Airplane manufacturing giant Airbus has unveiled plans to cut costs by using artificial intelligence (AI) to process employee invoices within its finance function.
Airbus is using AppZen, a Silicon Valley company that “matches reports against a repository of accepted vendors, expense types and amounts to spot anomalies." The technology can examine items including "the identity of a vendor, the existence of venues such as a restaurant, the type of expense and the amount." It can also scan receipts in over 100 languages, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Less than half of companies' accounts payable activity worldwide is automated. That figure is expected to rise to 80% by 2025, according to the WSJ report.
Under the AppZen initiative, Airbus finance team members only need to review one or two lines of a 30-line report, freeing up time for them to concentrate on other, more thought-reliant and analytical tasks. There are no plans to lay off finance staff.
“The AI is not here to lay off, but basically to reshuffle activities,” Richard Masci, head of financial system services and compliance at Airbus Americas told the Wall Street Journal Monday. “We’re planning on reusing resources in a smarter way.”
Airbus is one of several large companies employing AI technology to boost services and maximize returns. These cost-saving initiatives aim at reducing worker hours.
According to Seeking Alpha, the savings Airbus has realized by using AI in an expense reporting system has already paid off its initial investment of $50,000 and generated an additional $50,000 in cost savings. With the help of continued AI implementation, the company expects to save $100,000 this year and at least $200,000 next year in the Americas alone.
The savings come from the reduction of hours in processing time and an increase in rejected expense payments.
On its website, Airbus says it plans to use AI in a number of areas of its operations, including decision-making, anomaly detection, conversational assistance, and autonomous flight, which “enables the next generation of aerial vehicles with new capabilities.”
Other companies see AI playing a major role in their operations over the next three years, according to data reported by CIO Dive.