By Rhonda Dibachi, CEO, HeyScottie.com
Every one of us, at some point, has discovered that Google is no longer a great search tool.
Rather, it’s great at serving up ads and the products—however distantly related to the actual search terms—that advertisers want us to see.
What happened to Google?
Using search, you are only shown the results that sellers want to show you:
1) What they have/make
2) What they hope you’ll need
The deck is stacked against you: when you search in Amazon or Google, the sellers are incented to show you everything they’ve got, no matter how tenuously connected to your original search, in the hope that you will click on it. They do better when they cast a wide net, no matter how ludicrous it might be in real life.
The more technical or complex the search, the worse the results. Want a 300W equivalent floodlight, CRI >90, >50K lumens, 3700K? You’ll be served floodlights, sure, but none of the other attributes will register. That’s because search is not contextual.
Google and Amazon know this, which is why they give you filters to help narrow down your search. But it’s still not a true multi-variant or parametric search, because the filters are pre-set and often do not include the specs you want to include.
Finding what you want will get easier
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a veritable game-changer for manufacturers and suppliers who know how to put it to work for them. AI is contextual, enabling it to leapfrog every other search tool currently available. Using digitization, machine learning and AI will become increasingly critical to stay competitive and profitable. To see why, read on:
Bargain hunting In manufacturing? Sure. AI is a perfect application for finding the lowest cost, fastest or nearest supplier or service provider. Along with the authentication and security offered by the blockchain, it’s only a matter of time.
Implementing AI can help manufacturers and suppliers suss out the best prices, features, and leadtimes for parts and services. Many suppliers’ parts catalogs are probably already online; you can use these to train your own AI, saving you time and money.
In fact, work is already underway to research and accumulate the data necessary for manufacturers to shop for supplies and services as easily as consumers shop for virtually everything else online.
IT headache? Easier than you think
It’s not that hard. Really.
Because every supply-chain professional has an eager and willing cadre of people (also known as vendors) who would love nothing more than to give them some free consulting to help them get started. Software, product, and other sales guys are a wealth of information that every manufacturer should invite in, and then learn from…no purchase necessary.
Beyond the bargains
Along with its ability to search for and hone in on exactly what you need in the multiverse, AI is an essential business tool that can help every manufacturer, supplier or service-provider become more competitive.
Once you’ve gotten a taste of what AI can do for you in price discovery, you can explore using the predictive and contextual analytics of AI to cut costs, avoid delays, and increase efficiencies. In the manufacturing sector, use cases include credit-checking, production-line maintenance and management, plant management, product description/catalogue creation, regulatory compliance, enterprise-resource planning, and innovation.
AI will simplify it for you
The best part about AI is that it won’t necessarily mean installing and training on yet another new-fangled bit of tech wizardry. Just look at how AI is already making it easy for people with no design or coding experience to create their own apps. Or consider how AI is being used to virtually try on eyeglasses or to update skills training with only a couple of clicks on a mobile phone.
Embrace it. The future is here, and it’s not a scary sci-fi trope.
As the founder and CEO HeyScottie.com, a company dedicated to creating a stronger, more robust manufacturing industry for the US, Ronda Dibachi is committed to helping enterprises thrive in a swiftly-changing economy. Rhonda is a tech and manufacturing industry veteran, co-founder of multiple companies in tech, manufacturing and clean tech. She started as a manufacturing consultant with Ernst & Young, then was an architect for Oracle Manufacturing ERP, during which time she started Oracle’s Work in Progress (WIP) production-management system. Rhonda then co-founded a software company and helped take it public (NASDAQ: NIKU, 2000), as well as co-founding a lighting manufacturing company. Her education includes an MBA in business management and a BSNE from Northwestern University, nuclear engineering.