ERP, but not as you know it

Next year, forget about digital transformation. It’s AI (artificial intelligence) all the way.

AI is the hot business and technology topic worldwide and with just cause. If you thought the invention of the internet was big news, just you wait. We are on the cusp of a new way of everything – and ERP is no exception. At every event I go to, every ERP vendor, big and small, is talking about the power of AI.  

Since the first true ERPs came into use in the 1990s, the primary objectives of virtually every business looking to adopt an ERP have been the same: To make efficiency gains, save time, improve business processes, achieve 360-degree visibility across the organisation, streamline operations, and of course, manage the business better.

With the introduction of AI, though, ERPs will fundamentally change in value. They will go beyond supporting and enabling what are often back-office functions and play a more critical role in helping businesses achieve long-term strategic objectives. And it will pose a whole new range of questions for those businesses looking to upgrade, replace or introduce a new ERP.

The new ERP question

If you’re starting the search and selection process and firing out RFPs without thinking about how AI can be used to better your business outcomes and future, you’ll probably be asking the wrong questions. You may even buy the wrong technology – and miss the opportunity to leverage the power of AI as an integral part of your ERP.

So, what should you ask potential ERP partners and vendors now that AI has been thrown into the mix?

Start with “How can I take advantage of AI to improve my business?”

Work that data – and fast

One significant way AI is reshaping our perspective on ERP software is by prioritising the value of data – which should always be a central focus of any implementation. AI relies heavily on access to reliable, accurate, and complete data to deliver meaningful output. For example, you may wish to leverage your customer data (including purchasing and support history) and use AI to suggest who, where, and how you can up-sell or cross-sell, and even provide appropriate personalised offers to encourage engagement. Or use it to predict sales volumes based on historical trends, current consumer behaviour and other relevant factors.

With the addition of AI, your marketing, sales, financial and operations teams can use your ERP data as a competitive advantage and an asset – intelligently delivering maximum return with minimal effort.  

Additionally, forecasting for budgets or your supply chain procurement can take on a whole new dimension with AI-powered suggestions backed by meaningful analytics and insights.

Don’t just dream it - get more done

ERP vendors and partners have long promised employee efficiency, and yes, workflow automation has delivered significant improvements over the years. However, incorporating AI into today’s ERPs is a true game-changer by automating boring, repetitive, and low-value tasks – in seconds, not hours, days, or weeks.

Nearly every ERP will offer embedded AI in the form of ChatGPT or Copilot. With easy-to-use AI tools in the mix, ERP solutions will be more accessible and more utilised as employees can leverage previously unavailable information, models, and predictive analytics.

And that’s just for starters. By combining the transactional back-office data in your ERP with AI, you are opening your arms to real organisational change.

2024, here we come

2024 will be full of new insights and exciting possibilities – for us and you.

I can guarantee that the old questions you used to ask when looking for a new ERP will be shelved in favour of far more game-changing ones that will make a genuine difference to your future. And you’re welcome to ask us what those new questions should be.  


Lisa Nicks, General Manager - Sales


Back to The Bottom Line

2023 December
Great outcomes start with great conversations


Great outcomes start with great conversations

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