Incorporating AI into Business Models: A Comprehensive Guide for Presidents and General Managers

by | Jul 14, 2023 | AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as one of the most transformative forces in today’s business world. Its adoption is not just a trend; it is rapidly becoming a business imperative that every President or General Manager must understand and embrace. This article will guide you on incorporating AI into your business model, building AI literacy within your company, leveraging AI applications to drive your business forward, identifying tasks that can be automated, and training your employees to use these applications.

Incorporating AI into Business Models

Understanding AI and Its Potential

Artificial Intelligence refers to the ability of machines or software to mimic human processes, learn from experience, and perform tasks that typically require human intelligence. AI includes subfields like machine learning, where algorithms learn from data, and natural language processing, enabling machines to understand and respond.

The potential of AI in businesses is massive. According to a report by McKinsey, AI could potentially deliver additional global economic activity of around $13 trillion by 2030. AI can enhance efficiencies, reduce operational costs, improve customer experiences, enable innovation, and create new revenue streams.

Example: Mizuho Financial Group has embraced AI technology to enhance its customer service and streamline its operations. It has developed an AI chatbot that handles customer inquiries 24/7, thereby increasing the efficiency of its customer service. The company deploys AI and machine learning for risk management, analyzing vast data to identify threats and make informed decisions. These AI innovations enhance Mizuho’s service efficiency and strengthen risk resilience, showcasing AI’s broad potential in Japan’s banking industry.

Building AI Literacy

Building AI literacy within an organization is essential. Managers need to understand what AI is, its potential and limitations, and its ethical implications. A deep AI understanding aids managers in identifying adoption opportunities and effectively communicating benefits to employees, stakeholders, and customers.

Example: IBM pioneers AI education via its AI Skills Academy, enlightening employees on AI concepts and practical applications in their roles.

Incorporating AI Applications to Drive Business Forward

AI can enhance business operations, from customer service to supply chain management.

Customer Service

AI technology has brought about significant transformation in the customer service sector. One notable innovation is the use of AI-powered chatbots. These virtual assistants manage routine queries, answering FAQs, aiding in bookings, and offering updates on order status efficiently. They can operate 24/7, giving immediate responses to customer queries, thereby increasing the availability and speed of customer service. This enhances customer experience with swift and efficient service, reducing the load on customer service infrastructure, thus boosting operational efficiency.

With AI chatbots handling routine inquiries, customer service representatives are freed up to focus on more complex tasks. These could include handling escalated issues, providing personalized customer care, or addressing problems that require human empathy and nuanced understanding. This ensures that customer service agents are utilized where they can add the most value – dealing with complex scenarios requiring human intervention and decision-making. As a result, it ensures efficient problem resolution, heightened customer satisfaction, and enables businesses to provide personalized and empathetic service experiences. By embracing AI-powered tools in customer service, companies can balance efficiency and personalized human touch, optimizing their customer service efforts.

Example: Sephora, a cosmetics company, uses a chatbot named “Kik,” which offers makeup tutorials and product recommendations, effectively enhancing customer service.

Supply Chain Management

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as a powerful tool in revolutionizing supply chain management by enhancing efficiency across its many facets. In demand forecasting, AI algorithms analyze extensive data to predict consumer demand with remarkable accuracy, a significant enhancement in efficiency. Considering seasonal trends, market conditions, and past sales data, these algorithms enable businesses to predict customer needs and adjust production schedules. This level of forecasting precision reduces the risk of overproduction or underproduction, thus saving costs and enhancing customer satisfaction.

Moreover, AI can be pivotal in inventory management and logistics optimization. In inventory management, AI systems continuously monitor stock levels, automatically reordering products to reduce the risk of stockouts or overstocking. Meanwhile, AI can optimize delivery routes in logistics, considering various factors such as traffic, weather conditions, and delivery priorities. This can lead to faster delivery times, lower fuel consumption, and cost savings. AI offers real-time tracking and predictive analytics for potential supply chain disruptions, providing solutions before problems arise. Integrating AI into supply chain management enables businesses to achieve a responsive, efficient, and resilient supply chain, gaining competitive advantages.

