How AI is changing the SME landscape.

How AI is changing the SME landscape

Artificial intelligence is paving the way for SMEs (small to medium-sized businesses) to take advantage of new technology that will provide huge amounts of information. “The companies (SMEs) that will be able to adapt to the new environments and understand how to use and apply AI will survive” a quote taken from Dr. Luis Rocha (Ph.D. in AI), the Chief Analytics and Data Science Officer at Cubeler, sums up the value of AI and analytics. With AI you can gather and analyze every piece of data and put it to good use for the benefit of the business within minutes. More than simply using AI for analytics, but automating tedious, time-consuming tasks is not only a great way to optimize the expertise of those you’ve hired but will ensure the work they put their effort towards gives them satisfaction and your business a positive ROI.

Dr. Luis Rocha – PhD, PMP, Chief Analytics and Data Science Officer, Cubeler

According to Statista, the current global artificial intelligence for businesses’ market size has grown to 327.5 billion in global revenue and is expected to cross the 554.3 billion mark. With SMEs making up roughly 98.1% of all the businesses in Canada, it’s no wonder why companies are offering AI solutions and are so keen on accessing this market.

Why adopting AI should be the goal for all SMEs.

Now, it’s time to look at the benefits this market can gain from AI, and there are plenty of very lucrative and competitive reasons. SMEs can benefit from more in-depth marketing intelligence, optimized supply chain management, improved production capabilities, and simply breaking down current customer dynamics to optimize sales. In short, AI can help SMEs optimize their functionality, maximizing profit, and it is all thanks to the data gathered and analyzed via artificial intelligence.

There has also always been a stigma of SMEs not being able to compete with their larger, enterprise-level counterparts, and this is another reason that AI can revolutionize the SME market offerings. Incorporating AI into your business, as an SME, will allow you to pivot faster keeping up with customer demands, and the actual incorporation of AI into your business operations should be a lot simpler, easier, and quicker than any of your larger competitors. In this case, being smaller is mightier.

Let’s look at some of the operational benefits AI can bring to your SME.

AI will help with employee management and business performance

We can start with something as simple as saving costs by scheduling employees, the right number of employees, and their overall scheduled time to work. According to Paycore, one of the leading costs for small to medium-sized businesses is the cost of labour. With AI, you can look at where throughout your work schedule are more employees needed vis a vis high customer engagement of your business, but you can also break down your employees’ time during their work shifts. Figuring out who is the most performing, who works better with whom, and how to capitalize on your employees’ work preferences and capabilities are all data points AI can help you gather in moments.

Optimizing your HR needs as an SME can be very cost-effective using AI

We’ve all seen the cost it takes to look for the right candidates, onboarding, training, and the time it takes to answer frequently asked questions about benefits and company policy. All these things often take time away from other needed tasks that your HR needs to get done, and AI can streamline this entire process. As much of these “HR” interactions can often be automated, either by way of matching the right candidates with your business based on certain criteria, delivering the needed onboarding materials for them to review, or simply the process of taking new employees throughout the entire HR procedure, the average amount of time it takes is roughly 95 days to fully onboard an employee. Having plugged in some average numbers into, it can cost roughly $24,145 to onboard and train an employee. That is a hefty cost to bring on an employee who most will likely only become profitable to your business until after their training in 95 days or so. Using AI to speed this process up can not only save time onboarding new staff, but it also frees up employees allowing them to return more quickly to profitable actions for your business while still lending a needed hand to the new employees.

How AI functions isn’t a mysterious black box

These complex algorithms (AI), function via extremely complex and meticulously researched processes to make sure no mistakes are had. While yes, there will always be some adjustment period as you onboard your new AI software, these are what we like to refer to as growing pains at Cubeler. Take product QA. If your business offers specific products that require very particular standards in order to be functional, you can implement algorithms to test each of your products out automatically and see if it falls within a viable threshold for customer satisfaction and utility. Yes, you will be required to implement the initial steps and program what the parameters are, but just like with mathematics once a formula (or algorithm) is in place, every product verified under those parameters should come out functioning 100% and allow you to focus on more business-related tasks that cannot be automated and are often pivotal to your success.

Cubeler’s AI contributions to the SME landscape

The Cubeler Business Hub™ is designed to facilitate SMEs’ progression from inception to eventually becoming enterprise-level organizations, should that be the goal. We use your shared financial information via our AI Business Hub to facilitate financing by matching you directly with financial institutions to help your business grow and succeed. Moreover, we go even further by helping you reach the exact kind of audience you’re looking to target. The Cubeler Business Hub™ will also act as the platform to help SME-only business executives and owners to create valuable networking partners, and finally, we will bring you insights and answers to ensure that all the business decisions you lead to success.

Final thoughts on AI in the SME community

Whether you like it or not, AI is something that you will need to implement to stay relevant as an SME. From developing customer segmentation models to understanding your audience segments, all the way to analyzing customer metrics, determining your KPIs, and creating predictive models to be deployed in real-time environments, AI can be and should be used to optimize your business. As mentioned previously, there are numerous different types of AI to optimize your HR or to even help boost your SMEs productivity, no matter what you end up using AI for, it is in your best interest and when possible should be onboarded into your operations. At Cubeler, we know that AI is the next big thing that will help all SMEs, and as we prepare for the launch of our highly anticipated Cubeler Business Hub™ going live in November, we are currently inviting all SMEs to pre-register with us here, so you can hit the ground running.

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