As we embark on a new chapter in the world of work, marked by ever-evolving technology and a shifting economy, the imperative to prioritize efficiency has never been greater. Amidst the pandemic, the economy experienced major shifts toward the tech industry and gig work, with teams rapidly expanding but often neglecting proper processes and procedures. Now, a recession looming over our heads, businesses need to figure out how to do more with less to keep their employees happy and their business competitive. Companies using AI to streamline their operations will undoubtedly come out on top.
Enter AI-powered business technology solutions – the next big thing in company tech stacks. Forget science fiction - AI is here, and it's transforming everything from inventory management to AI art generation.
By leveraging the power of AI, companies can run leaner in a number of ways, including:
- optimizing their operations
- streamlining their workflows
- reducing their reliance on manual labor
This allows employees more time to focus on work they’re passionate about. The result? Increased productivity and creativity.
With so many different options, it’s hard to know where to start.
In this article, we'll explore ways businesses can leverage AI tools to run more efficiently, save money, and stay ahead of the competition. We'll also examine real-world examples of companies using AI, and provide actionable advice for businesses looking to do the same.
By the end of this piece, you may just be equipped with the right tools and information you need to make an appeal to your bosses or even start up your own business.
Which Companies Are Using AI?
AI is becoming the go-to tool for companies that want to work smarter, not harder. From big-name brands to scrappy startups, everyone’s getting in on the action.
We all know Jeff Bezos is a fan of automation, as we’ve seen Amazon implement AI early and often.
The e-commerce giant has been at the forefront of AI development for years, using the technology to power its recommendation algorithms, logistics optimization, and customer service chatbots. In fact, Amazon’s AI-powered recommendation engine is estimated to account for up to 35% of the company’s sales, demonstrating the significant impact that AI can have on a business’s bottom line.
But it’s not just the heavy hitters that are using AI. Small businesses also use the technology to gain a competitive edge.
Bristol Avenue is a one-person creative agency taking the concept of AI-powered businesses to the next level. With a focus on blending their creativity with the power of AI, they have positioned themselves as a truly unique player in the marketing and advertising space:
“With the help of AI, we can speed up the [copywriting] process and add even more value to your team. AI won’t do the work for you, but it can certainly enhance the work you’re already doing,” their website boasts.
By marketing itself as an AI agency, Bristol Avenue can attract clients looking for a cutting-edge, data-driven approach to marketing.
AI is a game-changer in helping companies optimize their processes, reduce costs, and improve customer experience. With the disruption in business due to AI, those that don't jump on board may be left in the dust.
So, if you want to stay ahead of the game and remain competitive, it's time to embrace the power of AI! And we’re here to tell you how.
9 Ways To Run Leaner with AI
With its powerful algorithms and ability to process data at lightning speeds, AI has the potential to transform the way we work and do business. In this section, we’ll cover a variety of ways that AI can be used to make a team more efficient, productive, and profitable.
Here are 10 ways your company can use AI:
- Take the tediousness out of repetitive tasks
- Optimize your meeting time
- Conduct financial forecasting for better planning
- Improve your customer experience
- Simplify people ops
- Automate your workflows
- Maximize marketing efforts
- Mitigate risks
- Build and ship products faster
Let’s get into it!
Take the Tediousness Out of Repetitive Tasks
In the hustle, time is of the essence. And the more time creative entrepreneurs spend on tedious, repetitive administrative tasks, the less time they have to focus on growing their businesses. Fortunately, AI tools are making it easier for individuals and teams to automate these tasks. This means bootstrapped teams can use AI assistance to free up more time to scale their business.
Countless tools on the market can automate:
- Data entry and data processing
- Scheduling meetings, sending reminders, and rescheduling meetings
- Email management such as sorting and generating responses
- Document management and organization
- Tracking expenses
UiPath is a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software powering the automation of repetitive, time-consuming tasks using software robots, or “bots”. It’s a low-code solution for companies wanting to design, deploy, and manage bots to automate processes.
Small online retailers can benefit from UiPath’s tools to optimize their fulfillment process. It can track stock levels, automatically generate purchase orders, and even handle shipping and tracking orders – freeing up employee time and ensuring customers receive their orders promptly and accurately.
With all of those tasks taken care of, teams can get back to more important things like developing new products, expanding to new markets, and even recovering from creative burnout.
