As AI continues to upend industries and job functions throughout the economy, savvy business owners and managers need to consider how AI can provide substantial cost and time savings. By trimming unnecessary expenses, companies can can streamline operations and optimize resources towards new growth initiatives and build a healthier business.
In this article, we’ll explore seven of the top AI-enabled cost savings opportunities that can help managers and business leaders become more efficient and competitive in a changing marketplace.
1. Simplified Scheduling
Scheduling can often be a time-consuming and cumbersome process requiring significant coordination among team members. Particularly in larger organizations, the meeting tax can lead to hours of often unproductive (and expensive) time spent in meetings.
Simply scheduling these meetings can similarly be a cumbersome process that forces leaders to spend considerable time combing through coworker calendars or waiting for confirmation from guests just to confirm a single meeting time.
While scheduling links have become popular over the past decade, AI Chief of Staff software from Xembly now allows users to take things a step further by simply delegating the work of scheduling to their personal AI assistant who can coordinate and schedule on their behalf. In addition to the time savings, the mental clarity of delegating each of these tedious tasks can be a game changer for busy professionals.
2. Meeting Note Taking
A meeting is only good as the decisions that are made during the meeting and the actions that follow-up from the meetings. Recording decisions and capturing action items is a tedious task that can prevent meeting organizers from being fully present in the actual strategic dialogue of a meeting.
While first generation tools simply produced a transcript that would often be unwieldy and challenging to utilize, next generation tools like Xembly provide not only a transcript and video recording but also a succinct Summary with Action Items assigned to the proper owner.
For most firms, the average fully loaded labor cost of an hour’s worth of work is likely well in excess of $50. Providing support for every meeting that takes place in an organization can quickly provide substantial cost savings and generate more productive meetings.
3. Task Management
Efficient task management is critical for optimizing productivity and meeting project deadlines. The first wave of software simply tracks tasks that users manually input and displays it in various formats. Next-generation AI software like Xembly assists users with the entire task management flow on behalf of its users.
For example, an individual may join a meeting and receive an Action Item that’s generated from automated meeting notes. From there, the AI may assist in finding time on an individual’s calendar for the action items. By automating routine tasks and optimizing workloads, companies can improve efficiency, reduce errors, and enhance overall productivity, resulting in significant cost savings.
4. Generative AI Capabilities
Copywriting and design creation play a critical role in marketing and communication, but it can be time-consuming and require significant creativity. The right words and visuals can bring a message to life while ordinary words can get lost in anyone’s stream of consciousness.
Generative AI capabilities are revolutionizing the field of copywriting by automating content creation. While lazy teams may let ChatGPT or Bard write their content verbatim, savvy teams can use AI as an accelerant by creating drafts and requirements. Xembly’s take is that generative AI can help business owners better visualize or describe what they mean in design briefs, so that less time is wasted on unproductive cycles between teams.
In just the marketing industry alone, one study pegged the average hourly savings at 5 hours per week per marketer (n = 1029 | Venturebeat, 2023). Such time and cost savings quickly add up across teams and provide businesses with the opportunity to simultaneously increase productivity and decrease labor costs.
5. Support Automation
Customer support is a vital aspect of any business, but it can also be resource-intensive. While first-generation AI chatbots were the bane of almost any user’s experience, recent tools and chatbots that have emerged are providing significant value.
Chatbots and virtual assistants powered by AI today can provide instant responses to frequently asked questions, guide customers through troubleshooting processes, and even handle simple transactions. By automating support tasks, businesses can reduce labor costs, provide round-the-clock support, and enhance customer satisfaction.
Perhaps more than any other department in a typical tech company, support is at the cutting edge of AI cost savings in ways that are challenging the status quo of business. In a story covered by CNN and other major outlets, one CEO boasted of cutting 90% of support staff in light of AI advancements leading to sharp rebuke online from public commentators noting the poor taste of boasting of layoffs that affect real people’s livelihood.
While some organizations may be tempted to remove support personnel altogether in light of AI advancements, best in class companies will continue to offer a bifurcated approach with well-trained AI chatbot systems handling frontline support as well as competent teams of human support agents provide greater support for higher complexity questions and creating the right support training content for AI to operate on.
6. Automate Recruiting and Hiring
Recruiting and hiring processes can be time-consuming and require significant human effort. AI can automate various stages of the recruitment process, such as resume screening, candidate shortlisting, and even conducting initial interviews. This can become a significant cost saver as coveted positions can often land hundreds if not thousands of eager applicants.
Advances in AI-supported recruiting have led to a wave of backlash from commentators noting concerns of AI bias. In order to hire the best and protect against litgation, companies seeking to utilize AI in HR for cost savings and productivity gains will also need to manage the public’s legitimate concerns and put in appropriate safeguards to ensure that candidates are given a fair opportunity.
One easy (and relatively safe!) way to test AI in your recruiting cycle is to use AI in sourcing from a reputable platform like LinkedIn. Linkedin points out that their AI technology is mature has been used for years in areas like job recommendations for their members or matches for their LinkedIn Recruiter interface.
Linkedin reports that leaders using AI can find up to 10% more new and qualified candidates and also get 35% greater reach from candidates — rather than relying on manual methods alone.
7. Supply Chain Optimization
This is perhaps the most developed (and complex!) area for AI optimization. Whether your supply chain looks more like widgets and bolts or bits and bytes, AI promises to deliver data analysis at scale in ways that help teams optimize the flow of work and reduce waste.
In the famed economic example of “I, Pencil” (published here by the Foundation for Economic Education), the roots of the common pencil are explored detailing a mysterious web of economic interactions spanning the globe just to create the pencil at your desk. How much more complex is the latest piece of software from a leading tech firm or a passenger airliner?
By leveraging AI algorithms for inventory management, route optimization, and demand planning, and other components of the supply chain, companies can reduce costs associated with overstocking, understocking, and inefficient logistics. AI can also identify potential bottlenecks and suggest optimization strategies, leading to improved efficiency and cost savings.
If you’re in a small or mid sized business, we recommend partnering with a mature provider like Fedex, or a third-party logistics provider like ShipBob, to ensure that you have a mature parter who can handle the tradeoff between AI complexity and cost efficiency for you.
Taken as a whole, the latest wave of AI advancements offers companies numerous opportunities for cost-savings as well as productivity gains.
From simplifying task workflows like scheduling and task management to supporting entire job functions like support or HR, companies looking to optimize the way they work will find no shortage of opportunities.
To get started with the first step today, sign up for Xembly to see how an AI Chief of Staff can support your business and bring cost savings throughout your organization.