How Process Automation Helps in Improving Productivity?

How Process Automation Helps in Improving Productivity?

The pressure to deliver results and provide customers with even better experiences in the face of market challenges gives business leaders sleepless nights. Market volatility, competitive landscape, recession, and inflation drive business leaders to cut costs and increase operational efficiency. 

One of the fastest ways to address this demand is to invest in process automation across business functions—marketing, sales, IT, finance, HR, and more. 

Automation components like AI, software, robotics, and machine learning help you deliver the best experiences and realize ROI faster. Establishing a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) can further enhance efficiency by streamlining maintenance tasks and ensuring equipment is always in the best working condition. 

While AI technologies and machine learning help you forecast outcomes, analyze customer data and market trends, and personalize experiences, software automation and robotics enhance operational efficiency, reducing business costs. For instance, robots are deployed in infrastructure and manufacturing industries to perform the work of multiple workers, saving labor costs. 

This article will take you through the advantages of automation in business and how it helps improve productivity. Read on!

What is Automation in Business?

Automation in Business

Automation in business is leveraging technology to perform specific manual and recurring tasks in business operations. It reduces the need for human intervention in business processes and saves time, ensuring more efficiency and lower costs. 

Leveraging technology like AI to automate processes accelerates operations, standardizes processes, reduces errors, and frees employees to focus on more complex and strategic business activities. 

For example, you’re a marketing agency helping your client attract more qualified leads with Google Ads. Marketing automation tools like Google Analytics help you study the target audience and analyze market data. Moreover, you can use AI tools like ChatGPT to generate content ideas for your ad campaign. 

In this example, the automation tools help you build the ad campaigns. They optimize and streamline the marketing research processes, making them more resource-efficient and profitable. 

Benefits of Automation

A Gartner Survey revealed that 80% of executives believe automation can be leveraged for any business decision. As automation integrates into multiple business processes, here are the benefits you can experience. 

Saves Time

A report suggests automating tasks might save employees and business leaders 240–360 hours per year. With automation tools, employees spend less time doing repetitive administrative tasks and focus on the bigger picture. Automation tools also perform tasks quickly and operate 24/7. 

Improves Efficiency

Automating manual administrative tasks helps complete them faster and more efficiently. For example, a Reddit user automated a part of their coding work where they had to input PINs into a website and check their validity. As a result, they could complete the program faster with better efficiency. 

Reduces Errors

Humans are prone to making mistakes for different reasons. But, with automation in business, the odds of an error occurring are reduced, saving you time and money. Gartner’s research suggests that finance departments can save their teams from 25000 hours of rework due to human error by implementing Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Additionally, automation makes analyzing large data volumes more effortless and accurate. 

Enhances Productivity

With automation in business, more tasks can be completed within a specified timeframe. Parallelly, employees can perform complex, non-automated functions without wasting time doing repetitive jobs, increasing overall productivity. A Gartner survey suggests that 85% of infrastructure and operations leaders are expected to increase automation within three years, and 70% of organizations will implement infrastructure automation by 2025.

Let’s find out how automation helps businesses increase productivity. 

Business Process Automation Use Cases for Enhanced Productivity

A survey of Global 500 companies revealed that leaders who invested in AI and automation solutions expect to witness significant growth in the next few years. Here’s where and how businesses can use automation to increase productivity and business growth. 

Customer Service Request Management

Sorting customer queries, assigning them, and responding to messages at 2x speed requires efficient management of customer service requests. Process automation in customer service automates tasks, ensuring speedy solutions to customer requests. For example, chatbots instantly respond to queries and resolve standard customer issues 24/7, improving the overall customer experience.

A leading banking and financial services company implemented an RPA solution, TruBot, along with AI to automate the processing of customer service requests. TruBot streamlined the entire process. It tracked queries, responded to customers, and automatically updated the customer service record system. As a result, the company saved 450+ man hours, increased 90% customer satisfaction, reduced workload by 80%, and achieved 100% error-free data and analysis. 

Employee Recruitment

According to Bamboo HR, effective onboarding makes employees feel up to 18 times more committed to their workplace, and automation helps you achieve that. Automation in HR activities like employee onboarding/ offboarding, screening, and record management streamlines the tasks involved, such as collecting employee information, filling out forms, setting up their records in the payroll system, etc. It ensures that the data collected is error-free and syncs with various applications without manually logging them into the system. 

For example, Unilever successfully implemented Unabot in candidate screening to assess job interviews, reducing over 100,000 hours of human recruitment time. Similarly, SWIFT, a global provider of financial messaging services, deployed the AI platform Codility to revamp its technical hiring process and improve interviewing techniques. As a result, automated assessments replaced manual checks, allowing quick decision-making. 

Data Extraction, Analytics & Reporting

With generative AI, the possibility of data collection and analysis automation rises to 79% and 90%, respectively. Automation in business has transformed the way companies approach data. Automation tools help automate the data extraction process from multiple sources in different data formats. These tools also clean the data to ensure increased accuracy and efficiency in analysis. 

A global risk solutions provider leveraged intelligent automation from WNS to extract data from several pages of questionnaires with over 300 questions. With automation, the company accelerated data extraction, achieved the highest accuracy levels, saved 75 minutes per questionnaire, and improved productivity by 75%.

Similarly, PRactice leveraged SourceFuse’s data analytics solution to consolidate and analyze large data volumes. With AI services like AWS Comprehend, AWS Sagemaker, and SourceFuse, the company could create a centralized data repository and automate data extraction, tracking, analysis, and prioritization. The practice also automated report generation, accelerating and improving decision-making.

