Even the most entrenched and traditional industries are now wising up to modern technology’s benefits.
This, as aging systems increasingly create headaches while B2B enterprise transactions start to take more and more behavioral cues from today’s hyper-personalized, convenient, and real-time consumer experience journey.
That’s why companies across industries tell PYMNTS that modernization efforts are among the most important reason for their investing in digital technologies and integrated enterprise solutions. In times of economic uncertainty just making sure things run smoothly can be a pretty stressful endeavor for any senior business leader.
Artificial intelligence (AI) tools, while admittedly buzzy and in certain cases flawed, offer an attractive white space upside to businesses looking for help with consolidating and scaling historically patchwork operational processes and applications.
Building efficiencies through technology allows B2B marketplace platforms and networks to reduce labor costs while offering opportunities to engage with both existing and potential enterprise customers in a more contextual way.
Using predictive AI analytics to activate broad swaths of latent data can help forecast buyer intent by tracking multiple “what if” scenarios and identifying the most actionable option — a process that would normally require many hours of human research, expertise and labor to complete.
“Since I began to work in this industry, things have rapidly evolved. Five years ago, no one wanted to pick up your call or answer your email, now people are asking what is AI, how can it help?” Raz Ronen, CEO at FreighTech startup Wisor.AI, said in a recent discussion with PYMNTS.
Critical business operations, like price setting, already rely on technical processes and tools that, while well-established, may not be very sophisticated. Layering AI over those existing data flows and processes can vastly improve their efficiency and impact.
Ronen added that his company’s AI solutions for the freight forwarding industry are meant to take aim at the many legacy and manual inefficiencies that result in the sector having a conversion rate, from request to actual shipment, of just 10% to 50% for successful B2B transactions.
“[Our] AI and NLP [natural language processing] models can read emails and understand what’s cheaper, what customers want, and generate quotes and push them back in seconds instead of days,” Ronen said.
NLP tools, in combination with AI, can be leveraged by businesses to analyze and automate conversations and transactions with their B2B vendors and partners.
“Over the last year, large language models — NLP systems with billions of parameters — have shown new capabilities to generate creative text, solve mathematical theorems, predict protein structures, answer reading comprehension questions and more,” tech giant Meta recently said, as relayed by PYMNTS.
As AI technology matures and enterprise adoption becomes more widespread, it will increasingly assist businesses in proactively selling the right product or service to the right buyer, at the right time and for the right price, in such a way that it generates maximum revenue.
Particularly in a macro climate like today’s, still reeling from pandemic-induced product shortages, supply chain difficulties and high inflation, strategic applications of AI can help organizational leaders make more informed choices with critical upstream consequences by putting a fresh spin on historical processes.
“At the end of the day, we’re taking a lot of the administrative tasks out of the [B2B] process and eliminating some wasteful human touches that we can digitize. We’re going to procure the carriers digitally, we’re going to pay the carriers digitally,” Royce Neubauer, Founder and CEO of Auto Hauler Exchange said in a conversation with PYMNTS earlier this month.
After all, AI doesn’t change economic or behavioral facts, such as how overpricing goods or services relative to competition can and likely will result in lost purchases — rather, the technology helps organizations avoid the common pitfalls of those facts through the formulation of contextual recommendations based on elastic, dynamic projections.
Underscoring the growing business need for transforming terabytes of data into actionable insights, OpenAI and Bain & Company announced last week (Feb. 21) the formation of a global services alliance to help enterprise clients realize the value of AI in such uses cases as providing scripts for contact centers, developing ad copy for marketers and generating digital communication for financial advisers.
While recent headlines may make it seem like AI has suddenly arrived to shake up the world, the tech has for years helped streamline and update back-end processes, while cutting down on manual tasks. However, recent advances in its degree of sophistication hold big promises for tomorrow’s modernized digital ecosystem.