COVID-19 has rapidly progressed the digital transformation occurring across most industries. Customers rarely have to wait or even leave the house to go shopping and are unlikely to ever return to previous buying patterns. Every business has had to adapt. Those who haven’t been able to do so quickly enough are being swallowed by those who have. Click and collect, delivery, and fast-tracking of orders are the present and future.
Digital transformation is barely even a choice as much as it is a mandate. The savviest of businesses still transitioning are leveraging the incredible power of artificial intelligence (AI) services. Apart from being vaunted by the Gartner tech trends in 2020 and 2021, AI is shaping the future. Putting it to use in your company yields benefits both internally and externally.
What are the Benefits of AI for business?
AI collects valuable information on customer behavior and preferences. Marketing campaigns, website structures, e-commerce systems, and all manner of interactive platform between seller and customer are enhanced with informed targeted campaigns.
AI allows you to understand what customers respond to on your website, the effectiveness of sales tactics such as bundling or money off offers, and is delivering precise definitions of the buyer persona. Insights on when, how, and why a customer interacts a certain way with your business are causing entire restructuring of marketing channels. It is obvious within the market. Pop-up customer care chat boxes, e-mail capturing for the newsletter, and post-sale emails or “also bought” suggestions are now the norm.
While Customer benefits are unanimously championed, they are not the only improvements experienced from the introduction of AI.
Customer Care Cost Efficiency – Gartner predicts chats boxes and automated systems will reduce the need for human resources by up to 25% by answering simple queries quickly.
Streamlined Hiring – Hiring processes are drastically shortened due to automated screening calls, psychometric tests, and automated candidate evaluations. Large-scale per hire costs are diminished significantly by employing basic AI solutions.
Cash Flow Forecasting– AI removes subjectivity and human error from cash flow forecasts. Monitoring cash flow trends and producing analytics reports based purely on facts and trends. It allows little bias from the hopes or targets of CFOs.
These are just a sample of the possibilities. Embracing AI is changing industry and insight. Leveraging the very best of technology empowers decisions unlike anything else in industry history.
Why is AI not used by everyone?
Customer behavior and insight is dramatically improved, meaning sales, bundling, and other propensity models are only enacting at times you know will be successful. Cost savings, onboarding, and many others explain why certain firms are gaining market shares while others are merely trying to stay afloat.
Unfortunately, the buying process of software could be characterized as cumbersome, lacking credibility, saturated, and time-consuming. Vendors and market evaluators offer benefits to clients based on what they provide rather than what clients need. Let’s say you went into your computer store for a PC and walked out months later with a tablet, would you be impressed? While exaggerative, it is similar to the disconnect between software buyer and provider.
Fortunately, Olive provides solutions devoid of bias. Our credibility is unmatched as our sole purpose is your software needs and requirements. We look at all the vendors in the space, and we do not charge them to feature as an opportunity – meaning there is no monetary influence to promote their offering. Our streamlined and efficient process has reduced the procurement period from months to weeks.
Choosing the right AI Solution?
Lead with your Needs
Finding the best AI solution is predicated upon solving the right problems for your business. Without having a goal or need in mind, there is no direction. The search for the most valuable AI to you starts with deciding what you need to improve or achieve.
– What areas of your business are currently underserved by insight?
– What decisions are made with the least or subjective information?
– Where do competitors get an edge?
– What do you not know about your customer’s preferences?
– What has been a traditional weak area?
– What does success look like?
Ranking Your Priority Requirements
Empowered by answering these questions, you will have a better understanding of where you need to strengthen. With your search focussed, it becomes manageable to rank your priorities:
– How can I break down my area of focus?
– What are critical business needs from my AI?
– What would be nice to have but is not essential?
– Does my AI service need to comply with other software?
– How essential are my security needs?
– What information creates valuable, actionable next steps?
It is important to take into account the opinions of each stakeholder throughout the process but most notably at the start. Without the representation of the full team’s needs, vital needs may be overlooked. Can both the IT and marketing departments make use of the information provided? What is the top priority of each stakeholder?
Gathering the Solutions
By equipping yourself with a list of priorities, you will be prepared to find the potential vendor solutions.
Where time allows, search far and wide to find the best available market options. Depth is not necessarily a major concern for this portion of the search.
While market evaluating comparison sites are great for unearthing options, they traditionally come with bias and drawbacks. Most comparison sites work on a pay-to-play system meaning the options you see pays to influence their visibility. Unfortunately, this means a perfectly valid option that isn’t subscribed to the site you use may not be featured.
This is one of Olive’s unique strengths. We are concentrated on the best option for you and not representing seller needs. Removing bias from the process is of utmost importance to us. We want to create a trusting, collaborative experience.
Shortlisting and Evaluating
Most technology buyers find the shortlisting and evaluation process difficult, but try to cut your long list down to 5 serious contenders. Cutting corners costs in the long run.
Realistically every client starts with a budget. It might feel intuitive to decide this earlier but that may cause you to rule out options with enormous value. The cost/value relationship will cause a grappling exchange that you must preside over based on ROI. Be sure to count any ancillary costs attached with implementation, the payment structure, or ongoing maintenance expected.
Handy evaluation metrics to be aware of include:
– What type of data will be provided and how will you use it?
– Does your AI service have multiple uses for different departments?
– What tangible benefits will you receive from your service?
– Is it user friendly
– Do the analytics offered provide clarity?
– Do your team receive reports, real-time info, or what is ideal for their purposes?
– How are your priority needs served?
Making your Choice
Ultimately in trimming down to a shortlist, you are hoping for digestible solutions applicable to your specific needs. If you end up with a shortlist that has no perceptible way of addressing your priorities, you have lost sight of the aim. Go back to the last step.
During the selection process, it is easy to drift from priorities as you are treated to sales pitches and corporate buttering up. Don’t get distracted by glamourous sales pitches or fancy dinners unless they are serving your needs.
Ask for anything and everything you need to explore the credibility of your vendor. This should include references and reviews.
Finally, ask for a demo! You wouldn’t move to a new neighborhood without first visiting. The same applies to AI. Take a run through the systems on offer and scrutinize where possible. Bring colleagues and appropriate stakeholders.
– Did each vendor speak specifically to your needs?
– Will an after-sales service be available?
– Were there any surprising and helpful benefits?
– Who else uses this service? How is it used by others?
– How did your colleagues feel about each option?
– Can your business be improved significantly by using this option?
If required, revisit your ranked priorities to avoid personal bias. Those needs are why you embarked on this process and it is only fair that they conclude it. The priorities are the voices of your teammates and end-users and satisfying those leads to business success.
Olive Streamlines the Process, Getting you to a Solution Faster
The route may be protracted but it is undoubtedly crucial. Each part impacts the eventual value you will derive from renting AI and should not be overlooked.
If you need to streamline the entire process, Olive is only a click away. We don’t waste any of your time with biased options. We collaborate with you on your needs and present you with solutions best suited to your business. There are no frustrating over-promises or misunderstanding over capabilities. There is simply your need and our market expertise.
Find the best AI solution for your business
With traditional systems facing obsolescence and the process of digital transformation taking extraordinary perseverance and time; it is no wonder many forward-thinking firms are feeling stuck. The benefits of renting AI can no longer be ignored. Olive strives to give you easy access to future altering software.
False promises, time lags, expensive sourcing methods, and failed trials will no longer be a part of your headache. Olive searches the market looking from your perspective. We procure exact matches to your priorities to give you the best suitable AI solution. Your success depends on finding the right solution and we believe every vendor should be guided by that aim also.
By bringing Olive on board, you are bringing trust, expertise, and control of your outcomes into your process!