“Having worked in the finance technology sector for 36 years, I’ve seen technology waves ebb and flow. Some have been huge – such as the advent of the PC, LANs / WANs, client server, the internet and the availability of broadband, Cloud, IOT and advanced analytics and now of course AI and automation. Through all these new developments ERP and FMS software has had to adapt to keep pace, stay relevant, and survive. Look at how many software houses have disappeared over the past 30 years, or those who have been subsumed by others with the vision and foresight to recognise what’s coming down the track.
The business landscape is being transformed by technology at an ever-accelerating pace. One technology that has quickly emerged as a linchpin of modern ERP software and modern business operations is Artificial Intelligence (AI). As the digitalisation of business processes continues to evolve, AI, coupled with automation, has become integral to modern ERP software and Financial Management Software (FMS) solutions. All of this means that not integrating AI and automation into modern ERP \ FMS systems will lead to missed opportunities and inherent risks for businesses. What do I mean by this? Let’s delve deeper into the significance of these technologies, and understand the potential cost of ignoring them.”
AI and Automation: A New Dimension in Modern ERP Software
The integration of AI and automation into ERP \ FMS software expands a system’s capabilities exponentially. Here’s how:
Efficient Decision-making – AI enhances the decision-making abilities of modern ERP software by providing real-time, data-driven insights. Machine Learning (ML) – a subset of AI – enables the system to perform detailed pertinent analysis, learn from historical data, and predict future trends. This capability allows companies to make proactive decisions using real-world information and data, reducing operational inefficiencies and improving strategic planning.
Automated Operations – AI can automate routine tasks, freeing up staff to focus on more complex and strategic work. In an ERP context, this could include automated data entry, invoice processing, or inventory management. Automation also reduces the likelihood of human error, improving the overall accuracy of the ERP system.
Enhanced User Experience – AI can provide a more personalised user experience within modern ERP software by learning from user interactions, and tailoring the interface and suggestions accordingly. AI chatbots, for instance, can offer 24/7 customer support, providing quick answers and efficient service.
Improved Risk Management – By leveraging AI’s predictive abilities, businesses can anticipate potential risks and implement preventive measures. This might include predicting equipment failures, identifying potential supply chain disruptions, or detecting financial irregularities.
Consequences of Not Leveraging AI and Automation in ERP \ FMS
In contrast to the benefits highlighted above, businesses that do not integrate AI and automation into their ERP \ FMS software risk falling behind in several ways:
Increased Operational Inefficiencies – Without AI and automation, businesses are more likely to experience operational inefficiencies – even with a modern ERP software solution in place. This is because manual processes are slower, more prone to errors, and often require significant human resources.
Poor Decision-making – Without the predictive insights provided by AI, businesses may struggle to make proactive decisions. Instead, they may find themselves reacting to issues as they arise, which can result in missed opportunities and sub-optimal performance.
Lack of Competitive Edge – As more and more businesses leverage AI and automation to streamline operations and enhance decision-making, those that don’t risk falling behind. In today’s highly competitive market, the inability to quickly interpret data, access important information and adapt to changes can be a significant disadvantage.
Decreased Customer Satisfaction – Without AI-enhanced user experiences, businesses may struggle to meet customer expectations. Modern consumers demand quick, personalised service. Without AI, providing this level of service can be challenging.
The importance of AI and automation in modern ERP \ FMS software cannot be overstated. These technologies are not just bells and whistles; they’re vital tools for improving efficiency, decision-making, and user satisfaction. Businesses that fail to embrace them risk falling behind in an increasingly competitive and digitalised marketplace. Therefore, to remain competitive, organisations need to explore the ways in which they can integrate AI and automation into their ERP \ FMS systems. After all, in the world of business, standing still is the first step towards moving backwards.
In the next instalment of this series we’ll again sit down with David to look in-depth at SunSystems, and the work that the Touchstone team are doing in partnership with emerging software author Sysynkt to bring AI and automation to key business accounting application SunSystems. In the meantime however, if you’d like to learn more about how the Touchstone team can help you implement a modern ERP software solution effectively, contact us today.
David Singh is the Infor Business Unit Director at Touchstone FMS and Co-Chairman of the SunSystems Product Advisory Board. Having worked in the ERP/FMS software sector for the last 35+ years, David has a wealth of skills and experience in business systems and is also a qualified accountant. With several senior management and directorial positions under his belt including operations, project delivery, supports, sales, and marketing, he describes himself as a “bit of an all-rounder” and a huge fan of SunSystems.
Automation for SunSystems
Discover the various SunSystems automation processes available with TouchstoneFMS: