What can you gain by optimizing your critical processes with AI?
Ask any entrepreneur what the letters AI stand for, and most people can tell you by now. AI stands for Artificial Intelligence, but you probably knew that already 😉. Then ask the same entrepreneur how this technique can be used within an organization and, particularly within his/her organization, and the answer will often remain indebted to you. Why is that? Research shows that most entrepreneurs recognize the usefulness of AI in the future of business and competition. There is a lot of attention paid to it in the media. The institutes and collaborations between companies and universities that aim to promote AI within the (Dutch) business community are mushrooming. Nevertheless, for many entrepreneurs, the useful application of AI within their own company proves to be something far away. Preconceptions regarding the implementation of AI within the company are still there: AI is difficult and complicated, you need knowledge that is hard to find, if it is complicated, it will also be costly, or people have no idea what the possibilities are with AI within their organization because AI are robots, aren’t they?
AI are robots, aren’t they?
To start with this last assumption: AI are not just robots. Yes, they are the ones that most appeal to man’s imagination. In the eyes of humans, something that is artificially intelligent must look like a human being. However, AI is much more than a robot and certainly does not have to look like one. Chatbots, by now well known, is AI. Sensors in your car that detect when your vehicle needs a turn or a tire needs to be replaced are AI. Product recommendations in your mailbox by your favourite webshops are AI. So far, very concrete examples of AI. But AI can also optimize internal business processes (also called steering processes or critical processes). And no, automating these processes is not the same as making these processes data-driven using AI!
Business processes are essential building blocks within a business strategy: purchasing, sales, inventory management, order and contract administration, financial administration, sales & marketing, HR, logistics, quality control, product development, maintenance, and service. One by one, they are indispensable. An organization’s competitiveness and success are partly determined by transforming these so-called vital processes into distinctive qualities. Qualities that can grow into critical success factors are decisive for its ultimate (future) success and business model.
Data-driven process optimization makes the difference in global competition
Because your company, your customers and suppliers, and the world around us are constantly changing, you will always have to keep a critical eye on whether your processes are still optimally geared to the changes that are taking place. Using data and the right AI tools, models can be built to quickly detect patterns in the increasing amounts and complexity of data that companies have at their disposal. To remain competitive, processes need to be continuously re-evaluated and adjusted. Using AI, data can be quickly analyzed, validated, and used to make realistic predictions and recommendations, intervene proactively in operational control processes and implement innovations rapidly, sometimes even in realtime. Data-driven process optimization will make a big difference in global competition.
Fine-tune and redefine your business with the help of AI
The data you store on your business processes will contain the decisions your company has made. These decisions will be partly based on your business rules and based on the knowledge and expertise of your staff. AI allows you to create models based on the data and consequently capture the patterns in decision making that are typical for your organization. These models can subsequently be used to, for instance, support your staff in future decision making. For example, by letting them know something like: ‘similar data points were classified as …’. In this way, you can increase the speed and accuracy with which your team can process the data; allowing you to be more scalable. You can also take it a step further and automate the decisions on the obvious data points and leave the more difficult cases to be looked at by your team. This gives them more time per case and should increase their accuracy and allow you to scale. In the end, you can even go all the way and fully automate decision-making, so decisions can be made in no time, which would previously have taken hours or days.
All of these examples allow you to do a few obvious things: be more scalable, process data faster, make fewer mistakes. What might be less obvious is that this also allows you to redefine your business. The larger scale or the immediate, automated decision making can allow you to offer a different service. For instance, if a quality check would generally be dependent on manual labour that took several minutes per data point, you would not consider asking people to send in their data and see what happens. But if now those checks are automated and instantaneous you can. This might mean you can open up new markets and get a lot more customers.
The ever-increasing complexity and amounts of data from all the organizations’ different processes make it increasingly difficult to do this manually or with current conventional analysis tools. The application possibilities with AI can be essential in this respect by linking data with each other and quickly and objectively making analyses based on which targeted process improvements can then be implemented.
Advantages of optimizing your business processes with AI
Efficient and well-designed business processes deliver a lot and enable you to take advantage of opportunities you may not have seen before. Optimizing business processes with the help of AI fits very well within Scrum, Agile management, and data-driven working.
In practice, business processes in a data-driven organization will increasingly become a bundle of human and artificial intelligence, aimed at optimizing the chain to deliver the right services and goods at the right time to the right person pre-specified terms and conditions.
Streamlined and optimized business processes offer significant advantages:
- Business processes become more predictable and can be managed better and, above all, more effectively – AI can even be used to make adjustments in realtime.
- The quality of the result is improved, and the throughput speed can be reduced.
- Customer satisfaction becomes higher as a result of faster action and greater flexibility in dealing with customer requirements.
- Redundant steps within a process can be eliminated, so there is less waste of materials, resources, and less rework by lean management.
- In an orderly, well-organized working environment, innovation, new ideas, and continuous improvement are stimulated; this ensures a pleasant working atmosphere and greater employee satisfaction.
- Your product/service/organization’s reliability increases; customers, investors, banks, governments love predictable organizations with predictable results. This results in a good name, brand loyalty, and a higher percentage of repeated purchases.
Datamaister as a strategic and committed partner in AI
The continuous process of improving work processes and optimizing business processes is necessary because it intervenes in the organization’s critical result areas and is therefore of enormous importance to its result and success, not only now but also in the near future. The specialists of Datamaister are happy to help you transform your organization into a data-driven organization. An organization that can quickly and efficiently respond to changes that affect your business processes. Together with you, we like to look at how we can make your organization lean and, therefore, also more future proof with the help of AI: through workshops and in-house training sessions and brainstorming and sounding board sessions. And suppose we have defined a problem within your organization that can be solved using AI. In that case, we look at the technical feasibility of the solution and the possibility of implementation within the current ICT environment. We can also design specific and custom-made software for you. Please feel free to contact us for an informal and informative consultation.