Intelligent Process Automation – Helping Companies to Respond to COVID-19
With this current pandemic and global lockdown, we believe that we have started a new journey for survey and sustainability. First, we needed to react quickly, build resilience and move slowly into recovery until we return to our normal life. Despite that most of the business operations have been distributed and there is a lot of concerns in the supply chain, restaurants, malls, flights, hotels… It is still early to know exactly which industries will survive and which will be heavily affected from the aftermath of this pandemic or which ones will flourish.
World Economic Forum in its recent article “Who will be the winners in a post-pandemic economy? Has identified the below criteria for success in the coming period.
- Businesses that use cloud computing will not buckle under the pressure of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Further automation and artificial intelligence will enhance the resilience of supply chains.
- Successful businesses will have a combination of resilience and agility.
Technologies like: Intelligent Process Automation, Predictive Analytics, Chatbot, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, are essential tools that companies will need in this new journey.
In this article we will focus on Intelligent Process Automation and discuss how companies can utilize it to help them deal with the new reality and prepare for similar unprecedented scenarios.
IPA (Intelligent Process Automation)
Technology is changing the way we do business and we are entering a new era where workforce optimization and reduction of operational cost are key factors in today’s companies’ success.
Intelligent process automation is a set of emerging technologies that enables companies automate intelligently the manual repetitive tasks in almost all functional areas like procurement, finance, supply chain and logistics, HR, IT services. Intelligent process automation combines fundamental process redesign with robotic process automation and machine learning.
RPA (Robotics process automation), which is one of the key tools of intelligent process automation, is a software that mimics human actions associated with a variety of business processes and defined rules.
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Business Challenges that Intelligent Process Automation can tackle
Based on our engagements with C level executives, we have identified the bellow challenges:
- High cost of operations
- Low processing time for completing certain tasks or generating reports
- A very high volume of transactions or paperwork such as invoices, requests, POs, contacts
- high error rate
- In ability to meet KPIS and regulations put by regulators such as Insurance, banking, health and telecom
Covid 19 Challenges
- Rapid need for recruitment in peak periods and after the lockdown is over
- Handling unexpected volume of work such as in:
Healthcare sector: rapid increase in testing diagnosis and tracking cases
Airlines: ticket cancellation and refunding
- Business continuity for back office and front office tasks during lockdowns
- Supply chain disruption causing shortage in warehouses and Point of Sales
Benefits of Intelligent Process Automation
- Reduce process cycle times between 80% to 90%, enabling quicker time to market for new products and services, improved customer satisfaction…
- Around 4x increase in process capacity allowing firms to scale critical processes without increasing expenses like headcount.
- Allow Employees to focus on critical and valuable work by removing 80% of the non-valuable work.
- Achieve more with less resources
- Providing 24/7 service to reach more customers
- Reduce the error rates to almost 0 %
- Deliver between 25% to 50% in savings
- ROI is between 6- 9 months
Areas where Intelligent Process Automation can be applied
- Automated data Extraction and Validation including Arabic Language documents
- Automating IT operations and Legacy system integration
- Recruitment process, CV classification and screening
- Employee/customer/vendor on boarding
- Procure to pay
- Finance and accounting: bank reconciliation, invoice processing, order to cash, record to report
- Supply chain: inventory management, demand and supply, shipment tracking
- Insurance claim processing
- Banking services, fraud detection, account processing
- Automating airline booking cancelations and refunding
- Healthcare COVID-19 use cases: automating test results reporting, accelerating appointments and testing process
I will end this article with the following findings from a survey done by PWC with 871 CFOs from 24 countries or territories during the week of 20 April.
- As workplaces reopen, 46% of CFOs will accelerate automation and 21% are eyeing contact tracing
- Placing investments on hold, but not digital transformation
It is a new Journey which we are excited to take with our business partners and clients thought utilizing the technological innovations in the most efficient way to ensure survivability, business continuity and growth.
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