SMEs today are hesitant to adopt new and emerging technologies such as AI and data science due to lack of skills. If we observe closely technological advancement and digital innovation in the last few years have been key factors in defining the success of businesses. One of the reasons that make them hesitant is the myth that AI implementation isn’t suitable for small companies due to the lack of resources and adequate funds to deploy AI-powered tools.
What and How AI & Data Science can be implemented by SMEs?
In today’s dynamic business culture, you don’t necessarily have to be a big company to reap the concomitant benefits of technologies such as AI. Instead, AI tools, if used optimally, can completely revolutionise the SME space allowing small business owners and entrepreneurs create highly successful operations across business functions including sales, customer service, marketing, and product development.
Here we are going to discuss some common problems faced by small businesses and how AI tools can be used at the product development stage to tackle them effectively.
Are you struggling to find your product-market fit?
Creating the right product-fit for the market is one of the crucial goals of small businesses. Whether it is determining the target customer set, identifying customer needs, defining the value proposition, or specifying, creating, and testing the product with customers, AI can bring transformational results through AI specialities such as audience segmentation and natural language processing.
Today there is hardly any industry which has not been impacted by AI. Data Analytics can be implemented almost anywhere, we have here touched in a few areas where AI applications can produce significant results.
One sector that has been completely revolutionised by AI is agriculture. Starting from high-quality sensors that help farmers to keep track of essential parameters such as moisture, soil temperature, and identifying the best time for harvesting to various tools used to enhance crop yields, AI is changing the way agricultural sector has performed traditionally.
One excellent example is Aquazen, a Bosch smart irrigation controller that can be used for precision agriculture and smart irrigation solutions. It is an IoT-enabled, cross-platform system which is accessible through both, web and mobile applications. There are other products such as SmartFarm which employ CropIn Technology to digitalise various aspects of farming that companies can look at to increase efficiency.
One of the big struggles of the manufacturing sector is in logistics and supply chain management. AI with its robust tools can be a game changer for manufacturing offering hope for better resource utilisation and excellent value chain management. Some of the ways AI can be instrumental to bring about a change in the manufacturing sector include:
-Easy tracking of supplies to ensure smooth functioning using different software.
-Forecasting the demand for a particular product for better management of logistics.
Using advanced AI software, health providers can easily assess symptoms and diagnose diseases to offer the right treatment to the patients. It can also be used to support patients by designing real-time health intervention programs to completely reshape the health sector and to analyse visual medical data to assist diagnosis using AI tools such as SigTuple’s smart screening solutions.
When it comes to the financial sector, AI and machine learning technology can be deployed to combat some of the biggest challenges financial systems face including fraud detection, processing transactions etc. These AI techniques can help in creating strong systems and can also be used for:
-Helping financial institutions understand credit default patterns of customers and take corrective actions accordingly.
-The excellent features of AI such as pattern recognition can be used to derive valuable insight that can help reduce the NPAs of banks.
Is marketing the pain point for your small business?
Small businesses can now put their marketing worries to rest using AI technology that can automate and enhance marketing at scale.
Whether it is tools such as FirstHive to create unique customer identities based on predictive analytics for better lead management or Morph which uses a chatbot to create personalised conversations for marketing and smartly look up data in the systems to affect increasingly realistic and accurate verbal exchanges with the customer, AI is completely revolutionising the marketing space for small businesses.
There are various other AI solutions which can be used to fortify the overall marketing process for businesses such as Fluid AI. These can help manage customer expectations better by analysing and solving the most unique problems specific to their business in different sectors like web, finance, and marketing or VPhrase which can be used to generate insight from raw data that can help with the decision-making process.
Looking to improve your sales number?
There is no denying the fact that sales numbers are extremely vital to the success of any business. The acuteness of this concern is greater for small businesses due to limited resources and stricter timelines. Below are some AI solutions which can be utilised by SMEs to improve sales productivity.
Morph: An excellent bot platform used for building powerful marketing Chatbots which works across websites, Android and iOS apps etc.
Vymo: A platform that uses AI and Data to make your sales team more productive and targeted. It is a mobile-first sales CRM that helps sales teams get access to customer data on the go.
Clodura: An AI-powered platform for the sales team that assists the sales process by lead generation, finding prospective clients, establishing connections, and identifying opportunities.)
Not only do these tools help businesses in increasing brand awareness, generating more leads, and understanding the needs of customers better but also enhance the sales prospects manifold.
Want to improve employee engagement and customer management?
Small businesses often struggle with inspiring and engaging their employees to create a better work culture. They generally do not have the time or capital to build a dedicated team capable of engaging employees productively.
Using AI-powered tools like Infeedo, companies can get excellent internal chatbot solutions that provide employees with easy access to essential HR information every 24 hours. Not only does it allow the employees to share feedback on company policies, voice their concerns etc. but also saves a lot of time.
The other area that SMEs can look at is improving the user experience. With the help of Artificial Intelligence, SMEs can provide flawless online support interaction by easily predicting buyer behaviour, patterns, search criteria, and decisions for robust customer engagement.
Tools such as Glib allow businesses to automate discourse and increase customer satisfaction through better and improved customer engagement.
To Sum it Up
AI and other machine learning tools are an excellent way to help SMEs achieve their goal of consistent business growth in today’s competitive environment. They allow SMEs to effectively delegate routine tasks to be done by innovative yet fast methods/technologies making executives free to focus on other creative avenues that can help businesses grow.
However, to achieve success with AI, small businesses need to strategise and align these applications with their respective business goals. The AI journey can be fruitful for SMEs if they understand the importance of this emerging phenomenon and accordingly prioritise it to achieve long-term and scalable success.