Why buying artificial intelligence solutions is more than buying a tool

    

Have you noticed that simply “buying a new tool” is never as simple as simply buying a new tool?

Last week, I walked into my favorite DIY store. I wanted to cut stuff, so I went over to the “saw” section of the store and bought the most expensive piece of equipment I could find. Then, I took the saw home and – without reading the instructions – proceeded to cut. Guess what? It didn’t turn out as I wanted. I wasted a lot of time and money, and almost cut off my hand. So, I posted on social media about how bad the saw was, how you should never buy the saw, and how this saw was just not worth the money.

Pretty ridiculous, right? So, why is it that so many retail and CPG companies do pretty much the exact same thing when it comes to investing in Artificial Intelligence solutions?

Investing in new technology is the same as buying any tool. If you want to get real benefit for your money, you start with questions:

  1. What do I want to be able to do with the tool?
  2. How often do I expect to use the tool?
  3. Have I done anything with a tool like this before?
  4. Do I have any idea what I’m looking for in a tool, or do I need someone to help me pick one out?
  5. What’s my budget?

Here’s another story that will sound familiar. I’m embarrassed to admit the number of times I would buy a new gadget, then look at what’s required to make it work. Turns out that it’s complicated, so I stick it on the shelf. A few months later, I’ll find it again, open the box, look at it, decide it’s still complicated, and put it aside once more.

The more expensive and complicated the tool (or process), the more important it is to learn how to use it correctly. That best teacher is one who is already an expert in the use of the tool. It was no accident that the apprentice system survived for so many years (you can think of doctor’s residencies today as a continuation of that model): Spend time learning the craft from someone who already knows before heading out on your own.

After all this effort, there’s one more question to ask: Is this something where you really want to invest your time? This question is not about getting the work done – it’s the question of who should be doing the work.

My backyard was a mess. Bad drainage, too much shade, no grass. In this case, I was smart enough to get estimates from experts. They knew exactly what needed to be done – and much of it were things I wouldn’t have thought of in a hundred years. Not only that, they had all the tools needed and people who knew how to use the tools. In six weeks, I had a beautiful backyard that could be easily maintained.

Did it cost me more than doing it myself? Of course – NOT. I didn’t have the tools. I didn’t have the knowledge. If I had tried, I might have gotten it done eventually, but who knows how much money and time I would have wasted along the way. Oh, and while I was spending my time on the backyard, how many other priorities would have been missed, things that only I could do well? Often, the most effective way to “use a tool” is to hire an expert to do the work – and benefit from that person’s years of experience.

Our focus at Antuit is “Customer Success.” It’s not installation or implementation services, nor project or program management. The goal is to make sure that Antuit’s solutions allow our clients to realize the intended benefits. You have options: Do you want to run the system, or do you want us to do it? Do you have data science experts or would you prefer to leverage ours? Do you have a platform already in use, do you need us to help you put one together or do you prefer to use ours? Antuit’s “Real AI. Real Results.” mantra, by itself, doesn’t guarantee your team will know the best way for your company to benefit from Antuit’s Artificial Intelligence solutions. That’s our job.

No matter your starting point, no matter your preferences, no matter the skills you have or want to grow, our job is to make sure you - our customer – succeeds. So, “simply buying a tool” can be as simple, for your organization, as simply buying a tool.