Example: Amazon uses AI to predict demand, manage inventory, and optimize delivery routes, reducing operational costs and improving customer satisfaction.

Warehouse Manager using AI

Sales and Marketing

Artificial intelligence has revolutionized the sales and marketing landscape, offering an unprecedented ability to analyze and understand customer behavior. Through sophisticated machine learning algorithms, AI can sift through vast customer data to extract actionable insights. This could be anything from purchasing habits to preferred interaction channels, which can be used to tailor marketing strategies to each customer’s needs and preferences. By harnessing AI’s data processing prowess, companies can predict buying trends and craft personalized marketing campaigns that target customers more effectively. This level of personalization can significantly improve conversion rates, as customers are more likely to respond to marketing material that resonates with their unique needs and interests.

Beyond boosting conversion rates, AI-driven personalization can also enhance customer loyalty. In today’s highly competitive business environment, customer retention is just as necessary, if not more so, as acquiring new customers. By providing personalized experiences, companies show their customers that they value and understand them, fostering a deeper emotional connection. AI can enable this by continuously learning from each interaction, refining its understanding of the customer’s preferences, and using this information to deliver increasingly personalized and relevant experiences. Over time, this can lead to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty, providing a significant competitive edge in the marketplace.

Example: Netflix uses AI to personalize movie and show recommendations, enhancing user engagement and customer retention.

Identifying Tasks for Automation

Successfully leveraging AI in a business setting involves a crucial initial step: pinpointing tasks suitable for automation. Such tasks are often characterized by their repetitive, routine nature that does not necessitate the unique qualities of human judgment or creativity. These tasks can range from data entry and processing to certain aspects of customer service, such as automated responses to frequently asked questions. By automating these types of tasks, businesses can optimize their workflow and reduce the potential for human error. This streamlining process is a fundamental aspect of the digital transformation journey that many companies are embarking on in their pursuit of increased efficiency and competitiveness.

In addition to driving efficiency, automating routine tasks can positively impact the workforce. When AI takes over mundane responsibilities, employees are left with more time and energy to engage in strategic thinking and creative problem-solving — the types of tasks where humans excel and AI falls short. This not only boosts overall productivity but also has the potential to improve job satisfaction. Employees who spend less time on rote work and more time on engaging, thought-provoking tasks are likely to feel more fulfilled and valued in their roles. By identifying tasks for automation, organizations are not just making a technological shift but also cultivating a more innovative and satisfied workforce.

Example: Automating data entry tasks is one of the most common applications of AI. For example, JPMorgan Chase uses an AI program named “COIN” to review legal documents and extract relevant data, a process that used to take thousands of hours of human work.

Line of server cabinets maintaining network in data center

Network equipment, disk arrays and server racks supporting storage network in data center

Training Employees to Use AI Applications

Incorporating AI technologies into a business framework is a multifaceted task requiring considerable investment in employee training. This training should predominantly target the effective usage of AI applications and tools in the business’s day-to-day operations. Employees must be proficient in using these technologies to drive productivity and efficiency in their specific roles. It is crucial to equip staff with a deep understanding of how to interact with these systems, ensuring they can leverage the full potential of AI to optimize their tasks and contribute to the organization’s objectives.

Furthermore, the training must extend beyond the realm of technical skills. Educating employees about the ethical considerations surrounding AI use and the vital importance of data privacy is equally important. In an era where data breaches and ethical mishaps can have severe consequences, these aspects of AI usage cannot be underestimated. Providing comprehensive guidance on responsible AI practices will help foster an accountability and compliance environment. By balancing technical instruction with ethical awareness, organizations can ensure that employees are proficient in AI tools and use them in a manner that aligns with the company’s values and regulatory standards.

Example: Accenture provides its employees with extensive training on AI and other emerging technologies through its ‘Technology Quotient’ program.

Incorporating AI into business models presents vast opportunities for businesses to enhance their efficiency, innovate, and gain a competitive edge. However, successful AI adoption requires a comprehensive understanding of AI, strategic planning, employee training, and continuous learning and adaptation. As a President or General Manager, embracing AI can transform your organization and position it for success in the digital age.

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