Only 5 percent of Italian SMEs include artificial intelligence (AI) in their business processes. Companies’ approach too often oscillates between hype, which generates strong and misplaced expectations, and a sense of exclusion because SMEs feel inadequate to adopt these advanced technologies. There is a clear need for greater awareness that artificial intelligence can be extremely useful for SMEs and can increase their productivity and competitiveness if implemented correctly.
SMEs and artificial intelligence: how to navigate the new frontier
What are the first steps that can be taken in this process of updating the company as a whole and the culture with which it is permeated? One proceeds step by step, independently or accompanied by an outside expert, through simple first steps.
Here we list 6 of them:
- Understand your AI needs and learn how to meet them
- Trace the most common application areas of AI within an SME: billing, inventory management, data analytics to make more informed decisions, marketing and pricing, human resources, cybersecurity, just to name a few
- Become familiar with AI technologies and their areas of application in a very easy way
- Learn about success stories in incorporating advanced technologies into traditional business that have led to measurable improvements in individual processes and growth in business competitiveness
- Attend a qualified trade show event with an agenda built around one’s needs to be walked through the selection of available technologies based on one’s business needs
- Be open to technology collaborations
Artificial intelligence is not the right solution for all business needs. Before introducing it into the enterprise, the business should carefully assess its specific needs to see if AI is the right solution. But one thing is certain: AI will be one of the indispensable and most impactful drivers for the development of the individual company and the Italian digital market as a whole.
Artificial intelligence for an American SME: a case study and success story
Let’s start with a few examples that can give us an understanding of how the ability to adopt new technologies is the terrain on which global competition is played out.
One of the success stories we are pleased to share concerns an American SME based in Miami that has innovated its business model through Artificial Intelligence. We supported her on her development journey through our Miami office.
This is an e-commerce company specializing in the sale of sportswear, which used artificial intelligence in several areas. The goals of the innovation process were mainly 3:
- improve the customer experience
- optimize operations
- increase sales
The areas of focus are as follows:
Personalization of the customer experience
They implemented machine learning algorithms to analyze shoppers’ data, understand their shopping behaviors, preferences, and trends. Using this information, they created personalized recommendations for customers, suggesting products based on their specific interests. This led to increased cross-sales and higher customer satisfaction.
Artificial intelligence was used to optimize inventory management. Predictive models predicted product demand based on seasonal trends, sporting events, and customer preferences. This enabled the company to reduce waste, maintain a more efficient inventory, and better respond to market demand.
Customer service automation
Companies have introduced artificial intelligence-based chatbots to handle customer inquiries more efficiently and immediately, improving response time and quality of service. These chatbots, thanks to machine learning, have become increasingly accurate in understanding customer needs over time.
Predicting market trends
Using predictive analytics algorithms, the company has been able to identify emerging trends in the sportswear industry. This has enabled the company to be at the forefront of introducing new products and styles, gaining a competitive advantage in the market.
The result of this transformation has been a significant increase in revenue and customer loyalty. In addition, the company improved operational efficiency by reducing costs and optimizing resources through the use of Artificial Intelligence.
This success story demonstrates how an SME can leverage Artificial Intelligence to transform its business model, remain competitive, and provide a better experience for its customers.
At Roncucci&Partners we help companies develop themselves and their business, embrace change and evolve to thrive in a world that is increasingly complicated, insidious and requires great expertise. We do this by applying punctual methods and rigorous strategies, the result of many years of experience and the richness of the numerous success stories we have conducted all over the world. Passion and method are indeed our guides to enhance the present and build the future.