Intelligent automation is the amalgamation of two advanced technologies—artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics process automation (RPA). In layman terms, that means automating processes in a way that they keep learning and improving based on the past performance data.
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But how does that matter to you and why should you consider investing in intelligent automation? We will answer these questions and discuss the benefits of intelligent automation in this post.
The Business Case for Intelligent Automation
The practical applications of intelligent automation can be seen in numerous business scenarios today. The application of natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning can be seen in intelligent, conversational chatbots that companies are using. Machine vision’s applications are being tested and deployed in the retail sector. The role that these technologies will play in the future will be even greater.
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The increase in the amount of venture capital funding in AI and robotics related ventures is a testament to the growing importance of these technologies. According to a recent PwC report, the total VC funding for AI-related ventures in the US has grown at a CAGR of 52.09% during 2013-2018.
Source: PwC MoneyTree Report Q4, 2018
This clearly shows how much companies are investing in AI and related technologies as they recognize the role it can play in the grother of their businesses.
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But why is it that companies are willing to invest millions of dollars in intelligent automation? What makes the combination of AI and robotics so powerful that it is predicted to change the entire landscape of operations and process management in companies?
Let’s take a look at the answers to these questions and the potential benefits that businesses can derive using intelligent automation.
The Benefits of Intelligent Automation
1. It Reduces Human Error
Humans are prone to making errors because they can get affected by a lot of external factors like mood, health issues, distractions, etc. Machines, however, do not get affected by these and can complete the same tasks with 100% accuracy.
Moreover, an automated process is a lot more reliable than a manual process. No matter what, you can always count on an automated system to deliver the exact same results every single time. There are no variations in processes and they function more smoothly and with higher accuracy.
Thus, automated systems and processes can help you reach unprecedented levels of quality and reliability and take your operational efficiency to the next level.
2. It Improves Productivity
Automating repetitive, tedious tasks that take up a majority of employees’ time can give them the freedom to focus on more vital tasks. This will result in overall productivity improvement as automation can complete these tedious tasks faster and with higher accuracy.
According to a recent Survey, employees spend an average of 16 hours per week on administrative tasks.
Imagine, how much more they can achieve if they are freed of these time-consuming, mundane tasks and can focus on something else. Every business has some tasks that can be easily automated. All you need to do is identify such tasks and use intelligent automation to complete those tasks.
Take invoice processing for example. The process is tedious and monotonous and is prone to errors, when done manually. However, with accounts payable automation software, like that provided by PurchaseControl, you can automate your invoice processing.
It provides accurate invoice matching before a payment is processed. It also provides an end-to-end eprocurement solution, freeing up your employees to take on more strategic roles. This makes the process faster and more reliable resulting in overall productivity and efficiency improvement.
3. It Helps in Reduce Costs
Using intelligent automation to perform repetitive tasks means that you will require fewer employees. And, in the long term, the cost of deploying automation is much less than the cost of deploying human resources.
The cost of automation is essentially a one-time cost with a very low operating cost. So, once deployed, it can keep functioning for years without requiring too much financial investment.
Also, since automation helps you complete tasks faster and with practically no errors, it helps you get more done by using fewer resources. This automatically translates into increased operational efficiency and hence cost optimization.
4. Lets You Run Your Business Round-the-Clock
Intelligent automation helps you create automated systems and processes that can work continuously, without requiring any breaks. Think of this like a virtual worker that works 24×7, all year round, without requiring any supervision. Now, isn’t that the dream of every business owner?
However, even intelligent automated systems need to be regularly maintained and updated to ensure their smooth functioning. But even then, intelligent automation can enable you to run your business round-the-clock with great efficiency and minimal cost.
5. It Enhances Customer Service
Intelligent automation can enhance your business’ customer service delivery in two ways. First, it can create automated systems that can handle customer needs round-the-clock and provide uninterrupted customer service.
Second, it can enable employees to focus less on repetitive and mundane tasks and focus more on delivering better customer service.
The best example of how intelligent automation can help enhance customer service is the use of AI chatbots. A lot of businesses now use conversational, AI-powered, chatbots that can help solve customer queries as they navigate through the business’ website. This means that they can solve customer queries in real-time and guide them to relevant resources to drive conversions.
Take the example of Kik, Sephora’s AI chatbot that makes product suggestions and helps consumers navigate the website and find what they are looking for.
Image via Ecommerce Chatbots
From a customer’s point of view, they don’t need to wait on a call for 20 minutes to speak to a customer care executive and can get immediate assistance any time. So, chatbots definitely enhance customer experience and service.
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Intelligent automation is a powerful technology that has the potential to disrupt the current industry landscape and change the way things are done. With its numerous business benefits, it will soon evolve from its current nascent stage and will be extensively used for numerous industrial applications.
So, start early and use this technology to grow your business and beat your competitors.
If you have any questions regarding the benefits of intelligent automation for your business, feel free to ask them in the comments section. We would love to discuss this further with you