Optimize Meeting Time
The rise of remote work has brought many benefits, from increased flexibility to a better work-life balance. But one unintended consequence of this shift has been decreased productivity during meetings. Without the traditional face-to-face interaction, it's easier for participants to get distracted, multi-task, or even tune out of the conversation. So not only are meetings a time suck, they become a productivity suck too.
One way people are saving time and staying on task is by using AI tools that integrate with virtual meetings. Using AI, tools like Otter.AI and Vowel can transcribe meetings in real-time, so you can stay focused on the discussion while the AI handles note-taking.
These tools can:
1. Record the meeting
2. Summarize the discussion
3. Identify action items as next steps
Not only does this save time compiling notes after a meeting, but it also ensures that everyone has access to the same information - which is critical in the future of remote work. No more he-said-she-said with clients. It’s all recorded and all accessible.
Flux is one of many tech companies using AI to improve their meeting productivity.
The browser-based electronics development platform was built to allow engineers to collaborate, edit, and simulate designs in real time. Unfortunately, they needed assistance to collaborate as a globally distributed team. Once they integrated Vowel into their meeting and collaboration process, they could use the video recordings and transcriptions to connect across time zones.
CEO, Matthias Wagner told Vowel: “As a remote-first company, Vowel has laid the foundation for how we collaborate and learn from each other across time zones. Without it, we’d be screwed!”
Financial Forecasting for Better Planning
Let's face it - analyzing finances and forecasting sales is not the most exciting task for creatives and entrepreneurs. With AI-powered financial planning tools, you can automate those mundane tasks – which means creative thinkers can spend more time focusing on the financial strategy instead of the math.
Some of the most common features of financial planning and analysis AI include:
- Budgeting and forecasting
- Financial reporting and analysis
- Scenario modeling and what-if analysis
- Cash flow forecasting
- Sales forecasting
One such tool is Planful, which offers an AI-powered feature called Planful Predict that helps companies using AI and machine learning make accurate and informed financial decisions. It can predict future outcomes, simulate different scenarios, and provide real-time insights for key stakeholders.
SmartyPants Vitamins is a small California-based vitamin company that used Planful to automate their sales and trade spend reports when they saw sales skyrocket. As a DTC company, sales are everything, and they needed a better handle on their weekly forecasting models.
“Being able to pull the forecasts they need – right when they need it – really helps our demand planning team drive better business decisions across the company,” said Senior Finance Manager, Cheryl Chow in their platform testimonial.
Because of AI's speed and intelligence, they were able to save time and extract value from the platform in less than a month – a critical feature for businesses seeking to scale quickly.
Game-Changing Customer Experience (CX)
How can you use AI to make sure your customers are all smiles? Investing in AI to improve CX can increase customer satisfaction, word-of-mouth recommendations, and, ultimately, revenue. Processing vast amounts of data quickly and accurately can give businesses valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences, and act accordingly.
AI can improve companies’ CX in several ways. Here are some examples:
- Marketing and product personalization
- Customer service chatbots
- Voice assistants
- Sentiment analysis
- Predictive customer analytics
- Customer journey mapping
Optimizing the customer experience requires analyzing qualitative data. Viable is a powerful tool that harnesses AI and GPT-3 to process large volumes of text data from social media, sales calls, and surveys. It then analyzes the data and provides deep reports on customer sentiment, key conversation themes, and trends. It’s the ultimate customer listening tool,providing actionable recommendations to improve the CX.
And chatbots are a great way to put that data to use.
From simple automated response systems to complex conversational interfaces, chatbots have come a long way in playing a role in the customer experience. They’ve become ubiquitous in today’s digital world, providing 24/7 customer support, handling routine tasks, and offering personalized recommendations. Their ability to provide customer service around the clock can reduce the “always-on culture” of customer service work.
Zendesk and Haptik are just two of many platforms hooking into the technology. Zendesk is a customer service platform that offers a chatbot feature called Answer Bot to generate responses to customer inquiries, reducing the need for human agents to handle routine requests.
Haptik is a conversational AI platform that offers chatbots for customer service and support. Its chatbots use GPT to handle a range of customer inquiries, from account information to product details. Companies can create a commerce assistant to personalize the shopping experience, set up conversational text conversations, and deliver real-time, self-service customer support through messaging.
There are so many different AI-powered customer experience tools, we could go on forever. More AI-backed resources for startups seeking to improve their CX include:
- Voiceflow— helps teams design, prototype, and launch their own conversational experiences with no coding needed.
- Knock— a no-code solution for developers building cross-channel notification systems.
