Illuminating the Path:
How Intelligent Automation Transforms Modern Document Management and Fuels Business Digital Transformation.

All About Intelligent Automation

What is the role of intelligent automation in digital transformation?

Let’s delve into the fundamentals of intelligent automation to grasp why this technology is swiftly becoming indispensable for virtually every company’s digital transformation efforts. Intelligent automation combines various technologies, including Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Business Process Automation (BPA), intelligent data capture, Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, and recognition software like OCR and ICR technology. This convergence empowers organizations to digitally revamp systems, processes, workflows, and entire departments, streamlining operations and enhancing efficiency. As businesses embark on their journey of digital transformation, intelligent automation emerges as a pivotal enabler, driving innovation, agility, and competitiveness in today’s rapidly evolving landscape.

“...Intelligent automation can be used effectively to re-engineer the way traditional manual, document-dependent and paper-based work is done in a company. Intelligent automation supplants other automation technologies in one major way: it essentially represents a digital version of a human workforce, capable of performing human actions through imitation to get work done. A big part of this imitation involves self-learning, made possible by cognitive technologies like AI and machine learning…”

This is essentially an advanced automation technology that differs from RPA and BPA in that it has the potential to display human cognitive abilities and autonomous working in various capacities. Intelligent automation finds application in many different verticals, sectors, industries, and companies, both big and small, but most importantly, it has the potential to disrupt traditional, manually-driven processes. These processes form the bulk of the workload in a back-office or administrative unit in a company.

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Intelligent automation can be used effectively to re-engineer the way traditional manual, document-dependent and paper-based work is done in a company. Intelligent automation supplants other automation technologies in one major way: it essentially represents a digital version of a human workforce, capable of performing human actions through imitation to get work done. A big part of this imitation involves self-learning, made possible by cognitive technologies like AI and machine learning, embedded in intelligent automation software.

What technologies are involved in intelligent automation?

Intelligent automation leverages an array of advanced technologies to optimize operations, enhance efficiency, and drive digital transformation. The following key technologies work in harmony to automate tasks, processes, and workflows, empowering businesses to operate more effectively. Let’s explore the key technologies that power intelligent automation and their role in revolutionizing business operations:

  • Robotic Process Automation (RPA): Empowers the execution of repetitive tasks by software robots, enhancing efficiency and accuracy.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI): Enables machines to simulate human intelligence, facilitating cognitive tasks such as decision-making, natural language processing, and pattern recognition.
  • Machine Learning: Enhances automation by enabling systems to learn from data, identify patterns, and make predictions or decisions without explicit programming.
  • Natural Language Processing (NLP): Enables machines to understand and interpret human language, facilitating communication and interaction with users.
  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR): Converts scanned images of text into machine-encoded text, enabling automated processing of documents and images.
  • Intelligent Data Capture: Automates the extraction of data from unstructured documents, such as invoices, forms, and contracts, improving accuracy and efficiency.
  • Process Orchestration: Coordinates and manages automated processes across systems and applications, ensuring seamless end-to-end workflow automation.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: Artificial Intelligence vs Machine Learning: A Comparison

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The fact that an intelligent automation bot will never tire as a human would only amplifies the scope and extent to which the technology could be applied to labor-intensive processes to increase productivity. For instance, one professional services media company struggled to scale operations in the accounts payable (AP) department as their business grew. Glacier Media Group was looking for a better way to manage incoming vendor invoices, which grew by the truckloads. Without a good automation system in place, they found themselves chasing paper, performing countless data entry, document sorting, and filing work, which only slowed down their AP department months on end.

It is only after deploying Artsyl’s intelligent process automation platform for automatic data entry and intelligent document processing of what was mostly unstructured or semi-structured paper forms like invoices and receipts, were they able to see positive results. Glacier Media were able to greatly trim the expenses arising from inefficient, manual paperwork in their AP department and accelerate invoice processing with little to no human intervention. The advantage with intelligent automation is that it allows businesses to stay in control of their processes, systems, functions, and departments in a way that does not impose a toll on their skilled staff while also enabling handling of increasing workloads without stopping. Glacier Media took advantage of Artsyl’s intelligent process automation platform to scale operations, lower AP operating costs, reduce invoice processing cycle times from weeks to days, and in turn, recapture more purchasing power from accelerated vendor payments.

