Artificial intelligence and business processes: a step by step guide to optimising your SME


    Can artificial intelligence really help optimise your business processes? This is the question every entrepreneur should ask themselves when deciding to start the digital transformation of their SME. The answer is simple and clear: yes, it can. Large corporations already understand the power of integrating artificial intelligence into business processes, but SMEs are still struggling to understand how these new technologies can help them optimise work and increase turnover.

    Some think if you introduce artificial intelligence robots and bots into a company, they’ll “steal” jobs. Others believe these tools are difficult to use, especially if the average age of those working in the company is what we might class as boomer. Both of these notions are wrong.

    Integrating artificial intelligence solutions into your company means getting valuable help in making decisions and optimising processes. This translates into a saving of resources and time. By using virtual agents, for example, you can offer each company figure an “artificial colleague”: from CEOs and CFOs to production, marketing, commercial or sales managers.

    Why choose a virtual agent for your SME

    Virtual agents are artificial intelligence applications that can be fully tailored to the needs of your SME. Think of a virtual agent as a colleague who is particularly fast at calculations: the more data you give it to train with machine learning, the faster it will offer you predictive analyses and show you all possible scenarios for your turnover trend.

    So why choose a virtual agent for your SME? The answer, again, is simple: analysis after analysis, it can offer predictions and illustrate scenarios that show the chances of success or failure of any of your business processes.

    Whether you’d like to implement a new marketing strategy or a new production process, with your virtual agent’s scenarios, you’ll be able to see if that marketing strategy can really deliver the desired results, or if that production process slows productivity rather than improving it. In short, it will help you understand whether your budgeted investment will have the desired return.

    How to Optimise your company with a Virtual agent CEO

    Let’s look at a practical example of what a virtual agent, and specifically a Virtual CEO, can do in terms of optimising your SME. A human CEO can rely on their virtual counterpart to carry out certain precise tasks:

    • monitoring the business to provide an overview of the company’s performance, both the current state of health and possible future scenarios, all things being equal;
    • simulating different budget allocation scenarios to help distribute investments and maximise profits;
    • defining the objectives of the corporate strategy, basing choices on a feasibility index and identifying the activities to be implemented to achieve them.

    Choose an easy-to-manage Virtual CEO

    When choosing your Virtual CEO, it is vital to focus on ease of management. The ideal solution needs to offer you access to all the company’s assessment parameters, the famous “KPIs”, so you can understand if you are going in the direction you’d hoped. It’s important that the platform you choose allows you to view metrics on a monthly, quarterly and yearly basis, to see your company’s performance and also to rate each metric to assess sentiment . This means you’ll always have an overview of your business’s overall performance.

    Measuring success or failure rates

    To know if business is headed in the right direction, you need to be able to measure the success and failure rates of the strategies you implement, or would like to implement. A Virtual CEO uses its artificial intelligence to measure percentages and give precise figures to its human counterpart, who will then be able to make decisions in an easier more informed way.

    Assessing your company’s performance over time

    Anyone who owns a company knows that to understand the strengths and weaknesses of a business, it’s not enough to look at present KPIs, you need to have an overview of the company’s performance over time. Here again, a virtual agent with CEO functions can examine the company’s performance, take into account scenarios that could have both a positive and negative impact, and work alongside its human counterpart to help optimise business processes and get the most out of the invested budget.