Automation Examples for Your Industry
Automation can streamline operations across industries. Digital workers handle tasks efficiently and accurately, allowing organizations to unlock a world of untapped potential. But what are the tangible benefits of automation, and how can you seamlessly integrate it into functions and departments?
In this blog, we’ll look at industry-specific applications of automation, with use case examples in manufacturing, healthcare, banking and financial services, insurance, transportation and logistics, and retail and commerce. Let’s see how you can hop on board on the journey to automation excellence.
What Are the Use Cases for Intelligent Process Automation?
Intelligent process automation (IPA) or intelligent automation (IA) are cognitive technologies that deploy digital workers to perform rule-based, often repetitive tasks usually done by humans with the goal of streamlining business processes.
How does IA work?
IA is an automation software that combines artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), business process management (BPM) and robotic process automation (RPA) to automate tasks intelligently and orchestrate workflows. Digital workers can perform 24/7 without breaks, without requiring human intervention and can work with structured, semi-structured or unstructured data.
What are examples of intelligent automation benefits?
To get the most out of your automation program, focus on uncovering the hidden benefits of intelligent automation, such as customer and employee satisfaction, risk reduction and process excellence. Examples of IA’s benefits include:
- Cost savings
- Reduced human errors
- Increased employee satisfaction
- Better customer service
- Improved efficiency
What are common intelligent automation use cases in functions and departments?
IA aims to make work more efficient, which can be seen in various processes and departments across a business. Here are some common examples:
Employee onboarding and offboarding
These are tedious processes requiring new hires to have all their equipment and training starting on day one, so no time is lost, and for the human resources (HR) team to have all the necessary paperwork done. With employee offboarding, HR must retrieve a resignation letter, process final payments and expenses, and ensure all company property is returned. IA can handle all those tasks, streamlining communication and checking off to-do lists so your organization can focus on making new hires feel welcome, and helping those who leave have a seamless parting.
Your customer’s first impression should be convenient, efficient and personalized. This will ensure customer satisfaction and retention and build brand loyalty. However, customer onboarding can be a time-consuming process rife with manual data entry. IA electronically captures information and inputs it into your system. It can also automate customer communication, such as welcome emails and customize them so customers only see products and services relevant to them.
Regardless of your industry, ensuring your processes stay compliant with business and industry regulations is a top priority – and often difficult and time-consuming to manage. With IA, you can set rules in line with your compliance regulations, so your digital workers continuously adhere to them. With IA’s real-time reporting, you’ll have auditable processes you can track and monitor, flagging any issues right away and ensuring your digital workers always run on the latest requirements.
Customer relationship management (CRM)
While CRM systems can be powerful marketing tools, they’re still prone to errors and can make extra work for sales teams, who often must manually search for and enter data, rather than focusing their time on customer engagement. IA can eliminate these manual tasks with contact management and analytics capabilities, integrating data with third-party applications so it’s easier to access. Plus, IA’s analytics gives the sales team more detailed forecasting methods, empowering them with data-driven decision-making power.
Maintaining cash flow requires getting quotes, fulfilling orders, billing customers and receiving payments, and these manual processes can quickly stack up. IA streamlines this by extracting information from documents such as invoices and inputting them automatically into your system to speed up the payment process and reduce costs from errors that might result in fines.
What Are Industry-Specific Use Cases for Intelligent Automation?
It’s one thing to adopt an automation tool, but the next level is to understand where you can implement automation to achieve total digital transformation. Use cases can help you and your organization utilize IA. It can also help establish a framework for how you want to deploy your digital workers and scale your automation end-to-end.
Let’s look at specific uses by industry.
Digital workers can automate manufacturing workflows by processing huge data sets quickly and streamlining ordering, procurement, alerting and appointment scheduling. Plus, with predictive analytics, you can proactively prevent outages and downtime in your supply chain. These analytics also help maintenance engineers anticipate and address errors before they affect your equipment. Here are a few of the things digital workers can automate:
- Production tracking
- Bill of materials
- SAP/ERP operations
- Supply chain demand planning
Don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what our manufacturing customers have to say:
“We see great potential for developing intelligent automation for, among other things, accounting flows with financial statements, budgeting and forecasting.” Nina Mårvad, head of operations support, Riksbyggen.
