A Fintech World

There was a time when the word ‘fintech’ may have been a clever play on words in a futuristic Sci-Fi film, but today the term is a real, elaborate concept that has blown the gates wide open for a new world of finance technology. Fintech has become a star in investment, and it continues to broaden the opportunities for banking and finances, regularly transforming these sectors and presenting new information for individuals and businesses. Fintech is a field; it can range from a single product to a series of companies. It simply applies technology to the existing field of finance. The former has known rapid growth over the past two decades; technology runs the world today. It is an ever-evolving aspect of humanity today, and alongside it, human activity evolves. Financial tech takes part in the credit of transforming our world from the Industrial Age to the Information Age. A flower just in bloom, the field is now starting to unleash its powers. 

Fintech presents the argument that there is a ‘better way.’ Not only does it open opportunity windows in investment for those companies that work in finance, but also for customers, entrepreneurs and investors as well. As it continues to grow exponentially, companies in fintech have great potential, regardless of their current size. This is due to the fact that finance is a part of human practices–it is present in every business. As a result, it can be practiced broadly, even in fields like agriculture and medicine, providing necessary data and driving profit. According to Innovate Finance, global venture capital investment in fintech reached US $36.6 billion, a 148 percent increase from 2017, and 329 percent over five years. In similar fashion, fintech fundings saw a 40% increase between 2018 and 2019. This steady ascent translates into strength for the sector, as it implements the complexity of financial services to its advantage. It therefore allows investors to monitor trends and user behaviors, making way for better-informed decisions to be made, and as a result driving success in cash flows, risk mitigation and financial transactions. 

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Protecting Supply Chains

The use of fintech stretches across various sectors including payments, retail banking and asset management. However, the previously-mentioned growth and the ever-changing trends in markets continue to contribute new sub-sectors in fintech. The real-life magic, technology, enters any domain to amp up the speed, accuracy and efficiency of its processes. The same was done for finance, bringing out sub-sectors of fintech in insurance and risk management, among others. Fintech’s existence in retail banking and customer finance has spawned Neobanks, financial technology firms that offer exclusively internet-backed financial services, and exist virtually for the most part. 

For corporate banking, innovation was welcomed incrementally. It is obvious that the sector was slower in adopting fintech than retail banking and customer finance. Many organizations did not have a clear digital roadmap, or a digitization strategy. This is good news for digital providers, as they are set to capture at least 30 percent of corporate banking revenues. The other end of the stick sees startups providing small businesses with financial tools that manage spending and offer high level transparency. The continuing takeover of fintech is foreseeing a staggering US $2 trillion-worth amount of contactless in-store payments in 2020. This is thanks to the new peaks fintech keeps on reaching since services like PayPal became a thing. We are experiencing a third wave of innovation, and payments have gotten exponentially safer and faster, with more transparency for consumers and tighter links between banks and retailers. 

The bottom line of embroidering business with technology is that the latter lowers cost. Technology helps harness information and share it, helping identify the truth. Global demand is continually growing for better financial infrastructure, real-time payments and access to data. Additionally, 82 percent of financial institutions are expected to increase their fintech partnerships in the next three to five years. This is because fintech finetunes the intricacies of financial operations; it cuts cost and increases speed. 

  

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Double 3 Robotic and The Future of Work

Telepresence is finally here

Double is the most innovative tool for bringing your remote workers into the office. It enables a revolutionary new level of interaction with your remote team.

Traditional videoconferencing is arguably the most important tool used by telecommuters in the workplace today. However, remote workers know how difficult it can be to schedule a call or ask someone to set up a laptop for video chat.

Having your own Double in the office means you can be free to roam around anywhere without having to schedule a meeting. Double takes everything you love about video calls on an iPad and puts that on a mobile base that puts the remote worker in control. Your Double is always on, ready to ta ke you anywhere you need to go.

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A new disinfection solution:

Remote workers are now first-class citizens.

Most offices have quite a bit of ad-hoc verbal communication throughout the day. How many of those little conversations do the remote workers miss? Typically, the remote worker is only contacted for higher priority items. This makes them second-class citizens, since they’re not in the loop on many day-to-day activities. Double gives each remote worker a physical presence in the office all day, every day. They’re there for the hallway conversations. You no longer need to say “can someone call Mary and let her know what we talked about?”

