First of all, let us get this myth out of the way. Intelligent Process Automation does not ELIMINATE the workforce, rather it AUGMENTS it. Automation has come a long way in providing streamlined solutions to everyday challenges in the workplace. And with the ensuing after-effects of the pandemic coupled with labor and monetary challenges, companies need a lever to navigate efficiently through the turmoil and re-establish a winner’s mindset at the office.
Intelligent Process Automation is a combination of digital transformation technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, Intelligent Data Capture (IDC), Natural Language Processing (NLP), and Business Process Automation (BPA) that are applied to Robotic Process Automation (RPA) for straight-through implementation of document-dependent processes. The fact that document-driven functions can now be processed with little user intervention and delays makes IPA a popular choice in any vertical that depends on these functions.
Accounts Payable: a regular back-breaker, this number crunching exercise has prompted talented employees to become paper-pushers rather than game-changers! But that does not take away from the fact that this is a mission-critical task that organizations should be minding to a T if they are to maintain a healthy working capital. What can change is the method by which tasks are accomplished, and that is where intelligent automation comes into play. Have in place the business rules and workflows for the objectives you want to accomplish through invoicing before deploying a suitable IPA solution for AP Automation. Typical business rules would include maintaining an up-to-date vendor directory for easy vendor lookups and compliance; pre-configuring workflows for a diverse range of invoice formats and types; configuring validation rules as per individual business requirements like 2-way or 3-way matching, arithmetic checks etc.; deciding the export format for the kind of ERP or business application in use.
Order Processing: this is a critical function within the supply chain that, if badly managed, can literally slowdown or derail operations all together. If we move away from the hyperbole though, there is a real chance for companies to score in terms of sales and net revenues! Order processing gets you in contact with the customer. This provides businesses with an opportunity to know their customer well and deliver accordingly. However, manually managing order processing is simply an exercise in bargaining and does not get businesses very far. Impressing the buyer has a lot to do with facts and figures— a process automation tool that tracks sales orders will get you that all-important intelligence on customer behavior. A typical order processing software is built on an intelligent process automation platform so there is scope for leveraging intelligent data capture, AI, Machine Learning, etc. to capture, classify, extract, validate, and approve data from a sales order before entering it in a CRM or ERP system for further business use. Besides streamline sales order processing, IPA offers critical metrics about customer engagement like
Check Remittance: timely check payments and remittances are important to maintain cash flows and solvency, especially when handling multiple transactions. Paper checks are a thing of the past. Companies are now more accustomed to dealing with digital checks. In any case, keeping track of remittances corresponding to the associated check is a laborious, time-consuming task. Tallying each remittance to the corresponding check can be done faster with Intelligent Process Automation. IPA allows for automatic tracking and matching of remittance to the corresponding check, removing manual intervention for capture of details from checks and remittance data, validation, and approval.
Medical Claims Management: the best part about digital transformation in the healthcare sector has been the ability to have payer and provider networks interact on a common platform. Managing claims is at the heart of affordable care. Apart from streamlining medical claims processing and accelerating reimbursement cycle times, intelligent automation of medical claims helps payers and providers easily coordinate patient care management in accordance with regulatory provisions including the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA), etc.
Customer Service: Customer is King. Also, it wouldn’t be a total exaggeration to state that the Customer will be King perpetually. So, it helps that companies focus on novel ways to engage the customer. One of them would be to employ Intelligent Process Automation to solve customer enquiries and grievances in a timely manner. IPA provides a single interface to understand customer queries using Natural Language Processing and respond promptly by accessing customer data, all on the same platform. NLP bots help track and decipher customer requests from a variety of inbound channels including emails, chatbots, customer feedback forms, etc. By accessing customer records from a central database, the bots can respond to requests and provide the appropriate service.
Data Mining: IPA offers a single, intelligent platform to accelerate data availability from unstructured and semi-structured data sources. Because IPA offers actionable insights through the acquisition, handling, and reporting of data from any source, it can be considered a useful data mining tool. IPA can be used to regularly churn data from diverse sources, after which, the embedded AI and Machine Learning in IPA can be leveraged to detect patterns and hidden insights from large batches of data. These insights become the starting point for informed decision-making and strategy building within organizations.
Payroll: another data-intensive and labor-intensive process, this monthly or bi-weekly routine can be automated using intelligent automation for process accuracy and better financial regulation. Accessing employee databases, calculating compensation and taxation per employee, cutting checks, and making payments can all be streamlined in a single workflow. Amidst all this, IPA helps establish a definite payroll audit trail for regulatory compliance and better management of corporate finances.