Benefits of Intelligent Automation

That is the power of intelligent automation: companies are not just able to improve efficiency and scale operations, they are able to lower the costs of operating document-intensive processes in a typical back-office.

The risk of human error and latency is completely eliminated as the technology can be used to handle many labor-intensive tasks that are also repetitive or document-driven. Use cases of this technology include, apart from invoice processing in the AP department, sales order processing to improve order fulfillment, and with it receivables; medical claims processing software in the insurance sector; patient scheduling and related paperwork in healthcare; typical employee onboarding and payroll in human resources; mailroom operations and check remittance handling; and even something like performance scoring and validation which entails a lot of data entry work.

Benefits: the benefits of intelligent automation can be experienced almost immediately, are long-term, and bring in good returns in a relatively short period of time.

Low operating costs: the trouble with manual effort, especially for typical back-office tasks, is that there are just too many instances of going back-and-forth with processes, validations, cross-checks, and approvals.

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Take the case of invoice processing: validating an invoice involves routing it through the right channels and personnel for authenticity, making sure there is a matching purchase order for that invoice and tallying all the details, getting in touch with concerned personnel for approval, clarification, dispute resolution, or simply cross-checking to see the invoice has not already been processed or is not a duplicate copy, all these steps involve a lot of back-and-forth and can be time-consuming and erroneous. This can become very costly in terms of labor, processing delays, and errors. Intelligent automation ensures invoice processing in a single platform, enabling straight-through task implementation with little manual intervention. No induced errors or delays due to human effort mean the process is accelerated in record time without the accompanying costs of inefficiency or payment delays.

Process Consistency & Accuracy: intelligent automation bots never tire, and that makes it beneficial when repetitive, document-intensive tasks need to be performed on a daily basis. Data dictates a lot of the business processes, especially in the back-office. With intelligent automation, the acquisition and processing of data that enters an organization is done almost immediately, leaving little scope for data mismanagement, data access delays, or missing data. This creates a system of consistent data and with it, process management, with fewer instances of ‘bad or failed’ processes due to inaccurate data. Minimum human intervention during process execution also means fewer errors and processing delays, and subsequently, the costs associated with those delays. Intelligent automation induces accuracy and consistency into processes, ensuring faster, more secure, and more reliable operations and business results.

Secure Audit Trails & Compliance: data compliance ensures process compliance. At the core of an intelligent automation process is the regulation of data acquisition, management, and use. It is easier to follow policy guidelines and adhere to regulatory measures when your processes are consistent and error-free. A simple task like invoice validation, when automated, can help businesses make accurate payments to vendors on time. An error-free validation process can lower the risk of working with bad invoice data and improve compliance related to payments, vendors, and cash management in a company.

Reliable Decision-Making: process efficiencies and timely task implementation lead to reliable business outcomes. For example, it becomes easier for a manager to decide on the next steps the company needs to take after knowing how much cash reserves they have left post making payments and reconciling debt. Intelligent automation enables, among other things, timely debt reconciliations and payments. Decision-making becomes easy when you have a mechanism to access accurate business data from the word go. Bad data can lead to bad processes and poor or unreliable business outcomes. The risk with making decisions based on a poor business outcome is huge and long-term. Intelligent automation ensures reliable process and business implementation, and with it accurate decision-making.

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The Evolution of Industries through Intelligent Automation

In the dynamic business environment of today, intelligent automation stands out as a transformative force, reshaping industries in profound ways. Its impact extends beyond mere operational efficiency to encompass enhanced customer experiences and innovative business models. Let’s delve deeper into how diverse industries are harnessing the power of intelligent automation to drive their digital transformation journeys.

