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artificial intelligence

7 Companies that use AI for efficiency

Harborview Farms

Headquartered in Rock Hall, Maryland, Harborview farms sprawls over an area of 13,000 acres consisting of more than 80 farms in three counties. These farms grow corn, soybeans, and winter wheat. Trey Hill owns these lands where his family has been farming for over a century. They use solar panels to power everything on the farm and take the help of covering crops to improve the ecology of the land.

While these cover crops have greatly improved soil health in the past 20 years, Trey Hill lacks the science and data to validate such information. He took the help of FarmBeats to obtain data that can be useful for research in the agriculture industry. The collection of this data would have happened manually, but FarmBeats used machine learning models across datasets to improve the collection of data.

Hill, on the other hand, relies on the efficient collection of this data to demonstrate carbon neutrality in the soil. He will then be able to sell carbon credits through the farm. Additionally, he also aims to help consumers know exactly where their food is coming from and how it was produced. By providing data that can connect the farm to its produce, Hill will be able to improve his farm’s revenue. AI helps him procure this data with greater efficiency and in less time as compared to the manual collection of data.

https://news.microsoft.com/features/feed-the-world-how-the-usda-is-using-data-and-ai-to-address-a-critical-need/

Saccheria Franceschetti

Saccheria Franceschetti is a family business based in Brescia, Italy. The 50-employee company produces bags from old fabrics. It was established in 1939, and in 80 years, the company has partnered with several businesses to provide packaging solutions. To solve the problem of rising customer requirements, Saccheria Franceschetti introduced AI in its business to optimize warehouse management and logistics. With the help of AI, the company monitored business processes to identify areas where it was expending more resources than required.

The need for automation in its business processes and the use of AI to accelerate business efficiency became necessary for the company when it started dealing with more competitors in the market. Most of its methods were old, and the company continued to use hard copies for warehouse management. By adopting Google Cloud Platform and API Google, the company took the first step to digital transformation. It has never looked back since then.

As it gained operational efficiency, the company increased its revenue from €16 million in 2015 to almost €20 million in 2019. It also enjoyed higher profit margins and fewer customer complaints.

https://grow.google/intl/europe/story/saccheria-franceschetti-reinventing-logistics-with-ai

Guess

Global lifestyle brand Guess uses artificial intelligence to provide customers with a more luxurious experience that can help them shop quickly and easily in the store and online. The company has partnered with Alibaba to use artificial intelligence. The store has smart mirrors along with smart racks and user-friendly fitting rooms. The idea is to help customers lookup options for the products they choose along with the sizes and colors that a product is available in.

When a customer chooses a product from the rack, a nearby mirror would automatically show variations of the product to help you make informed decisions for the products you buy. The mirror’s touch interface allows customers to interact with the mirror and show clothing options as well as accessories available in the store, which can be bought along with the item they took off the rack. These mirrors will only display products in the store and will also guide you to the area of the store which holds those items.

Alternatively, you can use the smart mirror to add items to your cart, and these products will be waiting for you to try at the fitting room. Inside the fitting rooms, consumers will come across more smart mirrors, which will provide further options, including customizing their looks with additional items. The store staff will be prompted with the information to keep additional items ready for you to try.

Guess chose AI to transform its in-store experiences because consumers are demanding for exceptional experiences like these as a reason to stay loyal to a brand. When a brand decides to avoid futuristic trends, it may as well give up the opportunity of staying ahead of its competitors. In time, these companies may lose the race and maybe forgotten beyond the point of revival.

Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric is an energy automation company that adopted AI as a means of improving cost efficiency and productivity. AI is currently used in the company for preventive maintenance checks. It has been found that the AI systems are more predictive than the manual tests carried out by the company. As a result, Schneider Electric can save more on maintenance, and the equipment operates for longer.

It uses Microsoft’s machine learning and AI to monitor and configure the pumps located in oil and gas fields. With the help of AI, the company can remotely monitor these pumps and detect the possibility of pump failure. Since problems in the equipment can be detected early, it avoids the pump from going out of commission, which saves the company repair costs of up to $1 million.

Schneider Electric’s customers are also able to save more money due to less maintenance and lower downtime. Since the maintenance team can focus more on ways to improve operations and spend less time in repairs, the company can use its resources to innovate and ideate rather than to maintain the equipment.

Kroger

The supermarket chain Kroger aims to make shopping hyper-personal for its customers by employing AI in its stores. The company has partnered with Microsoft to visually flag the items on a shopper’s list at the shelf. This helps Kroger solve the rising concern about crowded shopping aisles and supports better customer experience.

When a customer enters a Kroger store, they can use their shopping list, which can be created in advance on the Kruger app. The shop has digitized store shelves, which will automatically identify the items on your shopping list. A personalized icon will start flashing as soon as you are near one of the things on your list.

The prices are updated dynamically, and advertisements are shown according to the user’s age and gender. This makes shopping easier for customers, and it also helps the workforce complete curbside pickup orders without any hassles. As a result, the company has been able to improve the productivity of each of its stores by making shopping experiences more user friendly and by helping the staff complete each order in a short time. 

Kroger leverages its vast pools of data to intelligently create better user experiences and improve the quality of its services for its customers. This automatically explains the company’s rising market reputation and plays a role in enhancing its operational efficiency.

McDonald’s

McDonald acquired Dynamic Yield in March 2019 to improve customer experience by personalizing its food menus at drive-through windows. The company uses Artificial Intelligence to display menus optimized according to the time of the day when the order is being placed. It also keeps factors like the weather, the restaurant traffic, and trending menus in mind to display food menu choices for customers. This process is being tested in McDonald’s stores in the US and will soon be used globally for in-store kiosks and drive-through menus.

Steve Easterbrook, CEO at McDonald’s, saw the acquisition of Dynamic Yield as an essential step by the international fast-food chain in embracing technology to increase efficiency and improve customer experience. McDonald’s aimed for two things when it adopted AI. The first was the ability to maintain competitiveness in the industry by providing customers with better skills and improving the quality of services their customers received at the stores.

The second goal that the restaurants achieved by using AI is building higher efficiency in the store. Since the in-store, self-order kiosks, and drive-through menus started offering customized choices, customers were able to complete their orders quickly. This, in turn, helped the workforce to service more customers in a given period.

Consumers can easily find foods that they would like to have instead of going through the full menu to pick what they want to order. By personalizing the list, the restaurant also helps customers place orders quickly to improve productivity.

https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-49664633

Geneva University Hospitals

The Geneva University Hospitals (HUG) is the first European hospital to have used IBM Watson Health for precision oncology offerings. Doctors at HUG have been able to accelerate the process of categorizing massive bodies of genomic data to identify cancer types and provide precision reports to patients.

Watson for Genomics also uses information from peer-reviewed articles which have been validated by experts, to provide a detailed report for the physician, which includes classification of genetic alterations in a patient’s tumor. It also supplies physicians with information about associated therapies and clinical trials.

Rudolph Meyer, MD, Deputy Chief Information Officer at HUG, explains that the aim of using AI in the hospital was to help physicians provide a higher level of personalization in cancer care. The hospital also intends to streamline the variability of genomic reporting by using AI. Consequently, this can improve the results for patients and help the hospital gain higher success in the treatment of cancer.

Cancer takes several lives each year. Doctors and researchers try to do their best to stay updated on information about cancer and its treatments. But these details keep on increasing, and patients often have to go through a difficult period of treatment. In most cases, cancer treatments take a long time. With the help of AI, hospitals like HUG are positively transforming the level of treatment and care extended to patients. They can identify actionable genomic insights which could be overlooked by healthcare practitioners who rely on manual interpretations.