“This is a game changer.”

Many customers, like Jonathan at LinkedIn, say “Double is a game changer for remote work.” Companies are now expanding their telecommuting policies because Double impoves the experience so much. This method of telecommuting is vastly different and creates a strong collaborative environment for both the remote worker and their whole team.

Hire the experts, no matter where they happen to live.

Any growing business needs to hire the best knowledge workers. What are the chances that the best expert lives within driving distance of your office? Light Chaser Animation in Shanghai, China aims to rival Hollywood studios with their animated films, so they hired a director in Los Angeles to work via Double.

Retain your best employees, even when they move.

Hiring is very difficult. It’s even more difficult when you lose a valued team member and need to replace them. Next time an employee needs to move away, they can continue their job via Double. It’s a win-win for everyone.

If you are interested in finding out more about Double 3 Robotic, please send an email to sales@provenconsult.com.

  

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Proven Consult Brings World’s Escalator Handrail Disinfection Solution To Saudi Arabia

As malls and businesses get back to work and the authorities increase capacity, maintaining disinfection on the escalators would become a bit difficult. Proven Consult now offers the first of its kind, “Escalator Handrail Disinfection & Sterilization Solution”, from WeClean, a leading Korean manufacturer that developed this technology since 2014, to its Middle East customers. These solutions have been patented and endorsed by all the major escalator suppliers around the world. They are easy to deploy and can disinfect and sterilize the handrails up to 99.99%.

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DOUBLE 3 ROBOTIC

With thousands of escalators in Saudi Arabia, it is impossible to practically ensure they are cleaned each time a person rides on an escalator and keeping in mind the health and safety aspects, you can’t completely avoid holding an escalator handrail. This is why the introduction of this automated prod uct to Saudi Arabia at this time of Covid-19 makes sense as it gives confidence to visitors in high traffic areas that there are steps being taken to maintain higher hygiene standards without compromising on escalator safety.

Based on a survey in Korea, the team at WeClean developed many prototypes, tested them extensively and have now developed a product that can automatically clean, disinfect and sterilize any escalator. These Escalator handrail disinfection solutions have been successfully deployed for over 20,000 installations worldwide and they are highly recommended.

If you are interested in finding out more about these solutions for escalators in your building, please send an email to sales@provenconsult.com.

  

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PROTECTING SUPPLY CHAINS DURING COVID-19

As the world is battling against COVID-19, the pandemic has an uneven effect on the supply chain industry. Industries such as auto, travel, consumer goods, electronics, and retail have been profoundly impacted. The supply chain economy has a large and distinct impact on economies of the world that is driven by industrial activities and innovation.

 

With many governments enforcing the lockdowns, manufacturers are finding it challenging to procure components for their manufacturing activities. In the time of crisis, the demand among consumers for non-essential goods has also declined. These two different spectra of the supply chain challenges are creating a crisis from both: demand and supply end of the chain.

 

Based on changes and constraints in demand, businesses are building new models to sustain and protect the supply chain during the current crisis. Ensuring necessary service levels across the chain, these new models are setting precedent for protecting the supply chain against any future crisis as well.

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DEPLOYING AI

Data Leading the Way 

Having a data-centric approach towards supply chain management is making suppliers more agile in their operations. Using predictive modeling and data simulations, businesses can predict the impact of a sudden decline in demand in one country that can impact the entire supply chain. Live tracking the sales, shipments, and orders with minimum latency will help businesses to identify surge or decline in demand and these data can guide the decisions regarding the production levels.

 

To help organizations understand where and when to source the components, advanced machine learning algorithms can be used to determine ideal source based on past purchases, commodity pricing, agro and industrial trends, among others.

 

The current supply chains involve several bottlenecks where the data visibility is limited between facilities located in different locations and are in-efficient. Having a uniform data and analytics platform and sharing between different locations is crucial to managing dynamic demands. However, companies can only leverage data when the process across the supply chain is end-to-end digitized. Any gaps between the processes will increase latencies and can slow down the supply chain’s response to the changes in demand.

 

End-to-End Digitising

 

Having a cloud-based or web-based ordering system, allows businesses to act on shifts in demand proactively. Creating an end-to-end digital IT ecosystem is key to drive and minimize the latencies. However, to track actual production, inventory levels, and shipments, businesses must leverage various Internet of Things technologies together to bridge data between various processes.