Future Trends and Considerations

The future is now as the tech landscape continues to evolve. 2023 saw Digital Business Automation, including RPA, low-code and no-code tools, advanced data security, intelligent data processing, augmented analytics, and more. Here’s what we can see in the coming years as automation evolves. 

Emerging technologies, such as RPA, cognitive automation, and predictive analytics, are shaping the future of process automation.

According to Gartner, the global spending on RPA software reached $2.9 billion in 2022. Further, around 80% of finance leaders have already implemented or plan to implement RPA. 

RPA uses robots to perform large volumes of standardized, repetitive tasks. These bots follow human interactions and are helpful for tasks like data entry, extraction, form fill-ups, and data validation. Integrated with AI and machine learning, RPA tools handle more complex, unstructured tasks and data. 

SCSK is a system integrator partnered with akaBot to implement RPA to access websites and collect data on chemical product specifications and market rates. With akaBot, SCSK automated 100% of the data collection for a chemical product company. Further, SCSK also automated the credit approval process for a financial institution. 

This automation in business led to reduced efforts on month-end reporting by 75% and reduced processing time by 85%. Additionally, the RPA bots operated 24/7 and significantly minimized errors in processes. 

The importance of consistent improvement and innovation in maintaining competitiveness.

Continuous improvement and innovation allow companies to respond and adapt quickly to market changes. Regularly assessing your business processes and strategies helps you make iterative adjustments to stay ahead of the competition. 

Agile Business Process Management (BPM) is an automation approach focusing on responsiveness, flexibility, and faster feedback loops, enabling companies to respond to changing customer demands more effectively. 

Similarly, Hyperautomation (coined by Gartner) is another innovative approach that combines cutting-edge technologies, including RPA, AI, machine learning, and Intelligent BPM (IBPM), to optimize efficiencies and reduce workload and business costs. For example, by combining RPA with IBPM, businesses connect and coordinate humans, machines, and IoT instances. These technologies ensure advanced collaboration, support, and intelligence for specific business processes and decision-making. 

Ethical considerations and potential risks associated with automation, such as job displacement and data security.

Research shows that by 2025, machines could displace about 85 million jobs. However, the same study suggests creating 97 million new roles more inclined to human-tech collaboration. 

Data security and ethical considerations are critical in business automation, in addition to job displacement. Let’s say a company leverages AI to hire skilled employees faster. The company specified a few factors, like last job, name, school, etc., for predictive analytics to conclude whether an applicant will be hired. 

However, due to the limited training provided to the AI-powered system, the screening process turns out to be largely biased and discriminatory, selecting more white and male candidates for the roles. Vivienne Ming, a researcher, points out that the problem mainly arises when data is fed into the AI system. Companies must be focused on identifying and mitigating biases in the data before the AI systems are trained on them. This will ensure that the hiring practices are inclusive and equal. 

Data security is another primary concern in automation. A survey revealed that 64% of executives implemented AI for security capabilities, and 29% are evaluating implementation. However, more reliance on automation may introduce vulnerabilities and risks. 

Suppose a financial institution implements an automated data processing system without proper access controls and authentication protocols. This might lead to unauthorized access and exposure of confidential customer data. 

Virtual Assistance: Helping You Automate Your Business Processes 

Virtual Assistance: Helping You Automate Your Business Processes

One of the most significant aspects of automation in business is virtual assistance. The virtual assistant market size is expected to grow to $25.63 billion by 2025. Here’s how virtual assistants help automate business operations.

Lead generation

Virtual assistants streamline the lead acquisition process by automatically identifying potential leads and qualifying them so that teams can focus on high-value prospects. VAs save time and costs by handling repetitive tasks like lead scoring, matching, and outreach. 

Also, they reduce the workload on sales and marketing teams. For instance, digital apps can automate customer interactions and transactions providing self-service options for accessing information which assists in lead generation.

Project management

A project management VA performs specialized tasks related to project management, using a task manager to monitor tasks, assign them, update trackers, communicate with teams, maintain calendars and budgets, etc. By efficiently managing these responsibilities, they help prevent analysis paralysis, ensuring that projects move forward smoothly and teams remain focused on their goals.

Hiring VAs specializing in different tasks, such as calendar management, administration, lead generation, email marketing etc. from platforms like wishup help you successfully automate several project management processes.

Appointment scheduling and management

VAs manage everyday meetings by setting up appointments with minimum human intervention. Once the VA syncs with your calendar and email, they streamline your appointments, ensuring no clashes, on-time cancelations, and proper coordination. For example, you can automate appointment scheduling processes with tools like Clara, a human-like virtual scheduling assistant.

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Conclusion 

Embracing automation in business is a must-have in the current times. By replacing manual processes with automation, managers and business leaders significantly reduce their teams’ workload, trim business costs, and deliver results faster. Deploying automation solutions is critical to building a sustainable business in the competitive market. 

While automation tools, like AI systems and RPA software, make business processes more efficient, hiring VAs is another way to accomplish your tasks faster. Hire one or more specialized VAs to ensure streamlined workflows, better decision-making, and higher ROI. Contact the Wishup team via a free consultation or mail us at [email protected].

FAQs: Automation in Business

How are companies using automation?

Companies use automation across different business functions to streamline and optimize workflows, increase process efficiency, reduce errors, and improve productivity. For example, companies use data analysis automation to gain insights and make data-driven decisions faster. In customer service, automation supports the customer service teams by handling customer queries 24/7.

What is automation, for example?

Business automation uses technology to complete tasks and achieve outcomes with minimum human intervention. For example, companies can use automation technology like RPA to carry out repetitive tasks like data entry, validation, collection, and other routine jobs. Using RPA tools in routine tasks helps reduce errors, speed up the process, and free employees to take up more complex jobs.