MANAGING OPERATIONS

AI for business: how it can help

The dawn of a new era of business performance

Upon implementation, AI for business can help to generate efficiencies and increase business automation across the board. In fact, a recent Harvard Business Review report surveyed 250 executives who have used AI within their businesses. Fifty-one percent of the executives found that AI had improved the functionality of their products, and 36 percent appreciated the freedom it gave their employees to take on more creative tasks.

How can AI help improve your business operations?

The truth behind the numbers

As a business owner, you understand the challenges involved in gathering and presenting data to paint a clear and compelling financial picture for yourself or third parties, such as prospective lenders. With the advent of AI for business and the increases in business automation it brings, that's slowly changing. Instead of relying on often outdated business software, digitization and the availability of cloud computing platforms allows businesses to embed AI at the heart of their operations. Here's how AI can help:

Providing access to data

With this implementation, you can view financial and operational data in real time, allowing for timely decision-making. For example, instead of guessing how much inventory is on hand, and whether to order more, an AI solution can report a real-time number and provide an ordering recommendation based on current sales activity.

Optimizing finances

The right AI solution can make suggestions to help a business owner optimize their company's financial performance. For example, it might recommend bundling products that customers usually buy individually; if the bundle is discounted, it could drive an increase in overall sales volume.

Increasing transparency

When seeking funding, AI technology can help to ascertain the creditworthiness of a business. The right AI package allows your CFO to increase transparency for prospective financial partners by granting access to every aspect of the business in a single, intelligent platform.

In addition to analyzing routine information captured in the financial statements, a lender could review the AI platform's suggestions to see whether the business owner followed those recommendations. Furthermore, they could review current suggestions from the AI solution and discuss with the business owner how the lender might help facilitate them.

Off-the-shelf versus pre-programmed

While AI can help businesses improve how they perform, adopting a solution is not without its challenges. Many of the tools marketed to specific businesses require training; therefore, they must analyze large volumes of historical transactions to learn how the business operates. Thankfully, certain software providers are overcoming that challenge by pre-programming their business AI solutions with relevant data. In turn, such solutions start delivering value upon their initial deployment. Then, as they see more transactions, the AI solution starts generating customized recommendations based more on the company's data.

Given that AI is in its infancy, it will take time for vendors and business owners alike to perfect its usage. Nonetheless, AI is no longer just for big businesses, and we can expect many businesses to jump on the bandwagon in the not too distant future.

The views expressed in the article are those of the author and/or person interviewed and do not necessarily reflect the views of SVB Private or other members of Silicon Valley Bank and SVB Financial Group. The materials on this website are for informational purposes only, are subject to change and do not take into account your particular investment objective, financial situation or need. Since each client’s situation is unique, you should consult your financial advisor and/or tax planning professional before acting on any information provided herein