 

IoTs are the sensors and devices interacting with each other’s data through cloud systems. This helps businesses monitor the machine’s performance and can indicate or predict failures to assist faster action. Starting from placing the order or query to the actual production and distribution, these various processes in the value chain funnel need to be digitized to enable faster decision making. 

 

While manufacturers are struggling to meet quality standards due to low labor-force and demand burden, IoT devices can be used to monitor quality performances. IoT devices such as cameras and sensors can evaluate the product quality, reducing the reliability and time taken by manual quality checks. This helps suppliers to standardize the quality across different locations without slowing down production and can ensure the increasing demands are met. By enabling automation and accelerating the process, IoTs are helping suppliers to solve key supply chain problems.

Automation for Agile Supply Chain

 

The travel restrictions and health impact from the coronavirus have pushed organizations to operate with a limited workforce. While the manufacturers are looking for alternate vendors for their critical components, the reduced labor force and increased demand have led to increased lead time. Accelerating production and reducing manual interventions in the business processes are critical to solving these problems. 

 

These challenges are inspiring businesses to implement Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Suppliers must develop greater automation capabilities to accelerate production and minimize manual interventions in the business process. Using IoT and robotics, businesses can fast track assembly lines, inventory management, and data analytics. 

 

As supply chains are evolving, so does the assembly lines. As the new-age manufacturers are using 3d printing to produce their components inhouse, this reduces the dependency on suppliers. While 3d printing equipment is becoming a low cost, companies can 3d print key components that are expensive to source.

 

However, at the end of the supply chain funnel lies a greater challenge. Logistics of the delivery system or distribution systems have been dependent on laborers who are responsible for shipment and delivery of the end component. 

 

Businesses like Amazon have been one of the few enterprises to experiment in using autonomous docking systems, robotics and IoT enabled drones to meet these challenges. While these automation systems may not be feasible for smaller-scale businesses, these trends are promising to close the end of the supply chain funnel in the future.

 

While the enterprises are adapting automation swiftly, the application of RPA has been limited to repeated and mundane processes. Suppliers across various scales and industries have been balancing between automation and digital workforce to sustain the cost of automation.

 

 

Embracing the Digital Workforce:

 

For manufacturers, labor shortage and replenishment serve as focal points for operations to manage ramp-up in production after temporary shutdowns. Therefore, businesses are embracing the digital work environment and communication channels to continue their operations remotely. Working from the safety of their homes helps in reducing the health risk from the workforce that the coronavirus is currently posing. Departments such as marketing, finance, and HR has moved to virtual desks. 

 

Implementing such digital transformation requires strong training, change management, standardization of daily work, and job aids. While focusing on digital infrastructure is essential, businesses can develop a remote working culture to create a digital-ready workforce during the crisis. Processes that can be operated in a virtual environment should switch to digital, which will further help businesses to save costs. Therefore, a virtual workforce culture along with IT infrastructure is crucial to building an agile supply chain.

 

While these techniques act as a solution to cope with the supply chain crisis, it is the principles that are leading the decision making.

 

New Principles for Sustainable Supply Chain

Investing in an agile and collaborative supply planning is one of the key principles that businesses must follow. As the markets are dynamic and the spread of the virus is fast, the market situation can become extremely volatile. To deal with such an unstable business environment business must focus on investing in strategies that are agile and tools that are designed to handle such dynamics.

 

As the major manufacturing players are migrating their production facilities, it is easy to fall into the same habit of all fruits in one basket strategy. Diversifying the supply chain and spreading it throughout the world will not only make supply chain reliable also help businesses to optimize cost. Businesses can source components for new products from low-cost sources and can launch new products at a lower price to boost their sales.

 

As the supply chain has a cascading impact, it is essential to protect this crucial building block to sustain it during this global pandemic. Businesses must build resilience for the short-term impacts and the long-term impacts to rise above the COVID-19 threat. This crisis has key lessons for businesses about reliable and efficient supply chain management.

 

In the immediate term, organizations need to take steps to stabilize supply chain operations by conducting risk assessments and implementing business continuity plans using crisis-management teams.

Crisis Management for Short Term Impact:

To address the volatile nature of current supply chain operations, organizations should mobilize a crisis-management team or a war-room setup that has the power to make quick, analysis-based supply chain decisions.

