Can Chatbots help the manufacturing industry?

Oct 21, 2020

We dive on the opportunities that are available for manufacturing companies and how you can get started.



Chatbots can interact with the outside world in a variety of ways.

Today we’ll look at the impact on businesses of the three main types of bot interaction: standalone chatbots, chatbots that can cooperate with humans, and bots that can work in tandem with other chatbots.

Human-augmented chatbots

The simplest chatbots are usually standalone systems that can answer a set of questions, using built-in decision trees and extracting information from databases or other management systems. They work well for many applications, but they are limited by their own programming. When they exceed it, they are forced to ask the user to reach out to the company via other channels such as email.

To avoid this problem some companies prefer to use human-augmented systems that are able to seamlessly transition the conversation to a human agent without any additional user input. If programmed the user may not even realize that they are now talking to a human agent. Chatbots built in this way are more resilient and can be used to relieve pressure from human-based systems, allowing customer support agents to focus only on areas where they add the most value.

A variation on this model is the “Helper Bot Method” that we discussed in a previous article. Here the customer service agent receives suggestions from the chatbot on how to respond and can approve or edit the messages before sending them to the client. This allows human agents to have full control of the conversation but also relieves them from the work needed to find the information they need on the company databases or reservation systems.

Chatbot networks

Can manufacturing companies really take advantage of chatbots? The answer may seem to be an obvious no… After all, most of the chatbots that come up in news or our everyday lives are systems designed for marketing or customer service purposes and are aimed at consumers, but things are not that simple.

Chatbots are a technology that makes communication easier and takes advantage of platforms, like messaging apps, that people are already accustomed to and use constantly. There is no inherent limitation as to the type of content they can handle, and they can be put to work wherever there is a need to provide groups of people with information, reminders, or updates.

Improving data access

The secret superpower of chatbots is their ability to provide information the user needs without having to scroll through a website, search online, or pull out a manual. For large companies, this is invaluable as it gives all employees an easy and natural way to obtain information by simply “talking” to the chatbot on their preferred messaging app.

In their simplest form, they can use decision trees to help employees troubleshoot problems, report issues, or find the right procedures. Advanced bots can also access external sources and even send messages and talk to staff members in other departments to find the information they need to solve a problem.

At their core, chatbots are computer programs, and as such, they can easily be programmed to talk to other computer systems inside the company. They also have the great advantage of being available 24/7 from anywhere that has internet access and can use tools like machine learning to improve their response, collect data, and spot patterns that could help the company improve.

Planning is the key to success

From maintenance to management, from onboarding and training of new staff to health and safety and finance, the possibilities are endless. Manufacturing companies have a lot to gain by improving their internal communication and information access. However, for this to work, it is important to plan things properly and have a clear understanding of both the company and the technologies that are available.

To help you identify opportunities and navigate the technological complexities, we have put together a team of experts that will analyze the company and help you create the right solution. You can reach out to them by using the link below.