The proliferation of the Internet has made it simple to open and run a business from anywhere, but one side effect of the tech boom has been increased competition.
Business owners and management teams have never faced so much pressure to deliver better results in less time – and that calls for some serious innovation.
One source of potential assistance is Artificial Intelligence, but can it really help you stay on top of your business’ bottom line?
The best science fiction books on the subject have painted a glamorous picture of AI that’s a little over the top.
Generally, AI comes to life in software improvements like process automation. A simple example would be managing overtime in a factory. An algorithm can be trained to recognize the patterns that usually indicate a need for overtime and adjust output accordingly to avoid extra cost. Additionally, it can also warn operators of imminent machine failures based on thousands of hours of data.
Whether it’s smart email filtering or machine learning around staff absenteeism, one of the biggest business benefits of AI is the reduced man hours associated with better processes.
Better Service Delivery
A machine that can learn a range of tasks, and then complete them, is of huge business value.
Many financial industries have explored chat bot or messaging functionality where software is trained to help consumers and learn how to solve their problems.
This innovation has helped banks reduce the strain on call centers, while giving consumers access to a service that suits them.
Without AI, this would not have been possible. But even though this added service capacity is rooted in technology, it is built on the inescapable fact that great service keeps customers coming back – and that return business is what can keep you on top of your bottom line.
Smarter Financial Decisions
One of the biggest problems that business owners face is balancing their expenditure with their income.
Rising salaries, increased staff quotas, and ever-shrinking profit margins mean it is more important than ever to make shrewd financial decisions.
Artificial Intelligence that uses data-mining software can help you make those decisions. Your financial adviser might be able to refer you to a few sources for affordable small business capital, but they can never process the sheer volume of information that an intelligent algorithm can.
We have not yet reached a point where financial advisers should be replaced, but you can empower them to make better choices by investing in AI that analyses endless streams of information to find the best financial products for your business.
Monitor Human Capital
With fewer businesses employing large teams, it’s important that business owners get the best from every one of their staff members to maintain a healthy bottom line.
The world of human capital and people analytics is focused on using data to understand which employees are giving their best, and which are not delivering.
With the backing of artificial intelligence, business leaders can see who is likely to let them down, and train (or replace) them accordingly.
While it seems brutal, this is a primary example of the way AI and new technologies can drive better business performance.
Develop Better Products
Of course, the easiest way to stay on top of your bottom line is to make sure that you bring in more profits, and this is arguably the best use of AI in the business space.
Almost every industry, product, or service can be improved by incorporating artificial intelligence.
Whether you use dynamic branching to make it easier for your customers to fill in an online form, or program a digital concierge to give a more accurate, broad range of responses to questions, Artificial Intelligence carries value and the power to enhance customer experiences.
Chances are your competitors are already trying to innovate with this kind of technology, and you need to keep up if you don’t want your business to get left behind.
Use New Tools
Any innovation can appear outlandish, but to progress in business means embracing new technologies. AI will be as disruptive and impactful as cell phones and the internet itself – so use it to keep yourself afloat, or you run the risk of battling to stay competitive in a rapidly-changing business environment.