Process automation has become a business imperative: Don't wait until it's too late

Blog / Docsuite Archiving
Machines have yet to replace human workers en masse, but at the 2019 World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, executives revealed that they face enormous pressure from shareholders and boards of directors to meet demands for short-term profit. The automation of procedures has been the response around the world.
New technology means that small businesses have access to a vast amount of capabilities that may have been too large in the past to be considered. Automation also lowers manufacturing costs in the sense that companies do not need a major transformation to become viable and competitive. Networking between older machines can be achieved at a relatively low cost - and the production benefits can be enormous.
While ignoring concerns about job security, people tend to agree that machines make work easier. In fact, in a study conducted by the Center Research Institute, nearly 80% of CEOs surveyed agreed to save 360 ​​hours a year through automation. These results are not important to the heads of large companies, either. As the founder of a start-up company, you also have to pay attention.
Where can process automation help?
Labor is usually one of the largest items on a company's balance sheet—if not the largest. You don't have to look for examples of how technology can help lower labor costs: fewer opportunities for human error, fewer unproductive hours, less time lost on vacation or personal days, lower training and human resource costs, lower chances of on-the-job injuries, etc. But the benefits extend far beyond improving financial health.
Speed ​​is another area where automation shines. Automation technology can enable you to bring products to market more quickly and fulfill contract requirements sooner (and enable you to enter into more contracts). It also puts in more hours than competitors when they rely solely on a human labor force.
So, the question is really no longer whether you should automate, but rather what and where you should automate the work?
First, identify repetitive manual operations. Example: Think of mail management: manual sorting is slow, mail is lost, junk mail is inevitable, routing errors are frequent, visibility at processing metrics is low. Similarly, front office workers may experience frequent downtime and may have little direct impact on ROI. In either case, basic robotic technologies may be suitable alternatives to human labour.
Additionally, evaluate the efficiency of data ingestion and processing workflows to reveal areas of work that can benefit from cognitive automation. If paper documents dominate your workflow and require a large data entry team, for example cognitive automation will provide a huge benefit.
Are you ready to advance your company?
Effective technology implementation usually involves significant investments in pre-operational time and capital. Internal audits are necessary to determine the size and scope of your needs, and the automated system must be tested and tested before use. Before making a major change you should evaluate your existing production processes to ensure that service level agreements are fulfilled while implementing your automation strategy.
If you're trying to determine if a commitment to automation is right for your business, here are four big questions you need to ask yourself:
1. Is the process scalable?
Automating some disparate tasks will not show much return on investment. On the other hand, automating the work of many small teams that perform many interlocking tasks would provide more value and could greatly increase worker productivity. In fact, a study by KRC Research found that 53% of employees surveyed said automation could save them 240 hours a year.
Automating marketing efforts is a great example of a scalable process that can take tedious tasks out of the hands of employees. There is no doubt that marketing is critical to startups as they build their brand affinity among consumers, so it might seem counterintuitive to try to build real relationships by automating the process.
But this task is not necessarily personal. For example, you can automate systems to personalize and send email messages at specific times during a buyer's journey.
Whichever process you hope to automate, start by determining if your approach can be expanded to include a significant portion of your overall operations. The more comprehensive the automation strategy, the higher the returns.
2. Is the margin of error low enough?
When precision is necessary and tolerances are small, machines make great workers. For example, if you have an employee whose job it is to cut pieces of metal to certain lengths, that person is unlikely to be able to re-establish the machine's tolerance levels -- at least not at the same speed -- no matter how long they have been cutting the metal.
When repetitive processes have specific parameters, devices always do a better job.
3. Do you process big data manually?
Automation technology is not limited to physical operations. We are now seeing useful applications of cognitive automation software that are able to collect and analyze massive amounts of both structural and unstructured data, and generate valuable business intelligence to enable better decision-making. If you have workers who are working on numbers and running analysis models

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