How ChatGPT complements ERP systems

By Doug Hunter

OpenAI’s ChatGP-3 has been a game changer across many sectors since its launch last November. Now, the recent upgrade of the technology to GPT-4, which has been trained on trillions of parameters, will certainly improve this innovation’s workings, introducing functionalities that are bound to revolutionize tech as we currently know it.

The use of generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) in enterprises is fast creating possibilities to automate everyday tasks including facilitating complex communications, creating content, manipulating text in correspondences to improve communication languages, and generally to simplify content.

In any business outfit, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are integral components for productively and effectively managing, controlling and running all the operations that the institution accomplishes on a daily basis.

Gradually, AI, armed by Machine Learning (ML) – and by extension Chat GPT- is growing into a potentially critical part of ERP systems, with its incorporation promising to result in an array of benefits to the enterprises and organizations using them.

When integrated with an ERP system’s database, ChatGPT-4 can provide users with natural language search functionalities. This allows employees using data on the database to find and access the information they need faster.

Instead of working late or extra shifts, companies can deploy ChatGPT to build better chatbots that can interact digitally with users with a human touch and provide them with requested information or assistance within an ERP system. This can improve user engagement and reduce the workload on customer service teams.

All businesses want to know how to forecast their future. With ChatGPT integrated with an ERP system’s data, business leaders can combine wider, global, and seemingly (but not) irrelevant data with predictive analytics to gain insights about their core business. This will go a long way in monitoring industry trends and predicting the future and taking proactive actions to keep operations aligned to the future.

ChatGPT has the potential to provide the enterprise with real-time information, analytics and insights that could be essential in fast-tracking and improving organizational decision-making processes.

Take, for instance, a case where an AI-driven system guides the organization’s management in better understanding prevalent trends that would advise how their products or projects perform against their competitors.

In such cases, AI presents the organization with an opportunity to easily determine which sectors of their projects need to be improved to make it more competitive; a factor that makes it easy for the enterprise to make decisions on how to better serve customers or improve products.

AI can assist and refine business-related activities such as procurement, accounting, project management, risk analysis and management, compliance, and supply chain operations through ERPs in any organization.

In ERP systems, data entry for cash flow management, income statements, balance sheets, expense reporting, invoicing, production planning and control, inventory management and supply chain, human resource (HR) and payroll management, are all modules that could be automated, and their data/information outputs integrated with Chat GPT to augment effectiveness and productivity in the workplace. Let’s see.

ChatGPT could certainly be effectively deployed in user training on what ERP is there to accomplish, and how to use the system.  In this case, Chat GPT is automated to generate training material in language, style and content that is effective for the purpose, provide guidance on how to use the ERP and even respond to user questions. Deploying the chatbot to address these queries makes it easier to train new users on how to run the ERP.

ERPs basically act as the organization’s hub for end-to-end workflow and the management of all the data involved, allowing the different departments working within the organization to access all the information required to efficiently run it.

In essence, these systems are without a doubt an indispensable component for modern-day business enterprise, or industry due to all the seamless functions they perform.

With AI and tools like Chat GPT, enterprises have the leverage to turbo-charge use of the different modules in their ERP systems, using know and “unknown” insights to align them more effectively with the daily activities and functions required to run these organizations.

But beware, before using such tools, it is even more critical that master data in ERP systems is clean and constantly cleaned or the Machine Learning will simply fuel “Artificial Interpretation” not Intelligence.

(Doug Hunter is the Manager for Customer and Ecosystem Enablement at Syspro Africa).


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