Conversational AI in manufacturing enables precise operations for smarter engineering and efficient asset care. It helps achieve daily, measurable...
Ready to Streamline Your Manufacturing Processes with Conversational AI?
With the adoption of conversational AI, manufacturing companies can streamline every aspect of their operations--from start to finish.
Manufacturers serve as the foundation of business and industry. Enterprises that manufacture products come in many shapes and sizes, from smaller workshops that design specially-made items to huge assembly lines that can deliver hundreds, if not thousands, of items in a short period of time. Whatever their size and how they bring raw materials together into a finished product, these entities will improve efficiencies of scale with the addition of conversational AI.
Conversational AI Allows Manufacturing Businesses to Streamline Operations
More than a software program that merely understands a few simple voice and written requests, this type of artificial intelligence assembles a selection of advanced AI and digital technologies, permitting it to address a variety of mechanical, procedural, and oversight tasks.
Also known as a virtual AI assistant, this assembly of computer-based solutions brings together a variety of processes. Machine Learning (ML), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), and Natural Language Processing (NLP) are examples of software solutions working together that allow the conversational AI platform installed at a manufacturing facility to learn and improve performance.
Manufacturers benefit from a comprehensive, broad-based conversational AI technology that integrates the functions appropriate for the particular business as it presently exists, with the ability to scale for anticipated growth. ML uses algorithms that interpret and analyze past activities, data input, or other content to determine the best course to take in the present and the future. It helps predict the best approach or outcome when a similar request/action is reiterated. Building upon these algorithms, RPA uses specifically assembled scripts to mimic specific actions that the manufacturing plant wants to occur within a larger process. Through improved understanding derived from learned and anticipated outcomes, processes automate with greater efficiency.
NLP allows the computer to use ML and RPA to decipher human language naturally in either written or verbal form. By deciphering what people say or write, the computer can define appropriate tasks or take the person or technical process in a particular direction.
The sum of ML, RPA, and NLP -- along with other appropriate digital solutions -- creates the artificial intelligence enhancements necessary to implement a virtual AI assistant at a manufacturing facility.
Here are some examples of how conversational AI streamlines manufacturing operations:
Manage Vendors and Partners
A manufacturing company must juggle resources from multiple vendors, suppliers, and partners to ensure appropriate inventory, uninterrupted supply chain flow, and handovers to others along the way. For example, a manufacturer that assembles small electric motors for another appliance company must ensure that it receives the raw materials or pieces it needs to create the motors in a timely fashion while assuring that it can fulfill the contractual commitment it has to the partner that considers these motors as the "raw materials" that form the heart of their product.
Anyone who works in manufacturing knows that things do not just "come together" in perfect fashion. In the past, leadership in a manufacturing facility hoped managers and decision makers could bring the raw materials and talent from vendors and partners together like a conductor assembling the best musicians and performers. Sometimes, however, this process seemed more like herding cats.
Unlike cottage industries common in the past, today's manufacturing entities operate in a world where orders, contacts, meetings, and other interactions traditionally handled by humans must cross multiple time zones, sets of business hours, and languages.
Fortunately, conversational AI can manage many processes and interactions for manufacturing entities that must occur outside the local "9-to-5" or require 24/7 support.
Businesses can also assign conversational AI where tasks become a burden for employees. For example, a vendor can directly interact with an AI-powered virtual assistant to place bulk orders instead of calling your manufacturing executive. That way, employees will manage a lesser number of calls, while customers get to save time when doing business with your company.
Automate Inventory Management
Conversational AI enables decision-makers to track inventory accurately from pre-order through sales and instantly share status information with various parties that have an interest in the process. Orders and shipments can have more accurate counts to ensure items needed are ordered, and items promised successfully move through the company's manufacturing process.
Unlike card files or notepads of the past, conversational AI can collect, analyze, and interpret customer interactions. Manufacturers may better manage present order placement and anticipate future demand through AI-assisted forecasting. Anticipating more precisely the number of widgets needed in the future streamlines the ordering process and improves efficiency when vendors are successfully integrated into inventory management.
Integrated across all platforms, a conversational AI assistant will retrieve comparative data associated with demand and supply. Managers can use that data to understand future requirements and conduct inventory planning accordingly.
Automate Order Management
Virtual AI assistants can take over various tasks and communicate with customers regarding:
- Order placement
- Payment invoices
- Payment reminders
- Order tracking
- Order return
- Order cancelation
In the presence of a conversational AI assistant, customers receive on-time alerts and updates related to delivery, payment dues, product availability, and more. This level of personalization in automation increases customer experience while saving employees from indulging in repetitive conversations with customers. A variety of other challenges also get resolved, such as:
- Queries coming in high volumes
- Errors occurred due to manual processes
- Difficulties in managing bulk orders
- Facing issues in inventory planning
Streamline HR Operations
Beyond managing supplies and orders, conversational AI also supports a positive work environment for the manufacturing company's greatest resource: the people who work there. A virtual AI assistant can handle a variety of tasks, from managing workflow processes for screening candidates and offering faster onboarding and better training to answering common employee FAQs and analyzing data from HR interactions.
This technology may replace repetitive functions in a manufacturing entity, but it enhances the "human" experience in human resources. This may occur in many ways, from anticipating talent shortages and helping management set goals to tracking employee rewards and incentives.
When running a manufacturing plant, you must maintain accurate environmental conditions. For instance, your operational efficiency decreases drastically if environmental temperatures change even a little bit. Unexpected maintenance issues hurt the company's ability to meet the demands of its customers.
But, implementing conversational AI offers an excellent way to support maintenance and avoid unexpected delays. Firstly, you need to sync all your technology platforms to help employees with the automated analysis of all equipment metrics triggered with the help of a conversational AI assistant. Employees can ask a virtual AI Assistant for different types of information/data and receive immediate and accurate responses.
A conversational AI assistant serves as a companion for employees throughout the ongoing process of maintaining a manufacturing plant. Staff members can gain entire knowledge of plant conditions on their smartphones with conversational AI-enabled interactions. These tasks also involve alerting employees to safety issues, preventing injuries, and limiting liability exposure.
Increase Shipping Efficiency
Conversational AI handles order management. The system can take, edit, reassign, or cancel orders, offer delivery tracking to customers and internal constituencies, and check delivery and return status. Rote tasks such as checking available inventory, cross-referring present inventory with anticipated shipments, and handling returns in a fully-automated manner allow people to focus on the situations that require empathy, judgment, and detailed problem solving with a personal touch.
This increased shipping efficiency can also improve communication in fleet management operations. A manufacturer's supply chain requires a delicate dance of truckers, vendors, and suppliers that must stay in touch to ensure timely shipments and movement of products.
A virtual AI assistant can handle notifications for shipping issues, alerting all parties along the supply chain of the present status and anticipated resolution. Through evaluation of GPS tracking and other technologies, this system may access and assess current driver information to calculate scheduled delivery times, diverting resources as necessary due to delays or unexpected circumstances.
Interested to see how a conversational AI assistant works? Book a demo with one of our specialists!