When Automation works well for you. (Image Source: FreeImages.com /Zach Schroeder)KeyedIn has unveiled an automated assistant that will allow users of its manufacturing ERP solution to gather data at the touch of a button.

Unveiled at FABTECH 2018, the Manufacturing Assistant will allow a manufacturing company to speed up the creation of quotes and estimates. This should ease the creation of new parts. It does this by providing users with relevant key performance indicators (KPIs) and easing access to historical data pertaining to customers, parts and vendors.

Dave Lechleitner, Director of solutions and product marketing, KeyedIn (Image credit linkedin)
Dave Lechleitner, Director of solutions and product marketing, KeyedIn

“Manufacturers are often challenged by the lack of 360-degree insights while interacting with vendors and customers, including lack of visibility into current supply and demand for manufactured parts, historical order and quote information, and complete part history,” said Dave Lechleitner, Director of Product Marketing for KeyedIn.

“Instead of shuffling through paper and spreadsheets to find the information they need, we make all of this information available in real-time and help manufacturers to better service their customers while providing improved insights into their business.”

If you look at the three areas the assistant focuses on, KeyedIn defines the software as assisting users by:

With Parts the assistant provides information on current inventory on hand. Data such as time phased supply/demand, sales, purchases, previous orders, and previous estimates. This allows for users to create more accurate estimates, plan work orders for finished parts and plan purchase orders.

Customer info such as contact email and phone numbers, opportunities, quotes, orders, and shipments information becomes readily available. This allows salespeople and estimators to more easily manage customer contacts.

The supply chain is enhanced with the availability of Vendor data. Again, information like contact email and phone numbers, purchase orders and receipts. With this data, purchasing or materials managers can better manage vendor relationships.

The Manufacturing Assistant has been made available as an integrated component of KeyedIn’s cloud-based Manufacturing ERP solution.

What does this mean

There is a trend for ERP companies to embrace natural language interfaces. A few are also starting to introduce voice enabled automation assistants, though the KeyedIn bot does not appear to be one of those. The assistant is answers questions such as “Have I made this part before, and if so, how did I price it?” However it does appear to populate quotations with this information, but rather respond in a similar way to a colleague.  While useful this won’t actually help automate the process, but rather provide the use with better information.  Where will KeyedIn take this next?

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Cut him in half and the word technologist runs through Neil Fawcett’s core. Starting life as an engineer, specialising in the world of home computing, Neil the move to writing in 1985 and as the expression goes… never looked back. He was key to moving Computer Weekly away from its bias as a mainframe/minicomputer news title and propelled it into the exciting world of personal computing, breaking many an exclusive story. Following his tenure at CW he went on to work for various other publications, including participating in the UK launch of Information Week. During this time, he played a pivotal role in establishing custom publishing units designed to work alongside vendors to help define end-user publications and campaigns. Neil’s ability to take complex technology subjects and deliver digestible content frequently saw him appear on the likes of the national newspapers, the BBC and Sky, and often found himself delivering speeches to audiences around the world. With numerous books under his belt, Neil took time out in the new millennium to pursue a passion for toys/gaming and military history as he set up a manufacturing company with a global reach. He is now thrilled to have come full-circle and be back writing about his core passion: technology!

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