Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the utilization of machines to perform problem solving and data analysis to solve problems in a similar, but hopefully less biased way than humans do. This technology has the capability of providing amazing results if utilized right, but also has some risks involved. Let’s look at some of the ways AI can help your business.
Before I begin, I would like to disclose that none of the AI providers mentioned here have been tested by either Maryland Computer Service or myself. They are simply to give examples of the capabilities that AI has in today’s business world.
- Comparing estimates to previously completed projects.
- Automating responses to previously asked questions.
- Automating orders based on previous sizes and fulfillment of orders.
Comparing estimates to previously complete projects can have great benefits for companies. One of the tenants of great project management is analyzing the project after it is over for lessons learned, but in today’s society that is probably something we do informally. With artificial intelligence, a machine can check our estimates and verify that previous similar estimates have resulted in profitable projects that met their deadlines. If it finds that we are under bidding, it can recommend a better estimate and timeline based on what has occurred in the field on previous jobs. For instance, SEER by Galorath does something similar to what I am describing
The most common use of AI is utilizing it on social media and website for purposes of answering client’s questions. This can be a tremendous time saver for companies. Many companies get asked the same questions over and over again. Instead of taking the time for a person to answer them, you can use a chatbot, such as Instabot or the built-in one in Facebook messenger. These basically process a person’s question and use a database of answers to give it the best answer and if the AI can’t answer it will let them know that you will get back with them soon.
Another thing AI can do to simplify our live is automate the ordering process. As business owners, we tend to try to reduce our cash outflows by doing things like minimizing space and carrying the least stock possible. AI can help us manage inventory by tracking how many we tend to sell per day, how often we order, and how long it takes to get the items back on the shelf.
For instance, lets say you want to keep 25 5 mfd capacitors on your shelves to last you a week and you have to order them on Wednesday to be delivered Monday. On Wednesday you have 10 let do you order 15, 25, or somewhere in between? Well you are probably going to sell more in the next few days so you obviously want to buy more, but you can either guess or AI can browse your previous uses between Thursday and Sunday and give a more exact estimate then send in the order.
The previous example would work best if your shelves can detect weight, so you don’t have to count anything. But can be done through other means that require more man power. This example is even better with e-commerce sites that use different vendors that take different amounts of time to manufacture and don’t have set delivery schedules.
Utilizing these technologies require some forethought, combined with technical expertise of the field they will be utilized in, and information technology expertise. When utilizing this technology, it is best to develop a game plan as to what you are trying to accomplish, what functionality you want, and what limitations you want to place on how this is accomplished. You should then work with a third-party information technology provider that understands the technical terms of how the software works.
Maryland Computer Service can assist you with software integration which may include some forms of artificial intelligence, but we do not focus on website’s so at times we may have to utilize subcontractors or refer the work out depending on what the objectives are with artificial intelligence. We serve the Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland area. You can learn more about our services at https://marylandcomputerservice.com/it-support/. If you want more information on a specific question or idea you have, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 301-202-6521 or [email protected].
We are always happy to assist you in finding the solution that works best for you. Don’t forget to check out our next blog discussing the best time to adopt new technology. It will give you some helpful advice on when the best time is to invest in new technology for your business and why different types of technology tend to go up or down in price as time goes on.