5 Ways to Grow Your Business Using AI

AI is now accessible to businesses of every size in a way it never has been in the past. This opens the door to exciting opportunities, but it also invites difficult questions. What exactly is AI? Is it different from automation? And how can it be used to help out around the store at your average mom-and-pop shop?

When used properly, AI and automation can be implemented together to provide your business with major benefits regardless of its size. That’s why it’s used in every industry, from customer service to engineering.  

In this article, we highlight five of the many ways you can use AI and automation to help your business grow. 

Supply Chain Management

Depending on your industry, you may not have a direct role in how you interact with the supply chain. Often, and as was made abundantly clear during the height of Covid, this is a consideration left largely in the hands of the powers that be. 

Yet supply chain managers do use AI in a way that has a significant influence on how products wind up in your business, or on store shelves. 

Scenario: There is a factory in Mexico that produces eighty percent of North America’s hydraulic lift systems. Eighty percent? Doesn’t that sound outlandish?

Unfortunately, it does not. Keep in mind that the formula shortage of 2022 was largely a product of one large factory getting shut down. 

Anyway, this factory is regrettably located within a community that is often adversely impacted by hurricane season. A shutdown could result in major supply chain issues. Not only will the people who rely on hydraulic-related products be impacted, but so will everyone who relies on the people who rely on hydraulics. 

The butterfly effect, right? What happens to this one factory in Mexico has major ramifications that stretch well beyond what can be easily imagined. 

AI can make probability forecasts, helping supply chain managers anticipate the probability of delays from this factory while simultaneously making it easier for them to locate alternative product sources. 

Better Customer Service

If you’ve ever interacted with a business online (and you have!) you’ve encountered the chatbot. A little text box that pops up and asks if you have any questions. We all know that the chatbot isn’t quite as precise as real people usually are, but what it lacks in perfection it more than makes up for in speed. 

Type your question in, get results in seconds. No need to spend an hour on the phone waiting for customer service to get around to your call. Almost three-quarters of customers prefer to at least have a self-service option online. The AI-powered chatbot makes it possible. 

It’s also worth noting that AI chatbots make life easier for your customer service department as well. Now they have more time to spend on the tougher calls because they aren’t bogged down by small stuff. 

Improved Cybersecurity

AI improves cybersecurity by analyzing the likelihood of threats and constantly scanning your system and the files it accesses for evidence of intrusion. Businesses are the constant target of cyber criminals. We hear often about how this unfolds at a large scale. Companies like Yahoo and Marriott have had very public data breach occurrences. 

However, you don’t have to be on the Fortune 500 list to find yourself in the crosshairs of a cyber-criminal. AI-powered cyber security makes it safer for everyone to do business in the modern age. 

Improve Expenses

AI, particularly when coupled with Internet of Things technology can help you optimize your workplace efficiency. IoT-infused smart devices help with overhead costs by reducing energy consumption on some of your largest appliances. 

Simple devices like IoT-infused lights or thermostats use algorithms and AI to learn your usage habits and automatically adjust to click on only when they are needed. This saves you tons of money in the long run while keeping you comfortable at the same time. 

Overall Efficiency Improvements

What all AI adaptation efforts generate is higher levels of efficiency. Keep in mind that automation is designed to automatically take care of work that repeats in a predictable pattern. The AI component of automation allows for learning and adaptation, but at its core, both technological developments are essentially there to eliminate busy work. 

While AI and automation take care of smaller tasks, you have more time to dedicate to big-picture stuff like product development or brand engagement. For growing businesses, it's an excellent way to optimize operations and move toward scalability. 

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