- Artifact— uses AI to help companies anticipate customer needs and map customer journeys.
With the these tools, you can automate elements of the customer experience and free up your time to focus on your product.
Simplify People Ops
When it comes to companies using AI for recruitment, tools like Fetcher and Sapia can automate tedious parts of the process, like resume screening and candidate assessments. These tools use predictive algorithms to analyze data and identify the best candidates for the job.
But AI doesn’t stop there. They’re helping companies take better care of their employees too.
Employee management is complex, but AI tools like ChartHop can empower HR teams in understanding their workforce and make the most of it. With tools for workforce analysis, organization charts, and performance tracking, ChartHop can anticipate future workforce needs and identify areas of risk or opportunity.
ChartHop has tools to support:
- Workforce analysis
- Organization charts
- Headcount forecasting
- Performance and compensation tracking
- Compensation benefits reviews
- Employee surveys and feedback
- Performance reviews
- Talent acquisition
In complex industries like healthcare, managing staff can be especially challenging. Through ChartHop’s predictive analytics, healthcare companies using AI can anticipate future workforce needs and identify potential areas of risk or opportunity. This can help healthcare HR teams hire proactively and maximize performance without causing employee burnout.
Additionally, ChartHop uses natural language processing (NLP) to analyze employee feedback and other unstructured data sources, allowing for a more comprehensive view of employee sentiment and engagement. This kind of data is paramount to employee retention in a high turnover field.
Workflow automation is one of the most widely used AI solutions in business. That’s because it has the most wide-ranging variables for solutions!
Here are some specific ways workflow automation can work for different businesses:
- Manufacturing businesses can benefit from workflow automation by optimizing inventory management, streamlining production processes, and automating quality control. These improvements can result in faster production times, reduced costs, and better quality control.
- Companies using AI in healthcare can automate administrative tasks such as patient scheduling and record-keeping, freeing up more time for patient care. Additionally, automation can reduce errors and ensure compliance with regulations.
- Financial businesses can take advantage of workflow automation by automating data entry and analysis tasks, such as invoice processing and financial reporting. By doing so, they can reduce manual errors and speed up financial decision-making.
- Retail businesses can benefit from workflow automation by automating inventory management and order fulfillment processes. This can lead to faster turnaround times and improved customer satisfaction.
- Service businesses can use workflow automation for customer service tasks, such as ticketing and support requests. By doing so, they can improve response times and reduce customer wait times, resulting in better customer satisfaction.
Think about it - do you really need to be manually transferring data between spreadsheets or copy- pasting information between different apps? No. Let AI do the heavy lifting so you can focus on the big picture.
With tools like Zapier and Levity, companies can simplify even the most complex workflows and processes. Zapier lets users connect and automate tasks between over 5,000 different apps and services, while Levity uses AI to automate tasks like data extraction, classification, and routing. With these tools, you can focus on the tasks that truly require your attention.
Even lasagna companies can save hours of work with tools like Zapier. Yeah, you read that right: a lasagna company, Lasagna Love, is a nonprofit that connects neighborhoods through homemade meal delivery.
With a small team, this nonprofit was able to scale its volunteers from 70 to 35,000 by using Zapier to assist in its onboarding process. Using automation powered by Zapier, their founder reported over 200 hours saved from the tool. They’re one of so many companies using AI to transform the world around them.
“The more we automate, the more we can do what only people can do,” said founder and CEO Rhiannon Men in her testimonial.
Maximize Your Marketing
It's no secret that there are tons of tasks involved in marketing, from optimizing ads to creating content to monitoring social media. With AI-powered tools like StableDiffusion, Tome AI, and others, marketing teams can make these tasks more efficient and effective.
Imagine producing high-quality product photos without investing in a professional camera crew. That's what StableDiffusion can do for just about anyone who knows how to use it. Or what about creating engaging presentations with minimal effort? Tome can help you by analyzing your storytelling content and suggesting improvements to make it more engaging. It’s perfect for your next pitch!
Much like workflow automation and customer experience, the possibilities are endless with marketing AI. These tools streamline marketing tasks, such as:
- Customer segmentation and analysis
- Content and creative production
- Ad optimization
- Social media optimization
- Lead scoring
- Animation and video
Let’s take a look at a few of the most impactful use cases.
High-quality content is essential for engaging customers and driving results. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most time-consuming and labor-intensive tasks in marketing. And anyone bootstrapping a new business knows time is scarce. AI can support you in streamlining the content creator process and create more engaging and compelling content.
