The workplace of today is appreciably more connected than it ever was. The pandemic and ensuing social restrictions have further propelled companies to engage better to drive sustainable businesses. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation are the levers piloting this change. This past year has taught us the importance of automation in the workplace like never before. The potential for AI and related cognitive technologies to propel basic and complex business tasks has truly been a positive discovery for everyone struggling with social restrictions and lockdowns.
We’ve always known what AI can bring to the table in terms of innovation and growth, but it is only in the past few years that companies have really put the theory to test; and the results have been amazing. More SMBs now invest in Intelligent Automation technologies to get office work done. AI is bringing down costs and helping generate revenues at a functional level.
In fact, respondents to a 2020 survey by McKinsey on the State of AI chalk up 20% or more of their company’s earnings before interest & taxes (EBIT) to Artificial Intelligence. Half of the respondents have embedded AI into their processes in at least one function or business unit. Also, the rate of AI adoption and resulting revenue increases are largest within the service-development and service-operations functions including Supply Chain Management, Human Resources, and Manufacturing (McKinsey, “State of AI in 2020”).
Given how invaluable AI is to the general functioning of organizations today, we’ll look at AI and automation in the workplace and the associated benefits — a useful guide to what companies, both SMBs and large corporations, are adopting, and what you must do to get on board with digital transformation, if you haven’t already.
Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) is an advanced automation software embedded with AI, Machine Learning, and related digital transformation technologies. IPA works best for jobs that require a great deal of manual effort and are document-intensive. The technology is useful for repetitive, mundane tasks that are essential to the proper functioning of departments but can be delegated to robots.
Mundane functions eat up manpower resources and are one of the primary reasons for employees losing motivation at work. Set up your systems and processes to take care of these and have your skilled workers contribute towards more strategic, goal-oriented tasks — prudent employee management is the beginning of establishing a sustainable enterprise.
Anyway, we seem to have digressed a little here! Let’s get back to jobs that need to be automated:
- Recruitment: sourcing the right candidates for a job or talent-spotting is an art. Even so, sifting and sorting through hundreds of applications is time consuming. Automated recruitment software helps rapidly search through applications based on the right keywords.
- Order Processing: order processing is a critical step in order fulfillment but involves a lot of manual effort — sorting sales orders, performing data entry to get order information into an order management system, checking availability of inventory stock against a particular order, engaging with customers to get orders to them on time, and managing receivables for fulfilled orders. All these steps can be automated using order processing software.
- Accounts Payable: accounts payable is the process of reconciling payments for purchases made from vendors. This is a very critical step in accounting that must be done right to ensure healthy cash flows and revenues. But this process again, entails a lot of manual data entry and processing work, which could ideally be automated using Intelligent Process Automation software like AP Automation. AP automation performs invoice data capture, extraction, validation, verification, and export of approved invoice details to an ERP system or other line-of-business applications for further business use and accounting.
- Customer Support: customer support is the face of an organization that should be presented in the best possible manner to ensure long-term customer loyalty. But it is essentially a 24/7 chore that reduces your skilled staff to robotic work of answering calls and resolving issues. Not all customer grievances require complex human thinking — a lot of customer queries can, in fact, be resolved through FAQs and chatbots. Chatbots help engage customers during after-office hours when manpower resources are few but customer support cannot stop. Employees certainly can follow-up on the chatbot results to see if the issue at hand has been resolved or the ticket is yet to be closed. This way, companies can ensure no customer is left unattended at all times.
- Scheduling & Conference Calls: the pandemic has really impacted the video telephony and scheduling industry positively. Investments in team meeting software have shot up since the announcement of lockdowns and social restrictions. Intelligent Automation allows for intelligent software controls where you can decide the audience, the meeting time, the number of participants in a meeting, as well as control invitations to individual participants at particular times during the meetings, much like you would at the office.
- Automatic Data Entry & Form Filling: don’t you hate it when you need to fill in your personal particulars like contact and payment information every time you seek access to say, government portals or even your company website? Now, you have one-click, browser-agnostic, form-filler software with strong security controls that take care of your mundane tasks.
- Medical Claims Processing: this is another document-intensive process that takes up a lot of your valuable employee’s time but is critical to expediting claims processing and reimbursements to patients. Claims processing software employs Intelligent Process Automation to acquire, validate, verify, and export claims data to an ERP system or destination folder for immediate review, and reimbursements to claimants.
- Expense Reporting: employee engagement is best realized when you have your employees attend conferences, training workshops, and corporate events as part of their professional development and learning. Also, business travel is an essential component of business success, but how do you capture and review the costs associated with it. Expense management is difficult when you do not have a mechanism to capture transaction data from hotels, airlines, restaurants, cab services, and anything that your company intends to pay for, but does not have accurate receipts & invoices to do so. Automation software now facilitates timely expense management and reporting so companies can be sure of achieving all their travel goals within budget.
Automation, with AI and Machine Learning capabilities, has penetrated every industry sector, be it Manufacturing, Supply Chain, or Finance and Accounting. It is what businesses need to make a mark and become sustainable in a competitive market environment.
How are your workplace automation plans taking shape? Talk to Artsyl to get a first-hand demo of AP Vendor Invoice Automation or Sales Order Automation software.