It’s a flawless chain of seamless decision-making.

Amplified productivity

With greater efficiency achieved through automation and data-driven decision-making, an AI-powered ERP system can help manufacturers drive up productivity. This translates to significant gains, such as faster production times, improved quality control, and increased profits.

Luxury vehicle manufacturer, Porsche, uses autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs) to systematise parts of its manufacturing process, decreasing production time. The AGVs take parts from one processing station to the next, eliminating the need for human intervention and creating supply chain resilience.

Increased customer satisfaction

While the power of AI can indeed transform your supply chain, some of the greatest benefits are enjoyed by the customer. Faster delivery times, high-quality products, and better customer service can be catalysts to increased customer loyalty, repeat purchases, and buyer retention.

Cult fashion and beauty retailer, ASOS, has an app feature called ‘Style Match’ that allows customers to upload a photo of a celebrity, which it then analyses before scanning its huge database of clothing to suggest a more affordable equivalent. It’s a brilliant example of giving customers what they want sooner.

True competitive advantage

The one thing that will take your manufacturing company into the future is its ability to ascribe competitive advantage in the marketplace. Efficiency, productivity, customer satisfaction and smart decision-making not only culminate in an optimised supply chain, but one that can identify opportunities, expand your operations and increase market share. And in a turbulent and ever-changing landscape, competitive advantage is priceless.

With these significant benefits in mind, there’s little doubt that an AI-powered ERP can help manufacturers create a supply chain of the future.

 To quote ChatGDP itself when asked whether AI has a future in supply chain ERP software:

“AI has a bright future in supply chain ERP software, and we can expect to see more and more organizations adopting AI-powered solutions to optimize their supply chain operations.”

The question now is which one?

You’re not alone if you are overwhelmed by the sheer number of technologies available, let alone deciding which may have the greatest impact and the best ROI. Epicor understands the power of harnessing AI to craft a resilient supply chain. For more information on taking your business into the future with cutting-edge technology, visit