Manufacturers stand to gain from every technological advance they can use, and chatbots can provide them with significant advantages. The uses range from the supply chain to the manufacturing floor to order fulfillment.

Supplies and inventory

Parts and materials need to stay in supply without accumulating wasteful amounts before they're needed. A chatbot-based query system lets managers ask about the status of supplies using a smartphone and a messaging application. They can put their questions in terms of goals rather than details. "How many Type X Widgets can we produce with existing supplies?" This is very useful when a large order is about to start up.

With vendor-integrated chatbots, managers and purchasers can follow up by ordering additional supplies through the same interface. The bot will confirm their requests and convert them into formal orders for whatever is required.

Manufacturing conditions

Knowing about current and potential issues on the manufacturing floor prevents unpleasant surprises. What is the current production capacity? Are there active maintenance issues? Chatbots don't replace dedicated monitoring applications, but they provide a quick way to make queries.

AI-driven analytics software is becoming an important part of quality control. Coupled with a natural-language interface, it gives managers quick insights into how smoothly processes are running and where they need attention.

Order fulfillment and delivery

The delivery of finished products is the final step, and chatbots can help to manage this as well. Queries in plain language will yield information about the number of outstanding orders and current inventory. Questions about time to deliver and customer status are equally suited to chatbots.

Natural language queries are an adjunct to traditional software, not a replacement. They allow quick answers to questions without having to bring up dedicated applications and dashboards. This will reduce the need to interrupt specialists with routine questions, letting them focus their attention on the more complex issues.

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