IA with natural language processing (NLP) can consistently collect data and analyze it to help with diagnosis and treatment for the healthcare industry. Digital workers can also streamline appointment booking and inputting medical records into a patient’s file so administrative staff doesn’t spend as long manually keying information into different systems. This reduces wait times, helping patients get the care they need sooner. These are some of the areas where you can adopt automation:
- Revenue cycle management
- Electronic referrals
- Healthcare Claims management
- Invoice processing
- Patient onboarding
Here’s what one of our healthcare customers says:
“Using our digital workforce and ground-breaking data warehouse integration, we have automated key parts of the patient pathway within SystmOne, starting with referrals, scheduling appointments, processing clinical outcomes – right through to discharge. This underpins our digital strategy and we’re excited to see what the future with SS&C Blue Prism brings.” Callum Guthrie, IM&T application, automation and quality manager, Connect Health.
Banking and financial services
IA systems work securely to help organizations maintain compliance, which is especially critical for highly regulated industries such as banking and financial services. Here are some specific tasks where you can apply IA or RPA to streamline processes:
- Account opening and onboarding
- Trade finance
- Loan applications
This is what one of our financial services customers says about it:
“We can pay 99% of loans within 24 hours. We managed more than 23,000 financial transactions with intelligent automation. It was a big, big success.” Carlos Gonzalez Jardon, IT governance and operations, ABANCA.
There are tons of repeatable tasks in insurance that could be reassigned to a digital worker, from health insurance claims processing to property coverage assessments. IA can help the insurance industry reduce manual rate calculations, payments, claims and appraisals by automating them while also ensuring they stay compliant. Here are just a few of the areas where IA can streamline your insurance processes:
This is what one of our customers in the insurance industry has to say about it:
“Automation is about removing the repetitive tasks and allowing teams to focus on customer and value-add activities, and encouraging innovation and bold thinking.” Chris Hartley, business simplification practice lead, Allianz
Transportation and logistics
IA is designed to improve efficiency, reduce costs and streamline operations – benefits all transportation and logistics organizations would like to see. IA analyzes real-time data, such as traffic conditions and weather, to optimize delivery routes – reducing fuel consumption, travel time and emissions. Here are a few other examples of where IA fits in these processes:
- Inventory management automation
- Warehouse automation
- Load balancing
- Predictive maintenance
- Load tracking and tracing
But let’s hear it from one of our transportation and logistics customers during the pandemic:
“None of the airlines were prepared for it. In one day, we went from hundreds of thousands of people flying down to zero. The backlog was huge; we had millions of change requests coming in. We were able to respond rapidly by using intelligent automation.” Roman Tesar, site operations manager, Lufthansa InTouch.
Retail and commerce
Let’s use online shopping as an example of how IA can transform a good process into a great one. You can personalize a customer’s experience so that the moment they log in online, they see products specifically relevant to them. Artificial intelligence can digest huge volumes of data on a customer’s journey via chatbots and recommend products or answer questions quickly. These are some other areas where IA can help you:
- Pricing optimization
- Customer support and engagement
- Order fulfillment
- Supply chain visibility
This is what one of our retail customers says about their digital workforce:
“Since simple customer requests are handled by digital workers, our colleagues are free to go and have those emotional conversations with customers wherever they may be, and that’s critical for us as a business.” Jordan Wain, RPA lead, Pets at Home.
Automation Is In Your Hands
No matter what industry you work in, intelligent automation has solutions. It increases efficiency, accuracy and productivity. IA can fill workforce skills gaps and frees employees to focus on higher-value, more interesting work. IA is the future of work and can help your organization stay competitive.
Digital transformation starts with one task and transforms end-to-end processes to be robust and efficient. Intelligent automation can help you; you just have to get started.