How Microsoft Dynamics 365 Copilot supports  metals companies

Brian Shelver
| 5/19/2023
How Microsoft 365 Copilot can support your metals company

The advanced capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI) have made headlines in recent months with the public release of OpenAI platforms such as ChatGPT and DALL-E. Detailed text and images can be generated quickly and with surprising accuracy with a simple prompt. While some users have had fun exploring its seemingly limitless possibilities, others have questioned what it means for the future of life and work. For metals leaders, that future is already here.

For years, Microsoft has been at the forefront of embedding AI capabilities into practical applications for work with its software and advanced business systems. As a partner and investor in OpenAI, Microsoft has integrated AI into software like Microsoft Dynamics 365™, a set of business application tools that many metals businesses use today. And with the launch of Microsoft Dynamics 365™ Copilot March 2023, metals leaders can automate tactical and administrative tasks so they can focus on more strategic work.

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What is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Copilot?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Copilot is an interactive, AI-powered assistant built directly into Microsoft enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management platforms. Its next-generation capabilities can transform every area of a business from sales to customer service by using data to generate action steps, email drafts, and recommendations for tasks like pricing and distribution.

Additionally, when metals leaders require additional input and perspective, an AI-powered tool like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Copilot can suggest next steps in real time while still leaving the user in charge to make the final decision.

4 ways metals companies can use AI-powered tools to their advantage

1. Reduce quality defects

Consistently delivering quality products is a top priority for metals companies, but quality control is often a reactive process. When a product is defective, it takes time and effort to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. With AI, data from past problems can be used to offer suggestions for the future. For example, a defective product might have been caused by the combination of material grade with the use of a particular machine. Therefore, when an order comes in for that product, AI tools can flag it with a recommended material and machine to proactively avoid defects and produce a high-quality product.

2. Recommend distribution models

When a metals company has multiple distribution centers and multiple orders coming in, many factors contribute to strategically determining which orders will be filled by each distribution center. AI engines can automatically take into account all relevant data points and offer a recommended distribution model. A more seamless experience can help with cost savings, faster delivery time, and higher customer satisfaction.

3. Predict accurate pricing

The pricing structure for a metals company is a critical element of success. Business can be affected if pricing is off by even a penny. Fortunately, many metals companies have legacy pricing data that AI tools can use to help predict future pricing. As the sales team works to create an accurate pricing structure to maximize margin or volume – whichever aligns with company goals – AI tools can offer suggestions to help leaders make the best decision based on past data and broader forecast data.

4. Mitigate supply chain disruptions

With ongoing supply chain uncertainty within the metals industry, AI can help mitigate disruptions sooner. For instance, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Copilot can monitor the local weather where vendors are located and flag potential disruptions. If a weather event might affect shipments, AI-powered assistance can pull contact information for the affected vendors and draft emails with relevant details about the event and orders in question. This AI-generated support gives metals leaders an opportunity to respond quickly to disruptions and inform customers of potential delays or create a plan to avoid the delay.

See how your metals company can use AI to do more with less

While AI might have been slowly transforming the way metals companies do business for years, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Copilot ushers in a new era of transformation. It’s no longer just a good idea to integrate AI solutions into your metals business. It’s now becoming a must.

If you have questions about how AI can add value to your metals company or how to take advantage of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Copilot in Crowe Metals Accelerator, built on Microsoft Dynamics 365, reach out to our team of specialists today.

Microsoft, Dynamics 365, and Microsoft 365 are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies.

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Brian Shelver