Analysts should examine supplier delivery performance, deviations from production plans, canceled orders, customer-fulfillment rates, and other business outcomes more frequently to identify any potential supply chain issues. Besides, the crisis-management team can conduct root-cause analysis and help supply chain leadership teams to prioritize issues for resolution.

 

The crisis management teams will be involved in updating demand forecasts and supply plans and the focus on re-allocation of constrained supply to critical customers and orders. Data being at the center of this forecast, the teams must equip themselves with updated data and data tools. Therefore, companies with end-to-end digital processes will have the ability to live track orders, inventory, and in-production items. Based on these trackers, suppliers can take decisive measures to proactively increase production, relocate resources on key customers and orders.

 

 

Optimizing HR Strategies

 

While protecting supply chain businesses is paramount for economies; at the heart of this crisis, people are most affected. Protecting the people working in the supply chain ecosystem must be a priority for businesses amidst the pandemic. Drafting policies and measures that protect people against the risks of COVID-19, creates a safe working environment is critical to ensure continuous operations.

At an unprecedented time of pandemic threats, businesses must make quick decisions led by talented executives to implement new policies and standards to the ground level. Such circumstances demand organizations to focus on hiring executive talent who is efficient and can implement the changes faster and to the ground level with their team. As businesses shift towards automation and digitalization, the focus has to be on finding new executive talent for implementing strategical and analytical functions of supply chain management.

 

The current COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted all sectors with various degrees of impact. It is time for companies to rapidly assess, recover, and respond quickly through numerous obstacles and challenges that still stand in the way. Through the chaos of recovery, it will be very easy to overlook the root cause and gaps within a supply chain that may have paralyzed businesses during this unpredictable major event in the first place. Building towards a resilient supply chain will be at the epicenter of future discussions for years to come.

The industries constitute 37% of all jobs globally and have been a driving force for economic growth around the globe, having a cascade effect on the manufacturing industry, economy, and people. In these challenging times, a technological solution is paving the way for industries to move forward. However, these innovations must be the ones that will continue to create immense value even in the post-pandemic future. Therefore, businesses must understand the current impact of COVID-19 and its long-term cascading socio-economic effect before they rethink their supply chain.

  

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Proven Consult and Uipath Co-Host Webinar on RPA in Finance and Accounting

 

Proven Consult has collaborated with Uipath in a webinar event on May 20. The hour-long webinar centered around the use of RPA in Finance and Accounting and featured speakers Anas Abdul-Haiy, Consult’s Deputy CEO, Omer Saleem, Proven CFO and Uipath Presales Directior Hilel Baroud. The speakers also answered questions from the audience during the Zoom webinar, which has now been added to Proven’s YouTube channel.

 

Retail Use Case: Logistics

 Use Case: Logistics and Invoice Processing

Function: Finance

Industry: Retail

Challenge:

The client was receiving paper invoices from suppliers which the logistics team then checked against the PO number, invoice number, ensured it matched the quantity received, checked the unit price and total amount. Once everything was established as correct, the finance team then uploads the document in the ERP system.

The finance team then did a further round of checks with three-way matching, checking the vendor invoice to ensure that the payment is complete and accurate before the invoice is uploaded.

The client receives close to 100k invoices per year. Processing these invoices was time consuming and there were some challenges:

  1. Duplicate entries
  2. Slow approval processing
  3. Inability to manage and store information
  4. Vulnerability to fraud
  5. Labor intensive

Solution:

We implemented RPA bots to streamline the invoicing process. By automating the tasks, which consumed valuable time and resources we delivered faster and more reliable processing with reduced long-term costs. The bots respond to XXXX which leads to the following process:

  • The vendor sends the invoice to a designated mail ID, the OCR tool downloads the mail and using intelligent OCR and natural language processing capabilities, extracts the information that is on the invoice.
  • The RPA bots constantly monitor a dedicated folder where Excel invoices are saved by the OCR tool, once robots detect the presence of an invoice in the folder, they extract information from the document.
  • After robots extract the required information from each invoice, they login to the ERP system and process each invoice, transferring over the relevant invoice information to the ERP.
  • After registering each invoice, the bots then update an Excel sheet and send posting emails to the human employee responsible for the end of processing.
  • In case of any exceptions, data does not match, PO does not exist, the bots will send an email to the logistics team for the discrepancy to be dealt with.

