Technology has come a long way in the past two decades, and currently, the most successful businesses are those that stay ahead of even that curve. With virtually everything taking place in the digital realm today, it only makes sense to create systems and processes that leverage the most cutting-edge innovations available.
Right now, automation and artificial intelligence represent the forefront of technological development. These breakthroughs offer companies more effective, faster solutions to a variety of persistent problems that can stifle growth or limit the scope of a company’s reach.
Read on to discover how AI is reshaping the way companies operate and what kind of advantages automation can provide business leaders.
The Rise of AI and How It’s Changing the Business Landscape
When artificial intelligence was first developed, it was fairly unsophisticated. The first serious breakthrough came in the 1950s, when an IBM electrical engineer named Arthur Samuel created a basic checkers program.1 By 1997, AI technology had progressed to such an extent that IBM managed to create Deep Blue, an AI chess program capable of beating human players.2
In the years since Deep Blue, artificial intelligence gradually began to expand beyond the application of gaming into new territories. Businesses around the world immediately began to recognize the possibilities of this technology, automating processes once done manually and aggregating the vast amounts of data suddenly made readily available by the creation of the Internet.
Now, AI can be seen in almost every aspect of modern life. From self-driving cars to automated retrieval robots in warehouse distribution centers, artificial intelligence has become the rule and not the exception. For businesses, AI has proven to be a game changer in areas like big data analytics, creating personalized shopping experiences and improving customer service support. Artificial intelligence algorithms also offer numerous applications for automating accounting, payroll, and HR processes. As AI continues to improve the efficiency of business operations across the board, those who are stuck in the past may struggle to compete in the years ahead.
Benefits of Automating Various Aspects of your Business
The overarching purpose of AI is to perform tasks instead of a human operator. The numerous advantages of artificial intelligence in business are well worth exploring, especially for companies that are a little behind the times.
Here are the most important benefits of automating business processes with the help of AI:
Improved Data Security
Businesses today rely heavily on integrated networks of mobile devices and PCs that send or receive massive amounts of sensitive data in a given work day. As these systems grow, the potential for privacy breaches, hacking attempts, or malware attacks will also increase.
With AI-assisted automated processes, it’s much easier to rapidly identify and respond to digital security threats. Best of all, the machine learning component of artificial intelligence means that semi-autonomous data security tools can learn from past experiences to prioritize certain threats and contact the appropriate IT response team faster than ever.
Greater Efficiency and Productivity
Automation serves to make existing workflows more efficient by reducing the need for human oversight, allowing leaders to allocate labor resources to other areas of their business. At the same time, today’s sophisticated automation tools can handle a large number of tasks at once with a high level of reliability that’s impossible for humans to emulate. For example, inventory management automation can streamline order processing by automatically generating invoices to suppliers for certain goods while a financial company may use AI to automate loan origination screening.
The labor that automation saves translates directly to lower overhead costs. With the help of automated tools and software platforms, companies can reduce overtime, eliminate redundancy, and minimize costly disruptions to operations caused by human error. In addition, employees can rely on automation to take care of repetitive tasks, enjoying a greater work experience, which helps to reduce turnover rates. Higher employee retention translates to lower costs associated with recruiting, vetting, onboarding, and training new workers.
Automation reduces administrative and operational waste caused by inefficiencies in the workplace. In healthcare environments, for instance, AI-powered management systems can streamline the processing of claims or automate billing management tasks so valuable human resources can be allocated elsewhere. For a shipping company, automation can improve accuracy and speed, reducing issues like damage, overstock, or backlogged fulfillment cycles.
Easier to Scale Up
As businesses start to expand the scope of their operations, workflows immediately become much more complex and challenging to manage. Process automation software and AI-powered tools, though, are capable of aggregating vast amounts of information like vendor invoices or pending customer orders so it’s easier to keep things organized. As production ramps up along with the payroll, automation will keep pace, ensuring that operational or administrative tasks don’t start to bog down growth.
More Consistent Process Management
Human beings tend to make mistakes, but in business, missing a few details can add up to a lot of lost revenue. With automated systems, precise algorithms govern when, how, and why tasks are performed in a persistently reliable pattern. Fewer errors in processes mean higher output, fewer workflow disruptions, and larger profit margins for the company.
In businesses that rely on a high level of accuracy across an enormous volume of products or services transacted daily, automation will minimize hang-ups and bottlenecks caused by human error that can undermine operational efficiency. An e-commerce company, for example, can use AI to automatically verify customer addresses before shipment or provide real-time delivery updates directly to the customer’s email.
For insurance companies and financial startups, AI-managed systems can reduce high-impact recordkeeping mistakes by minimizing or even replacing the need for manual data entry. Fewer typos, missing digits, or inaccuracies mean more consistent customer service and higher profit margins.
How AI is Evolving to Work Better for Businesses
The scope and breadth of what artificial intelligence can do are constantly expanding into new territories. Not only are AI-powered systems getting smarter and more dynamic: They’re also becoming increasingly autonomous as technology improves. For businesses, the seemingly innumerable applications of AI offers almost limitless possibilities for maximizing productivity, lowering costs, and reducing the workload of employees. Here are just some of the most recent developments in AI that can give any business a competitive edge:
Developments in Machine Learning and Deep Learning
With recent discoveries in machine learning and deep learning, artificial intelligence is starting to resemble human beings more every day. Some of the most advanced AI systems can be seen today in self-driving vehicles that can rapidly examine the environment and make decisions based on road conditions or surrounding traffic. In business applications, this same technology can be used to capture important data from documents or images to speed up workflow processes in areas like HR, finance, or analytics.
In-Depth Data Analysis
AI’s vast computational capacity makes it relatively easy to collect, sort, and analyze enormous amounts of data in a fraction of the time. The sophisticated algorithms in today’s AI systems can identify patterns, generate warnings about priority events, and provide accurate forecasts regarding probable outcomes. Businesses can use artificial intelligence to create growth projections for the company or quickly narrow down the source of complex problems before they create road bumps in operations.
Improved CRM Systems
Artificial intelligence can improve the functionality of a company’s customer relationship management system in several ways. For one thing, an AI-powered CRM can gain meaningful insights from customer interactions by analyzing speech patterns or text blocks for reoccurring themes and topics of interest. This data can then be used to create targeted ad campaigns or more personalized customer service based on the behaviors and motivations of certain cohorts.
AI can also be deployed early in the lead cultivation process through SMS messaging, social media, or email to determine which leads are most likely to convert so companies can prioritize allocating human resources to the most qualified leads available.
Chatbots have become increasingly commonplace as businesses everywhere seek new ways to incorporate AI into their existing processes. These automated assistants can help to answer frequently asked questions for customers, provide valuable knowledge base resources, or schedule follow-ups with a human associate.
For example, a chatbot can ask “What kind of problems are you experiencing today?” The customer’s answer can then quickly be compared to an archive of previous interactions to determine the best course of action to follow. In this way, chatbots can expedite resolutions to customer queries while minimizing employee workloads until a lead is ready to convert or needs help with a more complex situation.
At Resourcing Edge, we provide businesses with the cutting-edge digital tools and resources they need to succeed. Our re360 platform makes it easy to manage payrolls, simplify reporting, track PTO, or streamline invoice tracking. Our team can also take care of handling all your HR needs, including EEOC claims management, recruiting, and ongoing training. Additional services offered by Resourcing Edge include comprehensive benefits administration and risk management advisement.
When you’re ready to learn more about all the ways Resourcing Edge can help your business succeed, contact us to get started.