Matthew Hough, VP and Chief Information Officer at Cintas, speaks with Tracy Ring, Chief Data Officer and Global Generative Lead for Life Sciences at Accenture, in a video interview about generative AI as a disruptor, the importance of external partnerships, and the approach to using generative AI for business use cases.
Headquartered in Cincinnati, Cintas designs, manufactures and implements corporate identity uniform programs, and provides entrance mats, restroom cleaning and supplies, tile and carpet cleaning, promotional products, first-aid, safety, fire protection products, and services.
Hough says that at Cintas, generative AI is perceived as a disruptor for business, talent, and mindset. He however maintains that generative AI is in the early innings of producing real value. In terms of a business disruptor, it is being considered as a way to automate tasks, improve customer service, and look at insights to develop new products, and services.
As a foundational change of mindset, Hough mentions that Cintas is looking at ensuring cleaner processes and data to create value from a financial perspective. The company is also looking at upskilling employees in new areas like coding, creating content, and creating opportunities for customers to gain insights into their services and the value that they are getting.
Speaking on the security aspect of applying generative AI, he says that the company is looking at setting up a committee to understand data security and sensitivity. He reveals that using generative AI has been restricted to certain groups to avoid sharing financial and sales-related information.
Hough elaborates that the architecture strategy has been to pull generative AI models into the data instead of pushing data out to external generative AI models.
Speaking on the importance of partnerships, he adds that Cintas has partnered with Verizon for a variety of uses including supply chain management which has helped optimize routes according to details like customer density.
He also adds that the company has recently completed its SAP applications to Google Cloud Platform, not only making it efficient but also making it easier to align with Google's other tools. The three partnerships, SAP, Verizon, and Google, will help the company secure a highly competitive position in the coming years, Hough adds.
When asked about how generative AI fits into the broader suite, he states that a key goal is to use the data and insights to create more value for customers and employee partners.
Sharing a couple of example use cases for generative AI, he mentions improving customer interaction on the digital channels and helping partners and employees create more value while using the Cintas ERP Systems in the distribution center, the plants, or corporate space.
CDO Magazine appreciates Matthew Hough for sharing his insights and data success stories with our global community.