Soft Benefits

  • Instant information: When invoices are automated, anybody can access the invoice at anytime from anywhere
  • Faster transaction speed eliminating bottlenecks during the busy season or times when there was a reduction in manpower available
  • Reduced human errors, especially in the verification process
  • Easier auditing, paper invoices are very difficult to audit. The RPA platform has an inbuilt audit trail
  • Reduced costs: When payments are made on time, penalties are avoided.

Realized Hard Benefits

  1. Volume of Transactions – 100K+ ????
  2. Number of hours saved – 20k per year
  3. Value Saved – 1.25k SAR per year

 

Retail Use Case: Bank Reconciliation

Use Case: Bank Reconciliation

Function: Finance

Industry: Retail

Challenge:

The client was facing significant challenges around visibility and accountability in the bank reconciliation process. The reconciliation was a time-consuming process, requiring the accounts department to find information from multiple sources to balance the final figures.

The previous process involved the finance team logging into the bank portal and downloading the bank statement in excel format before verifying opening and closing balances are tallied, verifying commission and VAT rates of each transaction, check for refunds or manual entries, log into SAP and download credit and debit entries, and finally tally the sums in an excel sheet. If there are particular transactions which do not match, download the transaction slips and communicate with the bank. Unmatched transactions are then used to create reconciling items and correcting journal entries.

Some of the challenges that were faced by the finance team:

  1. Duplicate entries
  2. Data clean up at the point of entry or data cleansing during a downstream process
  3. Post-extract data transformation processes to force each data type to conform a rigid format
  4. Human generated data errors
  5. Journals created and posted manually to each account and where required, analyzed to the individual store for items not present

Solution:

We implemented RPA bots to automate existing processes with reduced timelines and higher efficiency without disrupting legacy systems.

RPA can quickly handle the first two parts, gathering and consolidating, which typically take the most time in preparing the final bank reconciliation sheet.

RPA can make the reconciliation process seamless, significantly reducing the need for manual intervention. While humans can only process a few transactions per minute, software robots can process thousands, reducing a process that usually takes days to minutes. The bots respond to XXXX which leads to the following process:

  • The bot downloads the statement from the bank platform and the transaction data from the Gidea, then matches and consolidates the SAP and Geidea data.
  • The bot then checks the opening and closing balances in the statement, checks for STU and refunds.
  • The bot downloads SACO books data and credit/debit data from SAP.
  • The bot creates the bank reconciliation file in pre-defined format.
  • The bot sends a consolidated report of incorrectly calculated transaction fees, missing reconciliation data and unidentified transactions for the human team to address.

Soft Benefits

  1. Reducing time to close through RPA driven reconciliation
  2. Reduce the time and labor hours it takes to reconcile transactions by 90%.
  3. Eliminate costly errors due to human input of manual and rules-based matching
  4. Improving quality of data coming into the close process including reducing data errors before the trial close

Realized Hard Benefits

  1. Volume of Transactions – 12 instances per year. Each instance has more than 1k Transactions
  2. Number of hours saved – 500+ per year
  3. Value Saved – 100k SAR per year

Retail Use Case: Daily Sales Reconciliation

Use Case: Daily Sales Reconciliation

Function: Finance

Industry: Retail

Challenge:

The client processes substantial volumes of cash, ACH and credit card transactions across multiple locations every day and the management team needs to interpret these transactions in order to deliver real-time analysis of the organization’s financial performance.

Journal entries for gift card transactions and credit card fee allocations often needed manual processing and spreadsheets were manually passed around for approval and review before posting resulting in a process that is time consuming for the team.

The finance department was receiving sales reconciliation documents from stores on multiple days of the week, either by courier service for shops outside of Riyadh or collected daily for the stores for those in Riyadh and submitted to finance. This was causing significant challenges around visibility and accountability in the financial close process.

Solution:

We implemented RPA bots to automate the existing processes, replacing manual spreadsheet-driven processes and automate account reconciliations, journal entries, transaction matching, task management and variance analysis.

