Business process automation is the key to manifesting your enterprise vision with minimum supervision and maximum efficiency. Every competitive edge matters in an ever-saturating market no matter the size or type of your business.
Many of your manually driven processes, such as sorting and redirecting PDF attachments, prioritizing customer tickets, extracting information from operational reports, etc. demand precious time and energy. This inevitably takes a toll on your productivity while the rest of the industry is constantly innovating to perform faster.
The reasons for automation are manifold – here are five key aspects and benefits to consider.
1. Cost and time efficiency
As a decision-maker, automation needs to be seen as a strategic investment with a long-term footprint. Once you cover the initial implementation costs, automating workflows regularly leads to reduced labor hours, minimal paperwork expenditure, and higher customer satisfaction. As a consequence, you can widen your profit margins and redirect your funds to create more value.
The beneficial effect on the bottom line, particularly of AI-driven automation, could be shown in a study by Accenture. According to their data, automating or augmenting processes with AI will lead to significant profit improvements in a wide range of industries by 2035:
2. Freeing up human capital & potential
In most organizations, human capital is that extra something – despite or especially because of increasing digitalization. Automation can be a great liberator of human capital in your organization by freeing them from tedious work. As a result, managers can manage their resources much better and assign high-value tasks to their employees.
To put this in numbers, WorkMarket reported that 53% of employees acknowledge that they can save up to two work hours a day through automation, while 78% of business leaders state that automation can free up to three work hours a day. This leads to about six weeks per year for regular employees and nine additional weeks of productive work time at the management level.
3. Lower employee turnover
The benefit illustrated above leads to a natural consequence: The introduction of automation has cut down employee turnover in most enterprises.
High turnover usually occurs in positions requiring people to impassively perform repetitive tasks. When you free your employees from mundane processes and assign them creative and engaging activities, it boosts employee satisfaction. Satisfied employees are high performers and more committed to rallying for your business objectives for longer stretches of time.
You may know best about its reverse, where a high employee turnover not only causes a drop in employee morale but also incurs significant expenses for replacement.
4. Minimize human error
The various effects of human errors can range from embarrassing email typos to data breaches that can cost millions. According to the market intelligence firm IDC, human errors in handling and processing data cost the average multinational corporation an estimated $62.4 million a year. And even though this may be far greater than what your business is facing, it sends a clear signal.
Mistakes are human. Even if we have the skills, experience, and willpower to conduct a routine task, it is likely that we will make a mistake at some point. Automating your workflows also reduces the possibilities for human error.
Machines, on the other hand, work precisely according to pre-specified methods and without fluctuating attention. Once you thoroughly configured the automation set-up, it will deliver consistent results.
Systems using AI automation are similar in nature: Some applications require extensive tuning but achieve performance levels far greater than human beings could ever reach.
5. Greater customer satisfaction
A recent survey by Capgemini found that 730 out of 1,000 surveyed companies affirm that automation can help boost customer satisfaction. Early adopters who started using automation technology to refine their customer services reported a 19% increase in operating margins over a five-year period.
How so? You may already be collecting lots of information on your customers and putting it to great use. In addition to that, Machine Learning can be used to work with data that is not currently recorded in a standardized format. Be it inquiries via email or product usage – all these items can be effectively collected and, more importantly, analyzed and interpreted automatically.
Take a look at customer service use cases here.
The Machine Learning intervention: Paving the path to workflow optimization
Business automation is a simplicity-centric intervention meant to make human participation more meaningful and guarantee operational excellence in the long run.
Traditional automation, particularly Robotic Process Automation ("RPA") is centered around rule-based processes and analysis of structured data at best. However, most processes do not follow simple rules and are often triggered by unstructured data, to begin with – documents, images, and text.
The path forward
Irrespective of the size or nature of the business, companies around the world are recognizing that automation is their passport to productivity and profitability. And there is every reason to do so: new tools are making setup, use, and integration of such technologies comparably cheap and – probably more importantly – accessible to a wider audience.
We are ready for the dance. We hope you are too!