AI According to Mike Marks on Driven by DCKAP

AI Mike Marks DCKAP

AI is all the rage in trade publications, on LinkedIn, for industry conferences (and standalone conferences targeted at distribution) and will probably be a topic at this year’s HARDI conference in one-on-one conversations between distributors and manufacturers.

The questions that will be asked are:

  • What are you doing?
  • Oh, you’re not doing anything? What are you thinking of doing?

Reality check … there’s lots of conversations that are going on. Some technology-oriented companies are introducing services that are using generative AI … and some of those have real-world applications that can address issues … defined as eliminating / reducing repetitive processes (like data entry), integration into marketing / CRM tools, research, and there are other targeted applications.

Why is it taking “long” (and remember, ChatGPT was only launched to the general public 18 months ago?)

It takes time for companies to embrace change, fund change, and then to deploy change (and it takes time for manufacturers to harness their data, especially to deploy enhanced customer service systems, which AI could enhance, but … do they really want to share the information … what happens if it is (dare I say) wrong or, perhaps worse, it is true and the company has some operational issues!

But, when an industry icon like Mike Marks talks about AI, people start to consider it.

Mike Marks DCKAP AIIn a recent episode on the Driven by DCKAP podcast Mike provides insights into the integrating AI technologies to enhance operational efficiency and customer relationships in B2B markets.

So, in the spirit of AI, I asked Microsoft CoPilot (AI built into Microsoft’s tools), to summarize Mike’s thoughts:

“AI in Distribution: The podcast discusses the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on distributor operations and sales. AI’s ability to analyze vast data sets allows for more informed decisions and personalized customer experiences, leading to increased efficiency and profits.

Transformative Innovations: It highlights transformative AI innovations that are revolutionizing distribution strategies, enabling companies to better approach their operations and increase sales opportunities.

Future Investments: The conversation touches on where distributors should invest in the future to leverage AI effectively and stay ahead in the competitive market.

Practical AI Applications: Mike Marks emphasizes the practical side of AI, beyond the hype, to help people understand its tangible benefits for businesses, especially in distribution.

Customer-Driven Digital Transformation: The article also covers the concept of letting customers drive digital transformation, focusing on creating a frictionless buying experience and predicting future customer needs.

Sales Process Evolution: It explores how AI is evolving the sales process, making it more consultative and value-driven, rather than just transactional.

AI Adoption Challenges: Despite the potential, there is a hesitation among distributors to share their AI strategies due to the fear of losing competitive advantage.

AI’s Role in CRM: Marks discusses the role of AI in improving customer relationship management (CRM) systems and the importance of having a defined process for successful implementation.

Efficiency and Strategy: The article concludes with the idea that AI can significantly reduce selling, general, and administrative costs, streamline processes, and provide a strategic advantage in the market.”

And for those who know Mike, you will enjoy Karthik Chidambaram’s discussion with Mike. You’ll learn how Mike started and more insights on his racing!

You can catch the podcast here or watch Mike and Karthik here on YouTube.

DCKAP helps distributors connect their ERP system with their eCommerce store, to a CRM system, perhaps inventory, accounting and logistics applications, marketplaces, and more —all with the goal of helping data flow between systems automatically and in real time … exactly what is needed to make AI come alive!

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