The bots increased efficiency, without disrupting legacy systems and automated and standardize the entire reconciliation process. The bots were able to drive accuracy in the financial close with embedded controls and provide accountants with a streamlined method to verify their balance sheets through the following process:

  • Stores send cash data in pre-defined format through email
  • The bot downloads credit/debit/AmEx transaction data from Gidea portal
  • The bot logs into Outlook and downloads cash data
  • The bot posts the data by store and terminal

Soft Benefits:

  1. Instead of completing period-end accounting activities in a few days, work is performed in smaller batches. This means accurate information is always available and there’s more time to review, reducing risk of fraud or restatement.
  2. The management team can gain clear visibility into business data across multiple currencies in real time.
  3. The finance team can spend less time on transactional tasks and instead provide value-added services, interpreting the financial data to improve overall business performance.
  4. The bots can detect and correct errors to ensure financial statement accuracy, reducing the risk of accounting irregularities.

Realized Hard Benefits

  1. Volume of Transactions – 1Million+ per year
  2. Number of hours saved – 5000+ per year
  3. Value Saved – 1Million+ SAR per year

 

AI CANNOT BE DEPLOYED IN ISOLATION

Artificial Intelligence is simulation of human intelligence in machines and is primed to reinvent the future and how we live. Researches across the globe see lots of positives of AI and how it can transform the world, still AI cannot be deployed in isolation. Artificial Intelligence in isolation is not useful unless it is customized to figure how it suits your business. This requires broader and holistic understanding of one’s organization and business along with deep understanding of AI.

Let us take an instance of enhancing customer experience using AI in the Insurance industry.

Suzan who is a longstanding customer of “First Care Insurance Co.” and has enrolled herself for life insurance and auto insurance. Suzan was driving as usual every day to her office, suddenly a pedestrian came in front of her car and to avoid hitting her she swerved her car and crashed into a sideway lamppost.

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Suzan uses First Care mobile app in her phone and the app suddenly detected a abrupt stop or shift in the speed of the vehicle using smart phone accelerometer and the GPS. The insurance company tries to reach Suzan on her mobile to check if she is safe, in case of no response they call 911 and share the GPS coordinates to send emergency services to the site. If she did respond to the call, they would provide her instructions on the next steps.

The accident was automatically detected by machine learning that uses various attributes like change in speed of car, GPS location, local weather conditions, traffic conditions and so on, you can imagine an app like WAZE that can do this.

To confirm that Suzan’s mobile was not stolen the AI based system will check the stolen records and processed Suzan voice using natural language processing and matched against her audio recordings. Knowing she has gone through an accident; Suzan’s voice must be distressed and hence an added authentication is added using combination of voice and text. Suzan is then instructed to walk around the car and take photos for the damage and send to First Care for accident estimates. The images are scanned using computer vision to classify the type of damage and estimates are done using algorithms based on machine learning. The system guides the first care representative to the nearby tow truck facilities which can be sent to the site and Frist Care also checks with Suzan if she requires a rental car.

This automated response that sense the dispatches is driven by an expert system that has learned the rules over time may be guided by human operators. The truck comes by and takes the car to the body shop.

The rental car company picks up Suzan once the car is in the repair shop. The repair shop initiates the repair job and communicates the status periodically with First Care. First Care runs an agent-based software business process management system, to notify Suzan of the relevant updates which she receives on her mobile and email. Suzan can track the progress of the repair and status updates from the notifications received.

The success of this case is very much dependent on data coming from multiple sources like – repair shop, tow trucking company, Suzan’s agent and from First Care itself. The data is fetched from different sources, consolidated, and massaged to be presented to Suzan. This would require integration with multiple systems which can be on a secure cloud and can be accessed using distributed API’s or RPA.

This customer experience case is surely a very important one and may look simple but it requires the business to account for all the what-if scenarios. Building this type of customer experience requires a solid architecture and the following must be considered: –

  • Actors involved in the complete process and their roles.
  • Clear and concise business process definition.
  • What technology components to be used and where to use them.
  • Data coming from different sources like – sensors, mobile accelerometers etc.
  • Data storage and management.
  • Interaction with different business partners like – Rental car, Tow trucking company, insurance agents etc.
  • Easy, simple, and robust architecture which is capable to handle numerous variations of a scenario that can happen.

To conclude, businesses must be on top of their game to provide the best of the customer experience by including the high-end technologies available today. Artificial Intelligence is a broad subject and cannot be just applied without thoughts and in isolation. For AI to work at its peak, there are lots of dependence on the data, business partners involved and the leadership vision to take their businesses to the next level.

