Business leaders have been bullish on artificial intelligence for years. A 2017 survey from MIT Sloan and Boston Consulting Group found that 84% of business leaders believed AI would provide a competitive advantage to their companies.
Today’s AI tools are more advanced than ever, and savvy business leaders are integrating AI in business areas that are long due for improvement. Artificial intelligence and machine learning enable teams to work smarter, more efficiently, and with fewer costly business errors. If you’re seeking a way to help relieve your human employees from time-consuming, manual tasks, here are some smart ways to introduce AI into your business operations — and gain a competitive advantage in the process.
In the past, accounts payable has been a time-consuming and error-prone process for many finance teams. Some companies need up to 25 days to process a single invoice — risking late fees and frustrated vendors.
Adding artificial intelligence to your accounts payable process can simplify the entire business function. A tool like Glean AI enables teams to automate workflows, immediately see billing inaccuracies, and stay organized. Glean AI’s invoice automation can be configured to deliver the context that financial leaders need to approve invoices, so bills can be paid on time.
Likewise, Glean’s AI syncs invoices with your existing accounting tools and systems, such as QuickBooks and Xero. Eliminate manual data entry with integrations that automatically sync bills, bill payments, and prepaid amortizations to your GL, saving time on reconciliations and avoiding costly errors.
[Read more: The Benefits Of AP Automation]
Ultimately, companies can save 60% to 90% of the average cost per invoice by integrating AP automation into their business practices. Accounts payable AI in business can reduce the number of manual steps in the AP process – from invoice receipt all the way through to payment. Something that used to take up to 10 days can now be completed in minutes.
Marketing is one of the most common functions that use AI in business. There are dozens of applications for artificial intelligence in marketing: to optimize digital ad placement, assist with administrative tasks like scheduled posting, improve sales forecasts, and help augment marketing teams with tasks like responding to queries on social media. One of the most effective uses is through personalized marketing campaigns.
Artificial intelligence can personalize every phase of the customer journey to increase sales and brand loyalty. “AI can streamline the sales process by using extremely detailed data on individuals, including real-time geolocation data, to create highly personalized product or service offers,” reported Harvard Business Review. “Later in the journey, AI assists in upselling and cross-selling and can reduce the likelihood that customers will abandon their digital shopping carts.”
A personalized marketing experience drives results. A study from Epsilon found that 80% of consumers are more likely to buy a product when a brand offers personalized experiences. AI enables personalization at a scale that would be completely unattainable by a human marketing team.
Customer support is one of the primary factors that influences purchasing decisions. “In competitive industries, a company’s ability (or failure) to deliver a product or service in a timely, agreed-upon manner can make or break a customer relationship,” wrote HubSpot.
Today’s customers expect to receive five-star support on any channel, at any time, from any representative of the company. AI can help give your customers the answers they need about a product, policy, or service. Companies are integrating AI chatbots on their websites to help manage customer queries in a timely manner.
“Many of the questions that are being asked are highly repetitive, and conversational bots can be quickly trained to resolve these questions accurately, reducing cost and improving the customer experience,” said Ruchi Goyal, managing director at Accenture.
Chatbots and other AI self-service options can help support teams avoid spending time on repetitive queries, and instead focus on resolving more complicated issues. An AI bot can even route a customer’s request to the right team, reducing time to resolution and boosting customer satisfaction. Some estimates believe that AI in business can reduce customer support costs by as much as 30%.
AI plays a major role in spend visibility and cost optimization, enabling finance leaders to make better budgeting and spending decisions. Artificial intelligence tools can centralize accounts payable into one central platform to help businesses cut overall annual expenditures by 5% to 10%. By centralizing vendor data, teams can align quickly on budgets and ensure you’re not spending more money on vendors than is necessary.
Tools like Glean AI help accounting teams make quick financial decisions using real-time data. Dive into specific line items, like compensation, to understand how to optimize your spending. Glean AI can provide detailed monthly, annual, month-on-month, or quarterly analyses and trends for your specific payments. And, Glean AI's proprietary benchmarking data empowers finance and procurement leaders to increase cost optimization.
[Read more: Use Glean AI to analyze and track compensation]
Finally, AI can help you maintain cybersecurity across your business. The increased use of cloud programs to enable remote work means that AI must be equipped to protect your business and customer data. Glean AI, for instance, is a security-first machine learning platform.
Companies like IBM and Nightfall are working to integrate AI in business areas that need extra protection. AI and machine learning has the advantage of being able to quickly and accurately scan files, devices, and cloud programs to spot suspicious activity. “AI analyzes relationships between threats like malicious files, suspicious IP addresses or insiders in seconds or minutes,” wrote IBM. “AI improves its knowledge to ‘understand’ cybersecurity threats and cyber risk by consuming billions of data artifacts.”
When machine learning is used to scan for security threats, it takes the burden off IT and security teams to constantly monitor and manually look for policy violations. Teams are able to reduce the time spent tagging data manually, helping avoid alert fatigue.
Ultimately, AI in business is used to help teams work smarter, more productively, and with fewer errors. As the adoption of AI across business practices grows, we expect more companies will hone their competitive advantage to keep their data secure, customers satisfied, and business functions running smoothly.
To learn more about artificial intelligence in business and Glean AI, request a demo, today.