Is Your Organization Prepared for an AI-Enabled Future?
Artificial intelligence (AI) is everywhere. It’s no longer science fiction. Every home and business has some type of AI designed to help simplify common tasks.
In the business sector, AI is used to streamline a wide variety of tasks that are traditionally done by humans. For example, chatbots are handling customer service inquiries, and AI-enabled systems are managing complex logistics. In the future, AI technologies are likely to become even more important to daily operations.
According to a 2017 report by MIT Sloan Management Review and BCG, 23% of businesses planned to incorporate AI into their daily processes, products, and services, while 69% of all respondents were expecting their competitors to begin using AI even if they didn’t.
Two years after the report, the use of AI continues to grow in the business sector. Businesses are using AI to improve logistics, automate marketing and customer support, and streamline a variety of processes.
Smaller organizations who are slower to adopt AI are likely to face an uphill battle against larger competitors. While, large businesses that implement the latest AI-enabled devices and solutions are likely to gain a competitive edge.
To remain competitive, business organizations may need to explore additional ways that AI can improve their daily operations. Here are 3 areas where AI enabled devices and software are making a difference for businesses, and some advice on how to evaluate and analyze these technologies before adoption.
Supply Chain Management
One of the most significant effects of AI is the improvement of supply chain management. Relying on AI to coordinate transportation and inventory management is an example of automating essential processes.
AI is currently used to help reduce operating costs and inventory. Current technologies include robotic sorting, which is much more cost-effective and productive compared to human sorting, and AI-powered visual inspections.
Computers are also able to detect patterns and performance issues that humans are likely to overlook. With AI-driven logistics, warehouse management becomes more efficient, which helps to reduce delivery times and errors.
Back Office Administration
Automating physical and digital tasks is another way that AI helps simplify normal operations. There are many available technologies that already handle common administrative and financial activities.
In the past couple of decades, computer programs have simplified payroll management and other HR responsibilities. Thanks to AI, these systems are becoming more complex and able to handle a larger portion of the back-office workload.
Some of the latest automation systems are designed to help reduce or eliminate the work being completed by human staff. With these changes, organizations may reduce their staffing needs or allow existing staff to focus more on critical tasks.
Besides automating logistics and administrative tasks, AI is likely to change the way that customers interact with businesses. With the latest technologies, businesses have the resources needed to improve engagement with customers.
When a customer contacts a customer service department, the first point of contact is typically an AI-enabled system. In some cases, these systems eliminate the need for human customer service representatives.
The AI can navigate the customer through a series of questions and then use the customer’s input to resolve the issue.
The latest technologies may even allow businesses to find ways to improve their offerings to customers. In a survey of 250 executives, 51% of the respondents said that improving products and services was their primary reason for using AI.
AI systems can evaluate large amounts of data to find areas for improvement. They may analyze customer reviews, sales figures, complaints, returns, and production costs. Using this data, they can offer innovative solutions for helping businesses develop better products and services.
Analyzing the Benefits of Implementing AI Systems
Businesses that want to remain competitive should begin looking at the implementation of AI-enabled systems. Analyzing the tasks and responsibilities of each department allows organizations to find areas where AI systems may simplify operations.
The biggest obstacle that keeps organizations from adopting these new technologies is a lack of information. Most people simply do not understand how the latest AI-enabled systems work. Many executives are unaware of the potential of AI and the tasks that these systems can already complete.
Businesses also need to assess their biggest problems. For example, an organization may need to increase production or reduce delivery errors. These are issues that the latest technologies can already address.
Discovering new technologies and then determining if they can help is not an efficient method. Organizations need to identify the problems that they want to solve and then look for the right technologies.
Start with the issues that provide the biggest drain on resources or that stand to offer the most value when resolved.
After assessing current issues, organizations can begin working with experts to determine which technologies are best suited for addressing their needs.
Adopting a Pilot Program to Evaluate New Technologies
Instead of immediately adopting a new technology or AI system, organizations should also consider using a pilot program. With a pilot program, changes can be implemented on a smaller scale, which results in a shorter timeframe and fewer risks.
For example, instead of replacing a customer service department with an automated chatbot, organizations could use a chatbot to handle a subset of customer calls.
These pilot programs give organizations a chance to see how the technology works. Staff can become more familiar with the AI-driven systems and prepare for a full rollout of the new technologies. This also makes it easier for businesses to analyze the return on investment that they get from implementing AI systems.
In the end, finding ways to add AI-enabled systems is essential for organizations who want to remain competitive. As with any major business development, those who refuse to adapt are the ones who are most likely to get left behind.
Contact your Outsource IT account manager to find out how we can help integrate and support AI enabled systems within your network.