AI Blog Series- Strategies for Small and Medium Sized Businesses with Premier Strategy Consulting

As we look back on the recent advancements in technology, it becomes clear that we are amidst a significant transformation driven by artificial intelligence (AI). Welcome to our new monthly series taking a look at AI in the context of startups and investment here in the MIdwest. We’ll be interviewing industry leaders, past presenting companies, AI skeptics, and regulation experts to help us understand just what the AI revolution has in store for us all.

Recently InvestMidwest Executive Director, Claire Kinlaw, sat down with Yao Shepherd PhD and Chuanmei Zhu PhD of Premier Strategy Consulting, experts on engaging with AI and AI strategy for small and medium sized businesses.

The rapid integration of AI across industries has created both immense opportunities and notable uncertainties. For many businesses, the challenge lies in leveraging AI effectively while managing the risks and costs associated with its implementation.

According to Premier Strategy Consultants, 85% of AI investments are wasted, often due to a lack of strategic guidance. Small and medium-sized companies that don't have resources to build effective internal teams can outsource their AI needs to AI experts like Premier in the same way that companies use other professional services like accounting, human resources, and marketing

One of the things that’s so exciting about AI is it’s widespread applicability. This allows companies like Premier to branch out into diverse niches. Their clientele includes businesses in biotech life sciences, healthcare, retail, and financial services. Despite their differences, these industries share a common ground where AI can significantly enhance operations. “Our methodologies—analytical planning, value strategizing, problem decomposition, and outcome-based reporting—are universally applicable, making AI a powerful tool across various sectors. The versatility of AI excites us, as it has the potential to revolutionize any business function.” said Dr. Shepherd

Revolution is a word thrown around a lot when it comes to AI, but truly one of the most transformative impacts of AI is seen in research and development for therapeutics. AI has fundamentally changed how we test drugs and conduct experiments. Previously, patient recruitment for trials was limited to volunteers. Now, predictive analytics allows us to target specific patient groups, greatly increasing the chances of successful outcomes.

This precision extends to operations management, where AI enables accurate prediction of restocking needs, a critical function for retail and manufacturing sectors.  AI's ability to solve complex operational challenges is invaluable. By inputting constraints and allowing AI to propose solutions, businesses can simulate operations quickly and efficiently. This capability not only streamlines processes but also improves decision-making across industries.

Anytime efficiencies are introduced there’s a certain fear that always bubbles under the surface. Are the robots coming for our jobs?  In reality, Dr. Shepherd assures us, AI often transforms roles rather than eliminating them. For example, in a biotech company, employees who previously spent hours manually scheduling experiments can now use AI to optimize these processes. This shift allows them to focus on more strategic tasks, enhancing overall efficiency. To stay relevant, individuals can take free courses and obtain certifications in AI, ensuring they can work alongside data scientists and traditional managers. Dr. Zhu and Dr. Shepherd both are confident that we shouldn’t fear AI and that it’s adoption can make our lives better and enhance the work life balance we’re always striving for. 

The widespread adoption of AI brings both exciting opportunities and potential risks. While AI can significantly improve business operations, it also raises concerns about data privacy. As AI continues to integrate into various aspects of business, maintaining robust ethical guidelines and privacy protections with regulation be crucial.

AI is truly revolutionizing the business world, offering unprecedented opportunities for growth and efficiency. By partnering with experts like Premier Strategy Consulting, businesses can navigate the complexities of AI, reduce waste, and focus on their core strengths. As we embrace the future, it is essential to remain adaptable, continuously learning, and mindful of the ethical implications of AI advancements.

If you’d like to participate in our AI series, please contact Lyndsey Gruber