The modern workplace is seeing widespread usage of machines and automation. Enterprise digital transformation, Artificial intelligence (AI), and automation are changing the tide for businesses globally. This means a significant change in the work culture as employees will have to acquire new skills and adapt to the advanced capabilities of machines.
As per a recent study1 involving over 600 business leaders from 13 countries, more than 50 percent of respondents confessed to having already invested over $10 Million in intelligent automation projects. The AI market globally is presently growing at a CAGR of 40%, all set to touch $26.4 Billion by 2023.
AI, along with robotic process automation (RPA), voice recognition, natural language processing (NLP), and machine learning (ML), is allowing businesses to blend automation with human capabilities successfully to create intelligent working environments.
Automation is driving agility for businesses giving them the much-needed competitive edge over others with quick decision-making powers. Clearly, decision velocity powered by AI-driven insights gives you data supremacy to lead in a highly volatile market.
Making a case for Intelligent Process Automation (IPA)
When automation meets artificial intelligence, you get intelligent process automation to scale up your business. While it allows you to off-load routine, repetitive tasks, it empowers better guardrails for all your automation initiatives. It takes the uncertainty out of the picture and enables more personalized execution and processes.
Intelligent automation enhances the overall customer experience. The speed of response has often been a critical consideration while evaluating the customer experience. Intelligent automation is helping organizations meet customer expectations with personalization. Through customized offers, services, and content, businesses are acquiring and retaining customers.
What do the right IPA endeavors ensure?
- Agile services due to a significant reduction in processing time
- Greater flexibility and scalability for being able to operate round the clock with capabilities to scale up and down as required
- Improved quality control due to greater traceability of events and instances and checks at different levels
- Increased savings and productivity due to a high level of automation
- Clear, actionable insights to predict and improve drivers of performance
While there is unanimous agreement on the benefits of intelligent automation, not everyone has leveraged these benefits across the organization. What you need is an enterprise-wide approach that promotes a new way of working.
Adding intelligence to the digital mix
A highly automated world does not focus on reducing the headcount but increasing its potential to do more in an agile manner to solve the business challenges of tomorrow. It relies on structured and unstructured data the company collects from the public domain and other stakeholders rather than depending on traditional methods.
Intelligent automation compels you to rethink key business processes. The sales and marketing team gets deeper segmentation to target and sell through advanced analytics. Those working to strengthen the supply chain get to improve production and distribution by leveraging technologies like cloud and analytics across the value chain. Planning and development teams, on the other hand, rely on data-driven insights to integrate them into product performance and boost innovation.
Alibaba Group2 is a classic example of what you can achieve with intelligent automation.
After making significant strides in eCommerce and retail, it has further revolutionized its business processes with its ‘Industrial Vision AI‘ solution for manufacturing and production. It allows the company to inspect raw materials thoroughly to detect minute defects, resulting in a 5X increase in production efficiency. Its automated warehouse is managed entirely by robots taking precision and efficiency to a whole new level.
Regardless of your goal, you need to create a strategic roadmap to align it with your business priorities. This is not possible unless you assess your digital maturity.
What is the role of IT in successful IPA transformation?
Intelligent process automation (IPA) is a melting pot of technologies enabling significant gains for businesses worldwide. IPA should not be confused with robotic process automation (RPA) as unlike RPA that performs repetitive, automated tasks based on predefined rules and inputs, IPA can understand the context, learn, and iterate to support informed decision-making using unstructured and structured data.
Those who have been able to get the full value of IPA have been the ones who have put IT leaders at the helm of their IPA endeavors. CIOs need to strengthen their core with IPA programs to support automation.
Here’s what we recommend:
- Assess the high-level value potential
You may start with help-desk requests since that’s where a significant amount of incidents originate. While tickets with low difficulty levels are resolved immediately, those with more complexity are often escalated to specialized teams. Determine how many such requests were handled the previous year, and by multiplying them by the average handling time (AHT) required, you can evaluate the value of this whole exercise.
For instance, an organization with a significant number of requests for password reset or access can leverage RPA bots that work across multiple applications via the user interface to automate ticket resolution and free up employee capacity. Reducing resolution times and a drop in costs associated with outsourcing help-desk support will thus improve performance and profits.
The effort required for these activities often varies. Everything needs to be evaluated critically from backups and patching to security audits and upgrades to understand the effort involved and the value you can garner by planning activities for automation.
- Identify the use cases best suited for IPA
Let’s consider the same example mentioned above. In order to automate incidents, organizations need to first identify the ones ideal for automation. An organization may be effectively logging incidents in detail, but due to the large numbers and complexities, support teams may not respond quickly and effectively.
AI can make sense of the chaos and understand the reasons behind the alerts. It may be trained to make appropriate recommendations or even make better decisions to ensure suitable responses.
- Elevate customer experiences with better service
AI and automation are changing the customer service landscape for every industry, from retail to aviation. Boeing has a fleet of passenger service robots that operate via sensors installed in their bodies. They are doing their best to reduce the manual work of cabin crews. Though experts argue a human perspective is required for these robots to do what humans can.
The key is to understand the power of automation and integrate it seamlessly into processes and workflows to complement human efforts and endeavors perfectly, as we did in the case of one of our clients Surge Transportation.
The company links shippers and carriers and has an automated tracking and monitoring system to assign loads. But the pricing and quotation were being done manually. This drained their resources, led to a huge turnaround time, and left a long log of emails, calls, and paper trails.
Trigent critically evaluated the complexities in its pricing mechanism to bring down the turnaround time to less than a second. Apart from 100% pricing accuracy, the company improved profits by 25%, revenue by 40%, and reduced the load processing time by 91%. With seamless carrier integration, the company now processes 4000 more loads per day.
Other use cases where AI and Automation are driving value
Amazon is popularizing the concept of cashier-less stores with Amazon Go and Just Walk Out. Robotization of stores helps save operational expenses and gives shoppers a smart shopping experience.
Automated medical appointment scheduling
No-shows have been the cause of losses of over $150 billion a year for the U.S. healthcare system with every unused time slot costing individual physicians $200 on an average. No-shows also impact the health of patients since continuity of care is interrupted. IPA challenges traditional scheduling methods by ensuring error-free appointment scheduling based on the nature of the illness, the convenience of patients, and the availability of doctors and healthcare facilities. While patients get to choose a date and time for different health issues, follow-up appointments can be scheduled automatically along with reminders.
Automated supply chains
The ideal supply chain is where there is neither wastage nor out-of-stock scenarios. In tandem with machine learning, AI predicts demand based on location, weather, trends, promotions, and other factors. Revenue losses of up to $4Trillion have been caused due to supply chain disruptions following the pandemic with 33% attributed to commodity pricing fluctuations as per a report.
The automobile giant Toyota is using AI in its manufacturing environment to address waste control with its ability to predict when excess parts, products, and practices threaten to impede work.
Intelligent Automation is clearly on a winning streak!
The potential value of AI and automation is immense for different sectors and will vary depending on the type of industry, availability of abundant and complex data, use cases, and other factors. To get the most out of your automation initiatives, it is however important to tide over organizational challenges with the right mindset and approach.
Create impact and value with Trigent
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Allow us to help you grow your business and increase revenue with strategies and solutions that are perfect for you.