How to establish AI skills in medium-sized companies

A step-by-step-guide 


1. Collect and evaluate data

In every company, data is collected on a daily basis. A first step should be to get an overview of where and how data is collected and what data is available.

2. Identify and evaluate fields of application

This data is a prerequisite for identifying and evaluating fields of application in the company. AI technology can be used profitably in many areas.  Moreover, AI technologies far exceed the possibilities of conventional Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and are therefore better suited to implementing sustainable digitisation strategies in the long term.

Practical example:

The use of the AI-powered Netfira tool in operational procurement leads to automation, acceleration and optimisation. AI can support the exchange of information and at the same time relate content. In operational procurement, this applies to the extraction of data, the validation of information, the comparison of data and information as well as the further processing or transfer of the correct information to the downstream company systems. With the AI-based solution from Netfira, for example, orders, order confirmations, delivery schedules, invoices and other documents can be automatically exchanged and processed between manufacturers and customers or suppliers. Ideal combination – just like Netfira does it: AI is “coupled” to a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform. This means that for the first time unstructured data can also be harmonised in free texts or in documents such as order confirmations and customer orders. Deviating terms in supplier documents, ambiguous units of measurement or rare languages are no longer a problem as AI is constantly learning. Manual intervention is hardly necessary. In addition, AI is the future for connecting business partners. All significant suppliers, including the small ones, can already be connected quickly and easily with the AI-based solution from Netfira.

When evaluating the fields of application, a fast and high ROI as well as a fast and uncomplicated implementation of the automation tool are also important.

Practical example:

Thanks to the innovative app technologies, Netfira enables an electronic connection of internal and external business partners within a few minutes. The B2B suite is SAP-certified – but it can be easily integrated into any existing ERP system environment and, thanks to its modular structure, is versatile and can be adapted and expanded at any time. The ROI is usually achieved within the first year.

3. Develop an AI strategy

Building on this information, a comprehensive AI strategy can now be developed. Doing that, some questions need to be clarified: What resources are available? Which software provider do I work with? Which platform is used? Do I use a self-hosted cloud? Do I work with the company’s own IT or do I use the services of an external IT department?

Practical example:

The Netfira software solution can be used as an on-premise as well as a cloud-based SaaS solution. In addition, the software solution can be implemented without training and the internal IT does not have to be involved in the project. The central advantage is that the IT, which is usually busy with existing responsibilities, does not have to be convinced of the digitisation strategy and does not have to deal with a work-intensive project.

The automation and digitisation of operational processes in purchasing are ideally suited as a lighthouse project.

Practical example:

With Netfira, the entire supply chain can be digitised and automated so that internal and external partners are seamlessly connected with one another. Manual and thus error-prone tasks are significantly reduced so that the buyer has more time to concentrate on strategic and value-adding activities. The optimisation of the processes in purchasing has positive effects on all downstream processes. Consequently, procurement takes on a pioneering role in the company and shows how work can be made easier and more efficient through the use of innovative technology.

4. Use AI company-wide

The implementation of a digitisation strategy in purchasing can lead to successful change management so that it is transferred to the everyday organizational and operating model. The AI competences that have been built up can be transferred to other business areas.

Practical example:

With the supply chain solution from Netfira, not only purchasing but all business processes can be automated and digitised. Furthermore, it enables a seamless and efficient digital connection and communication of business partners and the optimisation of all business areas.

Start your AI-driven digitisation strategy today so that your purchasing department can establish itself as an innovation driver!


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