AI-powered tools can generate headlines, copy, and even graphic designs, making producing high-quality content at scale easier. It saves time and ensures that your content is consistently on-brand and effective. For example, freelancer tools like Canva or Adobe Sensei can help you create stunning designs in no time, while platforms like Jasper and Copy.AI can generate blog posts and social copy with minimal effort.
With so many channels and targeting options, optimizing your digital campaigns without spending hours tracking and analyzing previous campaign results can be challenging. AI tools like Cognitiv can optimize this process by analyzing vast amounts of data to identify patterns and insights, automatically adjusting your campaign targeting to achieve better results.
Feminine care brand, Lola, is one of many companies tapping into the power of Cognitiv for their display advertising. As a newer brand, they needed advertising to increase brand awareness, identify new customer segments, and drive sales. They were able to use Cognitiv to geofence ads around specific retailers with hyperspecific audience targeting. As a result, they had a 30% sales increase over a financial quarter!
The biggest challenge in using AI for marketing is choosing the right tool! Everything that comes after is streamlined and simple, so creatives can focus on being creative!
The world is full of shady characters trying to hack their way into company data and accounts, posing a significant risk to businesses.
AI can help you detect suspicious activities in real time, analyze and improve security protocols, and analyze data to detect early warnings about potential threats. With these solutions, you can proactively protect themselves and mitigate risk.
Tools like SandboxAQ are committed to making cybersecurity stronger for businesses. They provide threat intelligence by collecting and analyzing data from various sources, including the dark web. Using AI, the platform can automatically detect and respond to threats and even predict when an attack might happen. Technology officers can sleep better at night knowing critical company data is safe.
These tools use cutting-edge AI to detect suspicious activity and potential threats, so you can take action before it's too late. It's not just about keeping your data safe, but also protecting the trust of your customers and clients.
Build & Ship Products Faster
Software development is another complex workflow that can be simplified with the assistance of AI. Software companies leverage these AI-powered tools to develop more efficiently, with less time spent on code reviews and debugging. Not only does this save time and money, but it also leads to more accurate code that is less prone to errors. (Product managers rejoice!)
Tech companies using AI can now tackle big tasks like:
- Testing and bug ID
- Code generation
- Natural language processing
- Automated deployment
- Automated documentation
- Chatbot development
By embracing AI in web and software development, companies can stay ahead of the game, building, and shipping products faster than ever.
Internal tooling is an essential component of the development process as it can significantly impact the work's speed, efficiency, and quality. Internal tools are software applications or systems created specifically for internal use by the development team, and they can range from simple scripts to complex applications. These tools enable developers to automate repetitive tasks, manage workflow, debug code, and test software.
If internal tools are a challenge for your dev team, tools like Internal.io can help. The platform provides teams with everything they need to develop internal apps by assisting them in creating a multi-step workflow. Internal.io achieves this by connecting database queries, API calls, and custom logic – no coding necessary.
The team at software company Highlight faced the challenge of balancing exceptional development while remaining lean and moving fast. Historically, Customer Success and Product Operations teams relied on the developer team to set up internal tools. To solve this, the team used Internal.io to reduce the time spent on internal tools by the developer team.
Another great use case of AI in development is code generation. Developers are already famous for sharing and collaborating on code. GitHub Copilot gives that experience an extra boost with AI.
In collaboration with OpenAI, GitHub released the code assistant to help developers write code more efficiently by using machine learning and autocomplete to suggest lines of code as the developer types. It can also offer entire functions to save developers time and effort.
Using AI to provide contextual and relevant suggestions, GitHub Copilot helps developers write code faster and with fewer errors, freeing up their time to focus on higher-level tasks.
The List Goes On
Thanks to automation and artificial intelligence, companies can now run leaner than ever. The days of mundane, repetitive tasks are behind us as AI continues to take over the tedious work that once bogged down our days.
The implications of AI in business go beyond simply making work feel like less work. By freeing up time and resources, creative entrepreneurs can redirect their efforts towards innovation and growth, allowing them to compete more effectively in today's hypercompetitive market. AI enables us to focus on what truly matters, driving us toward greater success and, ultimately, a better bottom line.
At Worklife, we are committed to investing in companies reimagining work. We recognize the endless applications of AI in business and are excited to see what the future holds. By embracing automation and the power of AI, we can create a brighter, more efficient future for us all. So let's continue to innovate and push the boundaries of what's possible together!
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