How AI Improves Productivity in Core Business Functions

Oct 30, 2018

Profitability relies on productivity. In today’s high-speed world, everyone is looking for ways to do more in less time, and it’s only natural to seek technological assistance. Artificial intelligence (AI) has rapidly gained adoption across industries, and its benefits for businesses have not gone unnoticed. While companies of all sizes can benefit from AI’s productivity-improving capabilities, we’ve chosen to highlight some of the greatest impacts this technology can have on your workforce and your business.

By 2035, AI may have increased workforce productivity by at least 40 percent, and this could potentially boost profitability an average of 38 percent. AI-driven innovations in cloud computing, big data storage, and analytics have made notable strides in improving employee productivity, manufacturing efficiency and overall better business performance.

AI enables employees to have a more productive workday, and that begins with the alleviation of particularly tedious and mundane workloads. Machines never need breaks and can repeat the same task 24 hours a day without losing energy or focus, allowing traditionally time-consuming work to be accomplished efficiently without the need for human labor. As technology advances and more responsibilities are covered autonomously, we can expect AI to “create new lines of productivity, new and better jobs, new professions and untold wealth,” as AI enthusiast Mark Hurd paraphrases from tech scholar Melvin Kranzberg.


One of AI’s most beneficial qualities is its ability to gather, store and analyze vast amounts of data. As business success now relies heavily on obtaining and utilizing qualified data, AI’s data analytics functions can be incredibly valuable to productivity. Employees no longer need to manually gather and organize data, because AI can collect at a superhuman rate. From this data, AI provides companies with both prescriptive and predictive insights, giving businesses a look at potential future opportunities while offering recommendations on how to take action. These insights can be utilized in many different productivity-boosting ways.

Predictive analytics

Predictive analytics uses statistical models, machine learning and forecasting techniques to anticipate a company’s future and provide intelligent answers to the simple question of “what could happen?” These insights can be used throughout an organization to forecast customer behavior and purchase patterns, identify trends in sales activities and forecast demand for inputs from the supply chain, operations, and inventory. AI-driven predictive maintenance solutions, which track the conditions of equipment in manufacturing facilities and analyze data on an ongoing basis, enable organizations to service equipment when they need it rather than at scheduled service times. These implementations can cut downtime by as much as 20 percent and can also produce a 10 percent reduction in annual maintenance costs as well as a 25 percent reduction in inspection costs.

Prescriptive analytics

By utilizing a combination of algorithms and machine learning, prescriptive analytics can play a major role in how businesses make decisions. It’s best used for optimizing production plans, scheduling and monitoring inventory in supply chains. Staying on top of these complex processes and anticipating problems in advance can ensure the right services are provided at the right time for optimal customer experiences.

Customer service

Positive customer experiences have always been important, but as technology becomes more accessible, brands are held to higher standards. Now more than ever, the need for optimized customer service is vital. Because most companies don’t have the resources for around-the-clock customer service team, AI can have a considerable impact on service quality and on the speed at which businesses react to customer issues.


Basic requests and frequently asked questions can bog down employees. AI-powered chatbots help to refine companies’ customer service offerings by handling these low-level interactions. Chatbots are also better than human agents at consistently collecting data from their interactions. Businesses can use this data to, among other things, analyze customer intent from past queries and automatically route requests to the proper person. This allows customer service teams to focus their time and efforts where they can be most productive and produce the greatest value.

Though many worry that AI will diminish the value of human work, humans will still be needed for 80 percent of complex problem-solving tasks in the future. When AI takes over mundane responsibilities, employees can show greater value through more productive, meaningful work.  This, in turn, leads to better positions, which may involve performing the kinds of jobs that have yet to be invented. This evolution can also increase productivity, as employees will have more time to work on tasks they enjoy and can take pride in.

Artificial intelligence can also serve as a great tool for evaluating potential candidates for open positions. This takes some the burden off of HR staff, allowing them to focus on vetting great prospects and rewarding top employees.AI can also measure the productivity of current employees to analyze what’s working and what’s not. Through this, businesses can adjust their methods as needed to increase production and to provide qualified feedback to improve employee confidence and encourage loyalty and skill development.

80 percent of executives believe that AI can significantly improve productivity for their companies. The power AI displays today, and the potential it has in the future, will prove greatly beneficial to businesses of all industries.


Blog contributed by Maddie Davis from Enlighted Digital, a digital magazine dedicated to the top tech and business news, updates and analyses from around the web!