ASAP--An Advisory System for Automated Procurement

Robert Chalmers, Robin Pape, Robert Rieger and William Shirado, Lockheed Palo Alto Research Laboratories

When our division changed its method of requesting the purchase of materials and services from a paper form to electronic mail, we incorporated an expert system to look for errors before the user’s fingers had left the keyboard. With patient explanations, gentle prodding, and occasional subtle threats, the system has reduced the error rate from 75% to absolutely zero for the 12,000 documents generated in the first two years of its use.

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