Organizations from various industrial sectors like manufacturing, processing, chemical, retail, food & beverages, oil & gas, transport, and more seek to streamline their key business processes for simplicity. Today, these industries are also using advanced technology methods to achieve digital transformation and deliver exceptionally high levels of service on a consistent basis, while simultaneously increasing their day by day productivity and ROI. Hence, process automation is no longer an option, but it has become a necessity that helps businesses — not only in driving efficiency, agility, adaptability and optimization, but also to reduce errors and waste, increase predictability, quality, productivity and profitability.
With the huge progress in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and robotics technology, automation has reached a tipping point. Robots can accomplish human tasks and are also becoming increasingly ubiquitous, showing up in more unexpected areas of business and performing extremely intelligent, iterative, and error-free tasks. Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is also a recent trending technology, which has transformed automation to the next level through the use of sensors and connected devices, networks, and software across multiple operations. IIoT’s ability to convert data into several units of measure, and transform the systems of the new age factories or business operations to interact with each other better will profoundly allow for optimized operations and costs. For example: Smart grid, smart city, connected cars and many other advanced applications to name a few. These technology trends, which are gaining more prominence in today’s industries are expected to grow and impact the future of automation. So how do companies choose which business processes or operations to automate and the reason to invest in it?
Tasks are most suitable to automation if they are:
- Intricate manual tasks that are risky, dangerous and subject to error
- Time consuming and resource-intensive tasks
- High volume and repetitive tasks
- Tasks involving high-precision
- Tasks that require high attention to detail and prominent levels of involvement
These high-volume, highly repetitive, multistep tasks with many validation rules, and manual processes include a myriad of queries, calculations and maintenance of records and transactions. These tasks can be automated end-to-end using Robotic Process Automation (RPA), which can execute rule-based tasks and mimic human work, enter data, perform cognitive tasks by sensing, and make efficient predictions.
In the end, by automating these business processes or operations, organizations can speed products to market, improve revenue capture, and reduce operating expenses. It’s worth investing in automation, as the automated systems collect reliable data, enabling organizations to leverage most of the valuable information for making better business decisions. At the core, automation is healthy and ensures that the industry remains lean with reduced inefficiencies and is globally competitive.
I believe that RPA will have wide-ranging effects, across geographies and sectors, but it will not occur overnight. There are few key factors that will influence the pace and extent of its adoption.
- Technical feasibility- The need to unlock the potential of modern technologies into the critical business operations
- Less risk and inconsistency across operations
- Optimized production processes
- Supply, demand, and costs of human labor
- Operational safety and process reliability
- Economic benefits- higher throughput, increased product quality and maximized production efficiency
While RPA is increasingly focused on efficiency, accuracy, productivity, manual labor cost reduction, compliance and increased customer focus, its scope is wide in many industrial sectors. It’s gaining traction across industries such as manufacturing, construction, banking, insurance, healthcare, telecom, and more to automate labor intensive processes, transform work, enhance customer experience and deliver accurate and reliable results. Some of the best RPA use cases:
Manufacturing Industry: With RPA, the manufacturing sector is experiencing an error-free and streamlined production unit—from assembly, checking the quality and packaging it and more, alongside maintaining control over managing its back-office and operational processes. It also aids manufacturing companies by reinforcing supply chain procedures and bridges the gap between redundant activities such as quoting, invoicing, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and general ledger operations — thereby adding substantial value to the business outcomes.
Banking Industry: With the influx of voluminous data each day, banks are advocating the use of RPA to deliver the best possible user experience to their customers and reduce the need for human intervention. RPA has become an effective tool to maximize efficiency and keep costs as low as possible while also maintaining maximum security levels in various processes such as accounts payable and receivable, credit card and mortgage processing, fraud detection, underwriting support, service desk and more.
Healthcare Industry: Healthcare is one area where RPA is helping to streamline clinical services and workflow processes. RPA has a great potential for transforming processes in the healthcare sector like scheduling patients, billing, insurance claim processing, care management, revenue management, patient onboarding, monitoring and more.
Telecom Industry: While there are a myriad of people turning to the telecom companies to connect them with global networks is increasing on a daily basis, there are numerous challenges faced by these telecom companies in terms of controlling costs and business efficiency, managing data flow, increasing business agility and developing unique services and so on. RPA offers them a unique solution to deliver the fastest, most affordable, and cutting-edge services. Moreover, telecom companies can also keep control over costs from maintaining data integrity and security, marketing and advertisements, data communication and transmission, and more.
While, automating business processes and workflows has become hugely important in the digital revolution, the nature of jobs and work is continuing to change at a rapid rate. For example, by automating business tasks, organizations can scale their workforce (since robots are able to perform a range of routine physical work activities better than humans) and utilize independent professionals for specialized works.
2020 is not far away; the next rapid developing cycle of automation applications might arrive sooner than expected. Industries across the world are quickly embracing best-in-class technologies more than ever and unlocking new opportunities. Professionals in the workplace will need to interact more broadly with machines as part of their routine activities, and attain exclusive skills that will be in demand in the next-gen automation era. Organizations need to increasingly invest in running upskilling campaigns for their staff and retraining as a top business priority. While it’s true that automation will have a far-reaching impact on the global workforce in the future, preparing employees into analytical thinking, complex problem-solving, and decision-making individuals is essential to help them tide over the next automation wave.
At, Ness we firmly believe that automation is at the forefront of the next wave of digital transformation. Innovative automation tools like chatbots, natural language processing, machine learning and AI are quickly growing in popularity and will have deep implications to essentially reshape and digitally transform businesses. By coupling together automation with an ever-widening set of business processes and operations, we bring digital optimization within the business environment, simultaneously seeing impactful results in ROI, efficiency and better, more personalized customer interactions.