Artificial intelligence often captures news headlines and our attention for its flashy, wow-factor applications. But it's not all self-driving cars and burger-flipping robots (seriously)—companies today can tap into machine learning technology to elevate the way they do business.
"When people think of AI, they think about complicated computer systems running in the background, but the reality is, it can be used in a lot of different technological and non-technological ways," says Joe Hinrichs, Bailiwick's vice president of IT and product development. "Companies are taking advantage of AI in non-traditional ways."
Whether it's automating tasks, bolstering the workforce or meeting sustainability goals, there's no denying that AI has a seat at the table (or, in today's work-from-home culture, in the Zoom meeting). In IBM's "2022 Global AI Adoption Index," which surveyed 7,500 business decision-makers from around the world, 35 percent of companies reported using AI in their business, and an additional 42 percent are exploring AI—up four points from 2021.
Here, we outline six ways AI is changing the way we do business in 2023 and beyond.
1. Automate repetitive tasks. A lot of the buzz around AI has been focused on the tasks humans can delegate to machines, such as responding to customer service requests with chatbots, managing inventory and serving retail customers at self-checkout stations. "As AI takes care of repeatable, routine tasks, that will open up opportunities for people to focus on work that requires a higher level of skill," says Hinrichs.
2. Address labor challenges. In the wake of the COVID pandemic, more than 50 million workers quit their jobs in 2022 in pursuit of work-life balance, flexibility and a positive company culture, so it's no surprise that many industries are lacking an adequate number of employees today.
AI can be implemented to bridge that gap of labor and skills shortages, a strategy one in four companies is pursuing, according to the "Global AI Adoption Index." "Companies are also increasingly looking to AI to help them improve their recruiting and retention policies, seek out more diverse workforces, and empower workers with better skills and training," the report states.
3. Drive focus. Using AI to comb through data, companies are able to optimize operations, improve efficiency and make decisions with confidence. "AI is providing insight into what's important in your business," says Jimmy Hinshaw, a retail technology and automation solutions expert for Bailiwick. "You can take a large data set and apply AI—whether it's text analysis or video analysis—to really find out what's moving the needle, what your customers are excited about seeing, what they are engaging with and how long they are engaged. It's helping businesses understand what's driving their business at the end of the day."
4. Improve the customer experience. Consumers today have more choices than ever before, so it's imperative to give them a great experience with your company, so they keep coming back. AI can be deployed to foster frictionless interactions, like chatbots that can instantly answer questions, drive-through menu boards that offer personalized suggestions, and self-checkout lanes that get customers in and out of your store faster.
The "Global AI Adoption Index" found that 40 percent of larger companies are using AI to improve customer service agent productivity, create a more personalized experience for customers and employees, and streamline how customers and employees find information and resolve frequently asked questions.
"Today's buyer demands a frictionless experience. AI models can help with inventory on hand, as well as staffing on hand to help answer questions, quickly. Those are just two additional ways AI can enhance the customer experience and promote a sale," says Bobbie Cummins, Bailiwick's director of marketing and communications.
5. Meet sustainability goals. With new environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting rules for corporations announced by the European Union earlier this year (and similar rules being debated in the U.S.), sustainability initiatives should be top of mind for executives. "Of those companies already using AI today, 64 percent are currently applying AI to accelerate their ESG initiatives, and another 17 percent have plans to do so," says the "Global AI Adoption Index." This includes using AI to drive more efficient business processes and daily operations, provide more accurate and verifiable data on environmental performance factors for reporting purposes, and increase supply chain transparency toward more responsible sourcing and labor practices.
6. Generate new business. If you've been contemplating a new product or service offering for your company—maybe it's a subscription service or an educational course—but feel like you don't have the time or resources, consider tapping AI to meet your growth goals. According to the "Global AI Adoption Index," 25 percent of companies are using AI to identify new revenue streams, or cross-sell or upsell opportunities.
Wondering how AI can change the way you do business? It all starts with a curious conversation. The Bailiwick team will talk to you about what's challenging you, what you wish you had, what you wish you didn't have to do anymore, what you want to know so that you can do something different, and more. From there we will guide you on how Bailiwick's Integrated Intelligence solution could help you.
If you're interested in learning more about Bailiwick Integrated Intelligence, contact us.