  1. Finance and Banking:
    • Intelligent automation is reshaping the finance and banking sector by automating repetitive tasks such as data entry, transaction processing, and compliance reporting.
    • Banks use intelligent automation to streamline loan processing, credit card applications, and fraud detection, enabling faster decision-making and improved customer service.
    • Investment firms utilize AI-powered algorithms for portfolio management and risk analysis, optimizing investment strategies and maximizing returns.
  2. Healthcare:
    • In healthcare, intelligent automation is driving efficiencies in patient care, administrative tasks, and medical billing processes.
    • Hospitals deploy AI-powered chatbots for patient inquiries and appointment scheduling, reducing wait times and enhancing patient satisfaction.
    • Medical billing companies leverage intelligent automation to process claims faster, minimize errors, and improve revenue cycle management.
  3. Manufacturing and Supply Chain:
    • Intelligent automation is revolutionizing the manufacturing sector by optimizing production processes, inventory management, and supply chain logistics.
    • Manufacturers use AI and robotics to automate assembly lines, improve quality control, and reduce production downtime.
    • Supply chain companies employ intelligent automation to track shipments, forecast demand, and optimize warehouse operations, ensuring timely delivery of goods.
  4. Retail and E-commerce:
    • In the retail industry, intelligent automation is transforming customer engagement, inventory management, and order fulfillment processes.
    • Retailers utilize AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants to provide personalized customer support and enhance shopping experiences.
    • E-commerce platforms leverage intelligent automation for dynamic pricing, product recommendations, and inventory optimization, driving sales and customer loyalty.
  5. Insurance:
    • Intelligent automation is reshaping the insurance industry by automating claims processing, underwriting, and policy management.
    • Insurance companies use AI algorithms to assess risk, expedite claims settlement, and detect fraudulent activities, improving operational efficiency and reducing costs.
    • Insurtech startups leverage intelligent automation to offer innovative insurance products, such as usage-based insurance and on-demand coverage, catering to evolving customer needs.

Intelligent automation is a transformative force that transcends industry boundaries, driving digital transformation and unlocking new opportunities for growth and innovation. By harnessing the power of AI, machine learning, and robotic process automation, organizations can optimize processes, enhance decision-making, and deliver exceptional value to customers in the digital age.

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What is Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation is the strategic adoption of digital technologies to revolutionize business processes, operations, and customer experiences. It entails leveraging advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud computing, data analytics, and automation to fundamentally reshape how organizations operate and deliver value. For example, a retail company might implement digital transformation by adopting e-commerce platforms, customer relationship management systems, and data analytics tools to enhance online shopping experiences, personalize marketing efforts, and optimize supply chain management. Similarly, a manufacturing firm could use digital transformation to automate production processes, implement predictive maintenance using IoT sensors, and enable remote monitoring and control of factory operations. In essence, digital transformation empowers organizations to innovate, optimize efficiency, and stay competitive in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape.

What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a technology that automates repetitive and rule-based tasks by mimicking human interactions with digital systems and software applications. It enables software robots or «bots» to perform tasks such as data entry, data extraction, form filling, and transaction processing across multiple systems without human intervention. RPA bots can execute tasks more quickly, accurately, and consistently than humans, leading to increased productivity, cost savings, and operational efficiency for organizations.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to the simulation of human intelligence processes by computer systems. These processes include learning (the acquisition of information and rules for using the information), reasoning (using rules to reach approximate or definite conclusions), and self-correction. AI applications include expert systems, natural language processing (NLP), speech recognition, machine vision, and machine learning algorithms. In the context of intelligent automation, AI enables systems to analyze data, recognize patterns, make decisions, and improve performance without explicit programming. This capability allows AI-powered solutions to adapt to changing circumstances and optimize processes autonomously, enhancing efficiency and productivity.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: The Artificial Intelligence (AI) Algorithms that Drive Invoice Data Extraction

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