Artificial intelligence. In today’s world it’s impossible to escape it. What was once considered a futuristic concept from a dystopian future is now embedded across all areas of our lives. Businesses are increasingly turning to AI – carefully weaving together strategy, process redesign, and human and technical capabilities to drive their business forward.
On the forecourt artificial intelligence can be used in a variety of different ways and can help retailers gain a competitive edge. To successfully fuel a business with AI however, retailers must challenge their processes and adopt a holistic approach where they not only recognise how AI can drive business outcomes but have the ability to create a culture that supports and harnesses the capabilities of artificial intelligence.
The road to AI
Becoming an AI-fuelled business isn’t like flicking on a light switch. It is a journey that requires reimagining processes, deploying AI in the right areas and change management. It is important to recognise that artificial intelligence is an important tool to support your business, not to dictate how you should do business. Staff will need to build trust in the system and realise that the AI is there to enhance their capabilities, not replace them. Part of that process is understanding how the AI system works and being able to explain how and why it has come to a decision.
A2i’s AI-driven pricing solutions are configured to the objectives and goals of each individual customer. AI can be integrated in three stages – assisted, augmented and autonomous. The AI assists by managing vast amounts of data collected by the business and augments by augmenting human analytical competencies. The artificial intelligence supports retailers in their work and decision making. By acting as a digital twin retailers can test simulations and ideas, for example they can see how a price increase would affect the volume and margin at a site and how the market would react to the change. By being able to play around with these ideas teams can become more familiar with the AI and build trust in the process. This a vital step in the AI journey as it prepares businesses for stage three – autonomous AI.
Autonomous AI is able to take action without human intervention and this is where businesses can gain a real advantage over the competition. With this type of self learning technology it is essential that the models are consistent and don’t change, but rather adapt to the conditions. This is something that must be carefully considered when designing the AI. If done correctly, this will result in a AI system that is more robust than traditional statistical models as it is capable of finding solutions outside its specified domain values.
Humans and AI
Artificial intelligence will not replace humans but humans with AI will replace those without. Rather than thinking of AI as something that will replace the human workforce, businesses need to rethink the human-machine interaction entirely. AI is a powerful tool that can support decision making, increase productivity and free up humans to take on other roles. To become an AI-fueled entity, businesses must find ways for machines and humans to work together in digitally designed processes.
For pricing teams, an AI solution like PriceCast Fuel can eliminate tedious work, highlight sites that require attention and offer an opinion on how to solve it. It is this ability to devise a solution and cooperate with the pricing analyst that sets an AI solution apart from a simple expert system.
Supporting you on your journey
The journey to becoming an AI-fuelled organisation may seem daunting, but in reality it is just the latest technological advancement on the road to increased productivity and strategic possibilities. To take this step effectively businesses can phase in the integration of AI and build new process and systems that emphasise the collaboration between humans and machines. But, businesses don’t have to go it alone. Supporting businesses through the change management process is just as important as providing the solutions. At A2i Systems we work with our customers to help them navigate this path.