Leveraging chatbots in manufacturing can be the perfect solution to automate cumbersome, manual manufacturing activities, helping companies maximize their ROI and thrive in a competitive market.
With the accelerating digitization trend, several industries, regardless of the work they do, have refined and completely transformed the way work processes are carried out. And the manufacturing industry is no exception. Long gone are the days when workers used pens, papers, calculators, and 2D drawings. With the advent of the Internet and highly sophisticated applications, workers have got an opportunity to carry out high-volume, mundane manufacturing work in less time and with more accuracy. As a result of increased efficiency at work, workers are achieving their productivity goals. Another technological application that has tremendously helped the manufacturing industry achieve long-term economic development goals is a chatbot. Powered with AI, ML, and NLP, chatbots in manufacturing can streamline manufacturing processes by equipping key stakeholders with the required data on the go. Deploying chatbots for manufacturing efforts will help companies gain triple-digit profits, enabling them to gain a competitive edge in a global marketplace.
Now that we have touched upon the potential of chatbots, let’s now understand the importance of chatbots in manufacturing. But before everything, we will comprehend the concepts of chatbots in simple words. Chatbots, also known as conversational and interactive agents, are applications having the capability to answer any given query. For user’s ease and comfort, the software application converses via auditory means also. While chatbots are incredibly helpful in exciting ways, most of us lack clear comprehension on chatbot’s true concepts. The common myth that chatbots are only meant to provide compelling customer services should be busted. While it is true that chatbots hold immense power to conduct engaging conversations with customers, which is actually good to improve the bottom line of the company, the truth that chatbots can also be advantageous for other purposes (explained later) should be known.
The manufacturing industry deals with activities that transform the product ideas into reality. To manufacture any product in lesser time, enough coordination among departments is of paramount importance. Workers should be updated with every information they require without any delay. Chatbots can easily provide the necessary information on every process, ranging from production to supply chain. Information at the fingertips will allow the manufacturers to carry out their efforts in a more efficient, painless, and hassle-free manner. Optimized work operations will lead to increased productivity levels, leading to more revenue generation. Operational efficiency is the way to achieve business growth goals, which can be easily offered with the help of chatbots. Hence, chatbots are one of the best options that well-suit the manufacturing industry, helping them achieve performance excellence.
While we have mentioned the value of chatbots already, we now move on to explain the role of chatbots in manufacturing. An AI-powered chatbot can analyze a question, understand any given situation, and accordingly provide the best answer almost instantaneously. Check out the plausible scenarios that showcase the purpose of chatbots in manufacturing.
Driven with quickly evolving product preferences, manufacturing companies are expected to increase their production efficiency, which means the manufacturing processes should be completed in lesser time by hitting aggressive deadlines. On-time deliveries will not only increase customer satisfaction levels but also build brand loyalty and reputation. Now the question is, how will chatbots be able to help manufacturers fulfill this expectation? Chatbots can be integrated with ERP and CRM software. An AI-powered chatbot can find the required information from the application and provide it to the user in seconds. Employees can then organize multiple tasks well and execute follow-up activities seamlessly. This way, employees can efficiently carry out their work while saving time and gaining maximum returns.
Often, manufacturing companies have to engage with multiple vendors when in need for raw materials in bulk. Since the manufacturing processes rely on the availability of product parts, companies should wisely select the vendors. And hence, the companies invest a lot of their time communicating with multiple vendors, understanding their services, and negotiating for deals. Before choosing a vendor, companies have to carry out their research work, which again, can eat up a tremendous amount of time.
Chatbots, on the other hand, can take up this mundane task, helping the companies make quicker and fairer deals without involving their workforce. AI-enabled chatbots can get in touch with vendors, interact with them to understand their services, and make a decision on whether the vendor is right for their company or not. Besides, chatbots, trained with human negotiation abilities, can bargain and close deals at a better price. While chatbots negotiate with vendors for best possible deals, employees get leisure time to take up of strategic roles.
Chatbots, when merged with existing ERM software, can provide important information to employees about the pending order details. Just by asking simple queries in natural language, managers or employees can obtain real-time details on manufacturing or shipping activities.
In a manufacturing plant, the maintenance crew is responsible for workplace safety. Accidents can not only cause financial losses but also companies will see a drop in their employee productivity levels. Hence, it is important that the authorities monitor the work environment for the employee’s well-being and the company’s growth. And to achieve the safety goal, the concerned team should assess the equipment metrics regularly. The platforms that collect and provide equipment details have to be logged in every time for obtaining equipment-related information.
Chatbots, on the other hand, can provide information about any particular equipment in seconds. Employees will no longer be required to log in into the application. Every vital safety information available at one single platform will enable the inspection crew to take the required action immediately, which will ensure smooth and safe operations.
HRs are expected to take care of all the activities and manage everything efficiently for continued company growth. Chatbots can be one of the incredible solutions that will help HRs with their operations. For example, chatbots can give instant replies employee’s personal information, their performance graph, work progress reviews, salary slips, attendance tracking to HRs whenever required. Besides, chatbots can be of great help to HRs for carry out preliminary recruitment processes like screening candidates, interacting with them, and scheduling interviews. Further, chatbots can also be incredible advisors of HRs. Trained with relevant information, chatbots can provide rich knowledge on strategies that will bring in more profits. Using this valuable information and then carrying out intensive research on the same, HRs can create effective strategies that will help their company stand unique in the competitive world.
Considering the few of the many use cases outlined above, we can confidently tell you that chatbots in manufacturing are the next big thing for the industry. So, get started with deploying a well-trained chatbot for relevant business use cases, thereby optimizing manufacturing efforts and gaining maximum profits.
Naveen is the Founder and CEO of Allerin, a software solutions provider that delivers innovative and agile solutions that enable to automate, inspire and impress. He is a seasoned professional with more than 20 years of experience, with extensive experience in customizing open source products for cost optimizations of large scale IT deployment. He is currently working on Internet of Things solutions with Big Data Analytics. Naveen completed his programming qualifications in various Indian institutes.