by Mark Nix

As the saying goes: every avalanche starts with a single snowflake. When it comes to your business, how are you protecting yourself from the minor mishaps and oversights that could lead to larger, if not disastrous, problems down the line?

AI Blog Office Space

The plot at the center of Office Space, the 1999 satirical comedy about office life in the 90s, involves a computer virus designed to divert fractions of pennies (rounding errors) to the culprit's bank account. However, their micro-theft virus - which should have yielded a few hundred dollars a year - extracted over $300,000 in the span of a weekend.

If it sounds familiar, it's because they did it in Superman III.

AI Blog Office Space

Even small companies are turning to automation to scale their operations and leverage new growth. The problem with automation: it can scale problems just as easily as it can solutions. With so many moving parts in your business, what does it look like to have all of your bases covered? Do the right people in your company know what it looks like when something "goes wrong"? With your complex daily operations, who is keeping an eye out for the one-off anomalies or irregularities in your system? Like the smallest spec of dust in the microchip factory, a seemingly insignificant issue can bring your entire business to a halt if it goes undetected. This is one of the many reasons Nextworld is leveraging AI to roll out anomaly detection tools across our platforms.

When Anomalies turn Exponential

It's not always malicious banking schemes or disgruntled employees (although those are very valid concerns). Anomalies are any irregularity in your system. Automation allows you to conduct thousands, or even millions, of transactions in a day - how can you expect to catch the error in time? Furthermore, how can you determine if it is a one-off error versus a trending disaster?

Our initial use case tracks IP activity across our client networks. In our ever-connected world of remote employees, each armed with company laptops, tablets, and smartphones, it is essential that only the right devices can access your network. AI anomaly detection raises the red flag when a device logs in from an unusual IP address, or if a user logs in from two vastly different places at the same time. Maybe your sales manager snuck away for a week and is checking their email from a tropical beach, or maybe a foreign agent is attempting to gain access to sensitive information. With our AI powered anomaly detection, you instantly get alerted to the right information so you can make a quick decision.

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But the use cases don't stop there. Detecting irregularities can highlight discrepancies across your company. For example:

1. Financial Discrepancies: What if you could find under- or over-payments? What if you could quickly reconcile invoices against bank statements to see who might be coming up short or if you are still paying fees for a service you thought you discontinued. From invoicing errors to excessive service or interest fees, our AI tools can flag anomalies so your finance teams can address and investigate issues promptly. Better yet, AI solutions can detect even the smallest discrepancies so you can maintain flawless financial integrity.

2. Inventory Management: Where in the world is your inventory? Does your warehouse on the other side of the ocean really have ten thousand of your widgets? Or did you miss a sales order that sold off half of them? When AI can continuously monitor inventory levels, locations, and movements it can tell you when things are mismanaged, misplaced, or mislabeled. Your inventory is money sitting on the shelf, and AI alerts keeps it from turning into lost revenue.

3. Customer Order Analysis: Why did your client just order three times more than their usual amount? Why did another one order a third less? Did you even notice? When AI picks up the anomaly, you can reach out and get the full story. Maybe their business is expanding, and you're about to expand with them. Or, maybe they're looking to corner a new market and shut you out. Either way, you need to act fast.

4. Resource Optimization: An AI-powered anomaly detection system is instrumental in tracking resource consumption. You may know the average power, data, and speed of your system, now you have the tools to identify abnormal spikes or slowdowns. The heads up let you adjust settings and allocate bandwidth to the right areas so your systems can stay online even when they are taxed.

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Data is essential to the future of your business, but knowledge is what will keep you IN business. Small problems left unchecked can quickly snowball into havoc. Small problems caught early are easier to resolve. AI anomaly detection can alert you to issues long before they have the chance to ruin your day and help you identify new opportunities that are frequently not obvious to the naked eye.

These days, you can’t afford not to be ready for the next threat. In a world where it’s easy to overlook the seemingly inconsequential bits of information, it's time to remove the blind spots. It’s time to stay ahead of what’s next.

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About the Author

Mark nix

Mark Nix

Head of Product Marketing and Strategic Solutions

As the Head of Product Marketing and Strategic Solutions, Mark Nix helps Nextworld® customers make their digital goals a reality with solutions spanning from purpose-built mobile apps to core ERP. An accomplished senior executive, Nix has over 30 years of experience as a passionate and innovative sales leader, specializing in building high-caliber engineering organizations.

Today, Nix leads a team that specializes in gaining a deep understanding of the customers’ business challenges, and how to solve them.

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