Cookies and milk. Peanut butter and jelly. Sherlock and Watson. Batman and Robin. In each instance, one can exist without the other, but when combined, the outcome is better. Stomachs are happier and the criminal is thwarted. The same can be said for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). Each are huge contributors in recent software operating revolutions in the manufacturing industry.
For those of you who have been out of the loop, AI includes things like Siri, conversational bots, and Netflix recommendations. It is a vast and diverse branch of computer science focused on building smart machines able to perform tasks that utilize human intelligence. Taking it a step further, machine learning is an essential component in the growing field of data science; it is a branch of AI that focuses on the use of algorithms and data in order to imitate the way humans learn.
What’s the Difference Between Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning?
Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) are related fields within the broader domain of data-driven technology, and both have applications in manufacturing. However, they serve different purposes and have distinct characteristics:
Artificial Intelligence: Definition & Uses
AI refers to the broader concept of machines or software systems that can perform tasks that typically require human intelligence. This includes problem-solving, reasoning, natural language understanding, and decision-making.
AI can be used in manufacturing for tasks such as demand forecasting, production scheduling, quality control, and supply chain optimization. AI systems, including expert systems and knowledge-based systems, can make decisions and recommendations based on data and predefined rules.
For example, AI-driven chatbots for customer support, AI-based predictive maintenance systems, and AI-driven robotic process automation (RPA) for managing administrative tasks in manufacturing.
Machine Learning: Definition & Uses
Machine learning is a subset of AI focused on developing algorithms and models that allow computers to learn and make predictions or decisions based on data. ML systems use statistical techniques to enable the computer to improve its performance on a specific task through learning from data.
ML is commonly used in manufacturing for predictive maintenance, quality control, defect detection, anomaly detection, and process optimization. ML models learn from historical data to make predictions about future events or to identify patterns and anomalies in real-time data.
For example, ML models trained on sensor data to predict equipment failures, image recognition systems for quality control, and reinforcement learning algorithms to optimize manufacturing processes.
6 Benefits of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
So back to my discussion of duos: pair AI with your ERP software and you can see sweeping enhancements like the following:
1. The End of Monotomous Tasks
Very few companies do not have tasks that are mundane and redundant, but nonetheless necessary. However, many of these tasks can easily be automated by ML, releasing your employees from the monotony and allowing them to focus on higher-priority tasks. Another bonus: less risk of human error.
2. Preemptive Problem Solving
AI not only helps to highlight existing problems in the workflow, it can actually predict issues before they become problems. This can include things like inventory concerns and faulty manufacturing units. Companies can now look ahead and resolve any problems before they happen.
3. Simplify Immense Data
Data is what helps us thrive, but it can also clutter up our brains and systems. ERP systems acquire extreme amounts of data, like information about customers, their patterns, and behaviors.
When ERP software is paired with AI and ML, the technology can produce algorithms for identifying patterns in workflow and operations; this will allow you to know what a customer needs before they do.
4. Department Integration within the Organization
Again, the amount of data is immense, and in most companies, there are multiple wheels spinning at once to get the job done. Human resources, manufacturing, training and onboarding, and supply chain management all work independently in order to make a company work cohesively. In order to allow your organization to truly work seamlessly, though, its software should be connected and synced.
For this, AI is key. It ensures excellent data flow from department to department, with no delays or interruptions. AI allows all of your company’s ERP data to be available in one central location, allowing your team access to everything they need the moment they need it, even when working from home. In turn, this ensures your customers have the same.
5. Unparalleled User Experience and Customer Service
When you are fully aware of a customer’s needs and buying patterns, thanks to the algorithms previously mentioned, you can provide them with outstanding customer service. With AI, you also have accurate insight on which products will be in high demand, when the most customers will require the product, and getting ahead with a digital supply chain.
Due to your accuracy and insight, your customers will know that your company is one they can rely on.
Another customer service benefit of AI is the ability to monitor possible issues or small customer questions without involving customer service representatives. This can be done via virtual assistants and allow customers the potential to get answers or resolutions to common issues any time of day or night. This resembles companies like Amazon’s virtual assistants that allow for a customer to not have to wait for help to print a return label.
6. Enhanced Marketing Solutions
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are brimming with potential in identifying untapped business opportunities. Using the insights gleaned from data, they can provide more than just buying behavior, but also demographics, gender, age, etc. For instance, if you have used streaming devices like Netflix or Hulu, they consider these things before suggesting what you might like to view next. Using this information, your company can better serve customers by providing what they need before they even request it.
With access to this information, AI enables companies to identify new target audiences, thus providing the company with new revenue opportunities.
Get Started with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
The AI industry is steadily growing; according to Globe Newswire, by 2028 the AI market is expected to reach $360.36 billion. Digital transformation isn’t just the future; it’s happening now. Do you want to be ahead of the curve or behind the game? Now is the time to upgrade your ERP with AI. Contact us today to learn how we can help.