Intelligent Automation: Binding People, Processes, Systems, & Data

Intelligent Automation: Binding People, Processes, Systems, & Data

Intelligent Automation: Binding People, Processes, Systems, & Data

Not just a business accelerator; the past year has shown that intelligent automation and related technologies have been responsible for the maximum symbiosis between people, processes, systems, and data.

The pandemic has forced many companies to reinvent the way work is done. With the necessity to continue and drive business goals in spite of limited personnel and social restrictions, companies have literally landed on a new era of business management. A major part of this invention has been the close collaboration between the three levers of business — technology, people, and processes — to get work done.

Never has the amalgamation of these three levers been greater than during the pandemic. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning have pervaded standard business functions, changing the corporate landscape for the better. And a better part of the digital transformation that has permeated companies over the past decade have had a lot to do with data. Data, and the modelling and management of data have been a core component of transformation in any company. Data combined with process-specific intelligence can be used as a powerful lever to impact the core of an organization positively — the mission critical document-intensive processes. This discovery has resulted in new process implementation frameworks, ones that are powered by intelligent systems rather than human effort. The intelligent or smart systems have shown tremendous capabilities to scale, transform, accelerate, and bolster decision-making with accurate data-driven insights.

It is expected that new business management models will be dictated by the kind of symbiosis that brings data, systems, and processes together to get work done.

The Emergence of A Common Theme in the Race to Digital Transformation

This new wave of digitalization, which has proven to be most indispensable during the pandemic, is again a re-invention of the way companies can approach and impress the buyer. Social restrictions have not just immobilized entire populations but also threatened to impede business at most basic level — retail, supply chain, administration, finance & accounting, customer service, etc., all mission-critical for the general functioning of a business, have been re-engineered partly, or in full to ensure business continuity. And whatever little transformation that companies underwent during COVID-19, a common theme has emerged —

  • The induction of intelligent workflows that managed document-intensive tasks & reduce the dependency on manpower — the lack of which became a costly impediment during the pandemic.
  • The emergence of smart technology solutions that managed the capture, processing, and governance of business data.
  • Identification and implementation of optimization techniques that reduce either the number of processing steps, operating costs, or manpower — in an effort to hasten product and service delivery.

We’ll look at one example of implementation of intelligent workflows in the supply chain department and see how well digital transformation has enabled implementation of the aforementioned themes.

A critical component of supply chain management is sales order processing. It is a time-consuming, document-intensive function that slows the overall productivity and service delivery to customers, if not managed well. Many companies realized, first-hand, the benefits of automating this function using intelligent automation technology. Order processing software, built on intelligent automation technology, optimizes order processing and accelerates service delivery and payments.

  • Machine Learning and AI embedded in an order processing software helps with automatic data capture, processing, and data entry of sales order details to an ERP system. Self-learning is a typical feature of an intelligent automation system — the order processing software is designed to identify standard sales order template formats and process them for use in an ERP system. In order to process sales order forms with unfamiliar templates, for which the software has no pre-built logic on how to capture and process them, the software relies on machine learning. Machine Learning enables the execution of complex or new documents unattended, reducing the need for manual intervention.
  • Intelligent Data Capture is an essential component of order processing software that ensures the singular flow of business data from the time it enters an organization in the form of source documents like vendor invoices, sales orders, medical claims forms, etc. to its final processing and export to a business application suite. In the case of sales order processing, the solution ensures that orders are processed without the standard manual errors like duplicate data entry, missing or misplaced orders, etc.

What Intelligent Automation Achieves: The Symbiosis Between Data, Systems, People, & Processes

A typical order processing function includes data capture of sales orders to an order management platform, cross-checking and sorting of order forms for validity, tallying with order history to confirm it is a new order, cross-checking with sales personnel to determine the status of the order — whether processed and paid, checking the inventory for availability of stock, and notifying the customer several times during the order-to-cash process on the status of their order.

Order processing software performs straight-through processing of all these steps in a single workflow, eliminating double data entry to an order processing platform and then to an ERP system, accelerating order validity through automatic inventory lookups and checking for duplicity, routing orders automatically to concerned personnel for dispute resolution, payment status, etc., as well as automatically adding to the customer database the order details for future reference and immediate retrieval of customer information as part of accelerated customer service.

Intelligent Automation of mission critical processes like accounts payable, order processing, medical claims processing, etc. has in fact enabled businesses to reach out to the customer quicker than one would have expected. The pandemic has not just forced companies to reinvent their standard operating procedures but also value intelligent automation as an enabler rather than a disruptor.

To learn how to elevate your mission critical processes & ensure business continuity even in the midst of a global upheaval like the pandemic, talk to Artsyl.

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