Artificial Intelligence, Robotic Process Automation, and Machine Learning are the buzzwords that have been going around the world for a considerable amount of time now. From optimizing business processes to making daily life easier for the common man, these emerging technologies, with their exceptional algorithms, have set up the stage for a brighter future. Businesses across industry verticals leverage AI to automate business processes and thereby increase efficiency and streamline operations. Process automation is one of the biggest game-changer that has come out of the data analytics industry. Automation combined with AI has the potential to transform businesses and contribute to economic growth. A report by Forbes states that 82% of businesses believe that AI is a strategic priority for their business today. 82% being a whopping percentage, it goes without saying that the businesses that do not jump into the AI bandwagon could be left behind in the market competition.
What difference does AI/ML/RPA make to a business? What makes the shift from manual operations to automation imperative? This blog post attempts to answer these questions with reference to our experience of implementing process automation with AI for a leading e-commerce business.
Transforming Business Processes for the Digital Future
Businesses of all sizes rely on various processes to keep the show running smoothly. Modernizing these existing manual processes could make considerable changes in business outcomes by improving customer experience. Combining process automation with AI, businesses have been successful in resolving major inefficiencies. To gain a better understanding, let us discuss the major benefits of automating business processes as opposed to relying on manual processes.
- Better Efficiency and Reduced Errors: To err is human, they said. Since human errors are inevitable, automating processes is a great way to eliminate them. The lesser the time spent on rectifying errors, the more efficient the business is. Automating tasks also leads to better productivity, and an estimate by McKinsey states that automation could help increase productivity growth globally by 0.8 to 1.4 percent annually.
- Data-Driven Decisions and Improved Quality: Using automation combined with AI, one can gain access to information that would not otherwise be easily available. The information gained is in the form of reports that give a better insight into the processes and help leaders make better and informed decisions. In addition to this, the higher degree of precision that comes with employing AI/ML helps improve the quality of products and services.
- Enhanced Customer and Employee Satisfaction: In this time of instant gratification, the basic motive of a business is to satisfy its customers. By improving the quality of your products, eliminating errors, and improving efficiency, businesses can establish themselves as trusted industry leaders/partners. Also, by using automation technology, businesses can provide round-the-clock customer service and support. Providing on-time customer support can help increase the longevity of the business. Moreover, by automating mundane tasks, the employees are free to work on other important tasks and be strategic contributors to the business.
The benefits of process automation are not limited to the ones mentioned above. The switch to automation could transform businesses and save a lot of time and cost. To put it into perspective, let’s quickly discuss how we leveraged automation to transform business process for a leading e-commerce company. The client, as part of their loyalty program, was planning to gift their customers and subsequently improve their customer interaction and experience. However, the existing manual processes were highly intensive and were affecting the client’s resources. In addition to it, it also led to human errors and unnecessary expenditure. Following a careful analysis of the client’s requirements, our team decided to automate their manual system to streamline the gifting process. By automating the gifting process leveraging AI, the client was not only able to optimize the entire process but also save time, effort, and money. By reducing errors and improving accuracy, the client successfully increased consistency while reducing risks and cost.
Is Automation the Future?
Automating business processes help organizations in making data-driven decisions that are well thought out and aid in increasing the efficiency of business processes. Automating processes leveraging cutting-edge technology like Artificial Intelligence holds the promise of a brighter future for businesses across the globe. The outbreak of COVID-19 had further accelerated the growth of AI, and IDC analysts had predicted explosive growth in spending on AI in the world due to the spread of COVID-19. Furthermore, IDC interviewed 180 companies in Europe, and 16% of the respondents said that they look at automation with AI as a means to minimize the impact of the pandemic. Although the need to automate processes has always existed, they have been further amplified by the lack of manpower and supply chain disruptions during the pandemic.
As the age-old saying goes, ‘change is the only constant,’ and the current winds of change are directed towards a future of AI, ML, and RPA. As we had stated earlier, businesses that are still holding onto their traditional legacy systems have much to lose if they do not follow suit with businesses that have embraced digital transformation.