Business Automation and Software Blog

Five Ways Machine Learning Can Improve Your Manufacturing ERP

Posted by Robert Baran on Wed, Feb 14, 2018 @ 11:00 AM


In 2017, the public learned that Facebook shut down an artificial intelligence (AI) negotiation software project because the bots began to develop their own language that humans could not interpret. While the story was a bit sensationalized, it still got the public to really thinking about AI and the impact it has on our lives. In a world where we now say, “Hey Siri” or “Okay Google” and Alexa is practically a member of the family, AI has enabled us to live differently than ever before. Now companies are recognizing the importance of using machine learning to improve their existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools.

In their own right, ERPs have long proven their value with regard to streamlining IT solutions, looking at smarter ways to manage inventory, automate finances, and more effectively communicate with customers. But what about the integration of a machine learning with your manufacturing ERP? That could be the true game changer.

The Benefits of Machine Learning

  1. Root Cause Analysis

ERP systems enabled with machine learning are equipped to assist in getting to the root cause of a problem based on history of similar problems. For example, a technician working on a maintenance issue can more easily identify any potential danger or hazards, and even improve Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) with greater accuracy to the component and part level.

  1. Tailored Insights

A machine learning enabled ERP helps companies gain more insight into processes, customers, and workflows. The ERP is not only able to increasingly improve the accuracy of its insights but can target more precisely to help management better understand specific areas; for example, identifying purchasing patterns in specific locations or the exact problem point in a process that is breaking down.

  1. Forecasting

When integrating an ERP with machine learning, you’re able to create highly accurate predictive analytics. Forecasting is one of the top reasons an organization couples machine learning with their existing ERP. It goes further than just letting you know that you’ll need to increase manufacturing to meet a seasonal demand at a specific time of year. Using historical data, it can tell you exactly which months require the highest volume and which products have the highest likelihood of being big sellers. This helps companies avoid running out of stock by helping them be better prepared in advance.

  1. Production Capacity & Quality

ERP systems with machine learning are more adept at improving production capacity. Experience better optimization in machine efficiency and save money by reducing raw material waste. If you’re facing issues with finished products or services, machine learning is able to drill down to find exactly what is contributing to those problems. Is it a process or workflow problem or perhaps a malfunction with equipment or a programming issue? You’ll be better positioned to identify where you can improve the quality of your products and services.

  1. Identify New Opportunities

ERPs do a great job of providing loads upon loads of data, but what many companies find difficult is figuring out exactly how to navigate that data and use it to their benefit. One of the pros of machine learning is its ability to identify opportunities within that data. Machine learning within an ERP provides patterns that produce insight into where you may have an opportunity to improve within manufacturing, sales, and service. This predictive data can prove to be innovative as you move toward establishing new goals.

Taking Machine Learning into the Future

Some experts claim it’s impossible to have an ERP without machine learning in today’s market, suggesting that organizations will be left behind without it. AI is growing at a rapid rate and on a global scale. Machine learning is gaining traction largely due to the benefits of not only having specifically tailored data, but also in knowing how to utilize that data.

Together, machine learning and ERPs allow you a deeper look into your business, so you can uncover previously unidentified opportunities. Experience better business savvy with explicit knowledge of customer behavior, resource management, and more streamlined processes. Curious how to implement machine learning into your ERP? Let PositiveVision help.

Topics: Manufacturing ERP Software