RACO Investment founder Randall Castillo Ortega discusses how artificial intelligence can help SMEs

Artificial intelligence (AI) in companies of any size is essential today. It is a mistake to think that it is only available to large multinationals. There are solutions of all kinds at affordable prices that have democratized access to machine learning and automation technologies. The emergence of COVID-19 has further accentuated this need. SMEs prepared to digitize processes will be able to adapt better to scenarios of teleworking and online sales, for example. Randall Castillo Ortega, the founder of SME investment firm RACO Investment, provides insight into why AI is a valuable ally for small businesses.

Companies that work with AI benefit in all their departments. The AI is able to learn by observing human behaviors and solving problems. Asserts Castillo, “The marketing department allows you to better segment campaigns with trend analysis and customer feedback processing. Customer service managers see their task much more streamlined thanks to chatbots for SMEs, which solve incidents without the need for human intervention.”

Big data and AI in SMEs go hand in hand. In fact, one of the keys to AI’s success is its ability to analyze large volumes of data. It processes information in real-time and delivers high-value results to the company to make better decisions.

The implementation of AI is usually linked to work in the cloud, which facilitates processes. Having cloud solutions is beneficial for SMEs because it facilitates access from anywhere to internal information. In a scenario of increased teleworking due to COVID-19, digital preparation is key to business survival. And that includes artificial intelligence in small businesses.

AI software is capable of reviewing all your data, sorting it, hierarchizing it, crossing it with each other and identifying patterns, variables and making predictions. One of the most important objectives is to get to know our customers in detail. Know how they behave, because they click on one part of the web and not in another, at what point a purchase process in ecommerce is stopped, how they interact with the content we send them. This information is used to tailor our campaigns to what we know about them and give them what they want. This increases the profitability of our shares.

The accuracy of predictions is another key to AI’s success. When planning and launching new products or offers, the sales team has much more information on how to approach the public, what kind of messages work best, by which commercial channels and even in which time slots. This makes it much easier to attract new customers and retain existing ones. AI in sales has a lot to contribute.

One of the more important challenges for SMEs is how to approach customer service quickly and effectively without having to shell out a large investment in call centers or own staff. “Chatbots can be a solution,” says Castillo. “Thanks to natural language processing, they are able to hold conversations with users and solve their problems. You can create a model that, depending on the complexity of the request, leads it to a bot or a person. It’s about streamlining processes.”

One of the most useful applications of AI in companies for Finance or Human Resources departments. SMBs can reduce the time they spend organizing files, creating forms, or managing their agenda with AI programs. This has an impact on the satisfaction of workers, who stop investing time in monotonous tasks without excessive value.

The data tells us that there is ample room for growth in the use of AI in SMEs. And these companies are going to need help. Technology consultancies have a great future to advise, guide and implement solutions in these companies. The ERP of the future will need experts who know how to help SMEs get the most out of it.

Companies that engage in strategic consulting must convey to their clients the importance of incorporating AI. They must also accompany them in the process, resolving doubts and ensuring that the company understands and controls the programs that have been implemented. AI is here to stay, and it is everyone’s mission to incorporate it into our businesses to continue growing.

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