Leveraging Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Operations Management

Apr 19, 2023 | Artificial Intelligence (AI), Automation, Operations Best Practices, Technology

Optimizing the benefits of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) has become one of the most significant priorities of organizations trying to incorporate advanced data analytics into their business models. AI and ML tools help companies manage and leverage the large amounts of data processed daily.

Because of the ability to process large quantities of data, AI and ML technologies offer the potential to change the way organizations make the types of business decisions that improve outcomes.

Myles Brown, who is the Senior Cloud and DevOps Advisor for ExitCertified, emphasizes the importance of leveraging AI and ML technologies “When you take [data analytics] further, it becomes full data science where you’re using AI and ML. That’s where a lot of companies are now. They’ve been collecting data for 10 years and mostly using it to answer questions they know. Now, there’s this whole discipline that says we don’t even know what we don’t know. We’re going to look for patterns and we’ll find new information we weren’t even looking for.”

Research firm McKinsey released the results of a study that demonstrated 82 percent of organizations that adopted AI and ML technologies experienced a positive financial return from the technology investments. The question is not whether your company should adopt AI and ML technologies, but instead, you should learn how your organization can leverage AI and ML to drive positive business results.

Let’s review six ways your organization can leverage AI and ML to drive positive business results.

Strengthen Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity remains the most important issue not only for CIOs, but also for COOs as well. AI and ML should play an integral role in building the digital tools needed to fend off cyberattacks. Both AI and ML can help your company identify cybersecurity risks, and then takes steps to protect sensitive data.

Automate All Processes

AI and ML allow your company to automate manual processes, especially the manual process implemented to enter data into your computer network. Integrating AI into your technology platform automates back-office tasks through the use of optical character recognition. Automated data capture, document indexing, and robotic process automation also contribute to boosting the productivity of your organization.

Improve Safety in the Workplace

According to federal and most state laws, companies must purchase a certain amount of workers’ compensation insurance to pay for the costs associated with workplace injury incidents. As with any other type of insurance policy, the more times a company has to use workers’ compensation insurance to pay for worker injuries, the higher the annual premiums paid to the insurance company. AI and ML tools monitor the processes followed to ensure an accident-free workplace.

Avoid Supply Chain Disruptions

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the many vulnerabilities faced by the global supply chain, Even as the pandemic has waned in impact, global supply chain disruptions continue to damage the bottom line of companies operating in a wide variety of industries. Using AI and ML to optimize supply chains helps your company predict demand, and then fill shipment orders with an accurate supply of goods. AI and ML also help companies learn about potential supply chain bottlenecks long before they develop.

Improve Customer Service

At the heart of most business models is the paradigm to provide the best customer service possible. For example, international home improvement giant Lowe’s has incorporated the SMART customer service program into its operations. AI and ML tools, combined with technologies such as the cloud and Internet of Things (IoT), provide much more efficient customer service. The key to leveraging AI and ML for enhanced customer service is to solve customer complaints much faster than companies do today.

AI and ML also increase the number of self-service options for customers.

Discover Anomalies

Organizations typically see AI and ML as fundamental technologies that improve the relationships they have with their customers, as well as detect cybersecurity threats that compromise sensitive data. However, AI and ML tools also help companies discover operational anomalies by revealing inefficiencies and anticipating mistakes. By eliminating anomalies, companies immediately see an improvement in operational performance

The Bottom Line: AI and ML Drive Data Analytics to Improve Business Outcomes

As Brown stated in a recent interview, organizations have started to generate unprecedented levels of value from the data collected. “Now we have new techniques, and basically it’s a bet against the future. I don’t know what I am going to want to do with this in the future, so I’m going to hold onto it,” said Brown. “That’s where data analytics comes in. The best way to predict the future is to look at the past. We have all this data, now let’s look at what kinds of patterns we find.”

The faster companies embrace AI and ML technologies, the faster they can expect to drive more positive business results. How your organization implements AI and ML technologies in the future depends on how companies like Google build the cloud infrastructure required to process vast amounts of digital data.


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