Are you one of those professionals who once wrote off AI? Maybe you thought to yourself: This is just a fad, something only techies are into...
That was definitely the case for a CEO we’ll call Abby. The head of a Dallas- based software firm, she’s also a personal friend. For years, she brushed off my advice about the coming artificial intelligence business revolution.
That all went out the window this month when she called me breathlessly. “Okay, okay. I finally understand now. It’s coming!”
I stopped myself from telling her she’s wrong. It’s already here. Instead, I asked what prompted her sudden desire for a full rundown of the technology.
“I caught an episode of 60 Minutes focused on Google’s AI developments. Can I be frank? It blew me away.”
“All of it. But especially when CEO Sundar Pichai said, “This is going to impact every product across every company.”
Zooming out of this exchange, it’s helpful to give context. These early days of widespread AI adoption have come with great uncertainty. Companies have wondered about risks, such as: could AI-powered Chatbots acts as cyber threats? They’ve also presented tremendous opportunities, especially for businesses choosing to partner with the experts at my organization Louder Co.
Returning to Abby, many company leaders have some idea AI holds the potential to help their organization. The problem? They lack the time and the desire to get under the hood. Plus, more scary concerns exist about AI tools fresh on the market. That same 60 Minutes segment highlights how Google’s Bard AI sometimes “hallucinates”, making up false sources for its claims. In fact, when this particular AI chatbot first debuted, it made a factual error causing Google’s market value to dive by $100 billion. (This initial false step occurred in part due to Google’s rush to match ChatGPT, Microsoft’s AI system that’s taken the world by storm in recent months.)
ChatGPT is particularly interesting to a software exec like Abby. For starters, the system can write code and/or fix bugs while humans work on more important tasks. Also, just months after ChatGPT entered the public sphere, major companies have already integrated it into their operations.
For all these reasons and more, ChatGPT has become synonymous with AI. A common, even understandable sentiment, it’s also wildly off. Worse, it can result in businesses failing to achieve optimal results. Truth be told, a veritable universe of AI products are now in the marketplace. Each possesses the potential to improve efficiency and profitability in their own way.
At Louder Co. we specialize in helping small and medium companies like Abby’s find and implement the ideal AI solution tailored to their needs. Consider a recent client, a manufacturer with annual sales of $75 million. The founder and CEO Wayne came to us in a desperate situation. His company made a great product and enjoyed a loyal customer base. Unfortunately, their accounts payable process was an utter mess. Its negative impact on cash flow hampered efforts at successful growth.
Wayne missed the CBS’ 60 Minutes special. Instead, he learned about ChatGPT from his teenage son who used it for a school paper. Like many an executive I’ve encountered, Wayne had his doubts if a system capable of expertly writing an essay on To Kill a Mockingbird could also solve the snarl of paperwork at his beleaguered company.
We at Louder Co. knew Wayne was on the right track, but we didn’t think ChatGPT was the right tool for the job either. Instead, step one to solving Wayne’s dilemma was to document his company’s current processes to figure out what was going wrong. It didn’t take long to learn the manufacturer left invoicing and accounts payable follow-up to its six decentralized sales teams.
Problematically, each (siloed) unit followed its own process with varying levels of attention. The result? Many a client would get invoices from different teams with completely unaligned procedures and communication styles. Customers were rightfully confused as the sales teams proved to be far more interested in selling than reminding customers about overdue bills. There was also almost no oversight at the managerial level. After documenting such problems, we turned to assessing how AI could optimize Wayne’s business.
Louder Co. works with cutting-edge AI vendors in the marketplace instead of being wedded to a particular group. An optimal way to serve our clients, it gives us flexibility to find the best solution. For Wayne’s manufacturing outfit, the winning option turned out to be Stampli.
Unfamiliar with this company? Stampli automates the accounts payable process by aligning AP-related communication, documentation, and workflows. It also takes care of tedious manual tasks like invoice capture, coding, approvals, and fraud detection. In other words, so many of the things Wayne’s sales employees considered “busywork” could now be handled by AI bots. Best of all, Stampli can be implemented in just days and proved simple to use, especially after Louder Co.’s implementation experts trained Wayne’s staff.
In short order, the business problems plaguing Wayne’s organization, those holding it back from growth, evaporated thanks to the right AI tool. The AP situation instantly improved, Wayne’s cash flow worries lessened, and staff morale skyrocketed now that they were free from so much drudgery. Also, embracing AI will save Wayne millions without needing to add more personnel. (He is instead empowered to grow his business in its most profitable areas, not by bringing on more back-office bean counters.)
For Abby, Steve, and so many other small and medium-sized business owners, it’s a do or die moment in the business world. ChatGPT and Google may soak up all the headlines, but a whole range of AI tools are now available to boost your company’s efficiency and profitability. Today. You can join the growing ranks of companies removing needless hassles and barriers to success by acting now. Contact us at Louder Co. to learn how we can help you revolutionize your company with the power of AI.