In conclusion, AI cannot simply be deployed in isolation, it needs architecture.

  

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BUSINESS TRANSFORMATION FROM COVID-19

As all facets of life and business are affected by COVID-19, some of these impacts are going to be longterm. The current pandemic has affected hospitality, airlines, manufacturing, supply chains, and many other industries which will have a cascading effect on people and the business. While the world looks for a better way to sustain during this pandemic, businesses around the world are transforming themselves to continue their operations amid lockdowns and workforce limitations. With expanding the supply and demand gap, businesses must make changes the way they do business to mitigate the crisis.

Amidst these transformative times, companies across industries are moving towards the digital workforce faster than ever before. However, in the labor-intensive industries are largely suffering from a reduced workforce leading to low production levels. Combined with spiking demand and labor limitations, quality control will suffer. The potential economic fallout of COVID-19 could include recessions in the US, Euro-area, and Japan, the slowest growth on record in China, and a total of USD 2.7 trillion in lost output. As the major markets across the globe are falling to imminent recessions, this complicates the problem as manufacturers need to attain a lower cost to be able to achieve sales.

Navigating through these challenges, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is emerging as a solution to achieve sustainability for businesses at times like this. Its successful implementation across various sectors during COVID-19 has embarked on the upsurge in its future demands undeniably.

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More on fending off COVID-19

The impact of RPA is far-reaching in multiple sectors, especially in industries that are playing a critical role in fighting the current pandemic.

Health Sector:

RPA has immense impact across the value chain of the health care industry, be it: testing, diagnosis, monitoring or treatment. RPA programs can take the patient’s test records and document them in the hospital’s electronic medical records while sharing the record with the health department. Such processes without any manual interventions accelerate the testing and monitoring capabilities of the hospital but also the government to monitor the crisis. Hospitals can automate their order fulfillment during the surge in demand and health screening with bots measuring the temperature to attain operational efficiency.

As the healthcare sector is at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19, operational efficiency is crucial for hospitals. The healthcare staff are exposed to the patients and facing the highest risks of contamination, automating some of the repetitive processes will reduce the exposure and the risk.

Retail Sector:

With the major markets are currently under lockdown, the retail sales have been all-time low. As several countries have limited retail to essential goods, there has been a sudden surge in demand for these goods. While the retailers are struggling to manage their inventory, delivery services have also been affected by a reduced number of workers. These challenges are inspiring retailers to automate order handling and inventory management.

The brick and motor retail players are betting on self-checkout terminals, shelf-scanning robots while e-retailers are experimenting in using drones and robots for deliveries. These disruptive innovations in RPA may change the way the world sells goods, outlasting the current pandemic.

Financial Services:

RPA automates the intake and processing of documents submitted by customers, which are then automatically verified, along with KYC norms and approved/rejected automatically. Such document processing and verification functions in financial services are helping businesses to accelerate service delivery. In fact, the automation in financial services reduces the risk for the companies further, as these programs perform functions based on consumer’s historical data.

Travel and Hospitality:

COVID-19 has led to wide-scale flight cancellations, rescheduling, etc. Flight operators are leveraging RPA to help customers self-manage the same – including rebooking, refund, cancellation, personalized alternatives, etc. Airlines are using RPA to automatically assign flying crew for the restricted flights which are plying especially for domestic travel. While the threat of COVID-19 continues to affect demand, in order to create a safe flight in the future, Airports can deploy RPA programs. These programs can scan the travel history of travelers, find if they visited any infected places, and augment that by tracking individuals with fever. These programs can act as one of the security tools for safeguard passengers, creating confidence among travelers to fly in a post-pandemic future.

Manufacturing:

Among various sectors, the manufacturing sector has been proactively adopting RPA. With 85% of the RPA market still untapped, the current challenges are encouraged all businesses to dive into automation. From supply chain to assembly lines, the major manufacturing sector has been embracing this transformation for the past few years, while small and medium scale manufacturers are slowly shifting their key processes to RPA, starting from hiring and managing laborforce.

These are exceptional times, unprecedented times and the promise that RPA/Automation holds for companies across industries is undeniable. Today, several new use cases have emerged and as the situation unfolds, where it is expected to worsen before it gets better, RPA/Automation adoption will further intensify and more such disruptive use cases will come to the fore.

  

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