Implementing an ERP solution is the ultimate way of guarding your business against pitfalls and crisis caused by outdated management methods. Now, imagine the power of an ERP system, further strengthened by the innovative capabilities of Artificial Intelligence tools.  

As AI is gradually being incorporated into the ERP industry, it unveils a realm of opportunities for us as users. Microsoft, for instance, is currently expanding the functionalities of Copilot in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, and we are eager to leverage these AI tools soon to elevate our productivity and refine our business operations management. But what exactly is AI bringing to the ERP industry and most importantly, how do we, as users, benefit from it?  

Automation of Repetitive Tasks 

What is one of the biggest setbacks in achieving your goals? That’s right – too much time spent on repetitive tasks and too little time left for what is truly important for your development. The integration of AI features in ERP systems is a game-changer for productivity and time efficiency. AI can automate the repetitive mundane tasks that usually take up too much of our time: data entry, invoice processing, inventory management, etc. 

For example, Microsoft has introduced bank reconciliation with Copilot in Business Central. Copilot for bank reconciliation analyzes bank statements imported to Business Central, matches more transactions and proposes transactions that are not automatched. The AI-powered transaction matching reduces the time spent on reviewing and processing the remaining unmatched transactions and guarantees a higher degree of accuracy. The automation of such time-consuming monthly-end tasks, thanks to Copilot, makes your work more precise and efficient. 

Screenshot of the Reconcile with Copilot function in Business Central

Screenshot of the Transfer Proposals and the auto-matching function of Copilot

Screenshot of the Transfer proposals auto-matched by Copilot
Image source: Complete bank account reconciliation faster with Copilot | Microsoft Learn 

Unleashing Your Creativity 

AI-powered ERP systems help you explore new ways of delivering high-quality products and services to your customers. For example, marketers have embraced the power of AI-powered tools for diverse tasks such as writing product descriptions, creating catchy copies, and engaging content. With the help of AI, they can achieve their objectives more easily and unleash their creativity to explore new techniques in copywriting. Moreover, it is common that copywriters experience “creativity block“ and face difficulties in getting the starting point of a first draft. This is exactly where AI tools come in handy: not only providing a draft text that speeds up the copywriting process but also unlocking the marketers‘ creativity to create even more compelling content. Now with the integration of AI into ERP systems, you can use the suggestions for product descriptions to highlight the best attributes of your items and make them attractive to customers.  

Copilot in Business Central generates product descriptions using attributes such as color, materials, key characteristics. In Business Central, Microsoft‘s AI tool is available on items cards – just select Draft with Copilot. You can set the tone, format and length of the text suggestion and voila – your first draft is ready in seconds. Then you can refine it however you want, review, edit and save the final version. Once you have tailored your product description, you can publish it to Shopify or any other e-Commerce platform. 

Screenshot of the Marketing Text generator with Copilot in Business Central

Image source: Add marketing text to items - Business Central | Microsoft Learn 

Read more about Microsoft's AI tool transforming the way we work - Copilot

Better Accuracy in Demand Forecasting and Planning 

AI in ERP systems assists users in streamlining forecasting, resource planning and allocation processes. AI-powered ERP systems can use previous data, market, and customer trends to generate predictions for future demand. It is no longer a game of guessing or a long dauting journey of calculations and manual spreadsheet entries. AI algorithms notice patterns the simple human eye can easily miss, thus enabling managers to respond to changing market conditions. This combination of the power of AI and the robust functionalities of an ERP system guarantees that your business will make well-informed decisions in inventory management and demand forecasting, effectively mitigating the risks of over- or understocking. 

Enhanced Customer Experience 

The AI capabilities, embedded within an ERP system, contribute significantly to overall customer satisfaction by providing insights into clients’ needs and preferences. AI algorithms analyze purchase history, buyers’ preferences and behavior, popular items, which is beneficial for creating a loyal customer base. By leveraging this customer data, businesses proactively anticipate customer demands and tailor their offerings to meet their specific needs effectively. 

Moreover, the key insights into customer behavior help companies craft and implement a suitable marketing strategy as well as make timely decisions, aligning with both current and future trends.  

In addition to these advancements, AI-powered chatbots are gradually making their way into the ERP industry. By quickly answering customers’ inquiries and leaving customers satisfied with the fast and convenient service, AI virtual assistants become an innovative way of enhancing the customer service experience and entering the fully digitalized business landscape.  

AI in Business Intelligence Tools 

Companies rely heavily on their business intelligence tools to derive key insights and make data-driven decisions. Incorporating AI in business intelligence results in higher accuracy, access to more advanced analytics and enhanced data visualization. The AI functionalities provide personalized insights and recommendations, significantly speeding and simplifying the process of following patterns and trends. AI helps users without special technical skills use business intelligence tools effectively and analyze reports easily.  

Last year, Microsoft introduced Copilot in their business intelligence tool – Power BI. Copilot in Power BI helps users find what they are looking for in just seconds - using natural language, you simply describe the insights you want, and Copilot transforms the large volumes of data into an easy-to-understand summary. Users can create and edit reports with a few clicks, thanks to the convenience of Copilot. You ask - Copilot answers and finds exactly what you need to guarantee that you have visibility over all business aspects and can make the necessary right decisions.

Explore how Power BI can help you make the right decisions for your business

As AI has already become the main helping hand in our everyday work tasks, it is evident that this is only the beginning of a long transformative journey. Integrated into ERP systems, AI algorithms bring time-efficiency and heightened productivity to every aspect of your business. AI successfully enhances ERP systems’ capabilities, presenting new opportunities to retain customers, and always stay on track with your performance.  

Microsoft has been dedicated to expanding the functionalities of Business Central by incorporating their AI tool – Copilot. As users, we are excited about the forthcoming enhancements and how they will help us boost our productivity and embrace the innovation of AI.  

Read about the new features in Business Central planned for release from April 2024 through September 2024 

You still haven’t embraced the benefits of a modern ERP solution such as the one of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central? Still relying on outdated systems, lacking consistent updates and support? We can help you gain momentum and unlock the rich capabilities of AI.

Contact us for a demo or consultation. 

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