The role that artificial intelligence and automation play in business is a significant one. It encompasses all branches of business and affects entire enterprises. Automation is a very effective way of streamlining your business processes and creating scalable solutions to production problems.
How automation works
Automation is when you use technology to minimize human intervention in certain tasks. This could extend from home automation to process automation in businesses. In a business setting, tasks that are repetitive, time-consuming, and rule-bound are the ones that usually get automated.
In a business scenario, automation would look similar to this:
A company finds that certain processes in their accounting workflow can benefit from automation. They found out that automation for accounting tasks could help streamline their entire process and free up some production hours for their accounting team. So they make a list of processes across the target workflow and write out the steps for each process. They then take a look at each step and decide whether a particular step is redundant and can be skipped or important and must be retained.
Once they have weeded out the unnecessary or repetitive steps and retained the important ones, they can write a new, streamlined process that the automation program can be based on, focusing on the steps and the desired result for each step. After which, they can choose which tools to use for automation, or hire programmers that can create the automation tool for them.
Once the tool is created, the team can test it out to see if there are any adjustments that need to be made. After everything passes muster, they can start implementing the automated process and take note of the results i.e. shorter processing time, fewer errors or no errors at all). From there, they can evaluate the efficacy of the tool and troubleshoot when necessary. But that last step will only serve as maintenance and upgrade.
There are of course other things to consider like getting the budget for the project, the role change and training that people may need when automation gets rolled out, but as a whole, automating a workflow process mostly follows these steps.
What automation does for a business
With a somewhat involved process to get automation integrated into a business, perhaps the obvious question to ask is why? Why do we need to automate? In this era of automation, introducing it into your business does not mean that you are just following a trend. It has actual business impact.
Automation greatly impacts your productivity. One of the main goals of automation is to reduce the time it takes to process tasks that are repetitive in nature. It minimizes errors that are caused by human intervention. It frees up a lot of production time that was once dominated by manual tasks.
And most importantly, it takes away the stress that repetitive tasks put on employees. It boosts employee morale. Less stress means happier employees. Happier employees tend to be more engaged and efficient; they are more mentally present while at work and make fewer mistakes than those employees who are stressed out. This has a direct impact on employee productivity.
Cutting down repetitive and inefficient tasks also improves your earnings as a company in the long run. It has been found that inefficient processes caused companies to lose 20-30% of their yearly revenue. Red tape and too many steps and processes cost money.
Keeps company compliant
Every business, no matter the size, is bound by legalities and regulations. These regulations change regularly and it can be hard to keep up. Compliance automation can help you stay on top of regulations that encompass your business. These tools can help you run assessments, do analyses and control testing. They can even help you create a corrective action plan.
Noncompliance can cost a company more than money. It can cost you your clientele, your business license, and your reputation. This is why keeping abreast of all the regulatory updates and keeping your company compliant is very important when running a business.
Maintains data security
Security automation helps your systems detect threats easier. Not only that, automation security tools can run triage and get rid of these threats expeditiously. And depending on how your automated security system is set up, all this can happen without human intervention.
Data breaches not only result in revenue loss but can also pose a danger to your customers and the other members in your supply chain. And it can also bring a host of legal problems on your company. Security automation helps you keep your company and customer data secure more efficiently.
Benefit to customers
It’s not just the companies that benefit from automation. Customers as well can enjoy the efficiency brought by automation. Artificial intelligence driven tools that cater to customer service like chatbots and automated emails go a long way in providing positive customer experience and ensuring customer loyalty.
Certain programs can track customer activities and help your business anticipate customer needs. This provides your customers a better experience when navigating through your web page. It also gives you better customer insight that you can use to predict customer behavior and business trends.
The benefits mentioned above are just a few examples of the benefits that automation can bring into your business. These examples prove that automation is essential to maintaining and improving the way your company operates.