By Sue Watts
I was drawn into Mary Shacklett’s article on ZDNet, where she identified specific areas where business process automation works – and where it doesn’t. She does a good job of advancing her thesis that this technology is not always best suited to certain processes. No argument from me.
However, Shacklett also offers up three of the best practices for building automation into existing workflows – certainly a crucial step for any organization seeking to tap the potential of automated solutions.
Two areas she references – I believe – that are especially ripe for transformation through automation are document management, and rote, repetitive tasks. In these instances, automation can increase the uniformity of the work and reduce the spectre of human error.
Take, for example, an insurance coverage broker group that had a backlog of claims in need of processing. The backlog was exacerbated by slow processing times and a heavy dependence on paper. This client turned to Xerox to implement optical character recognition technology and an online document management solution. The work resulted in major cost savings and a completely electronic workflow for claims processing.
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In addition to the areas Shacklett listed in her article, I add two more areas that are ripe for automation:
Monitor Systems Proactively
A large courier company could not proactively detect or isolate issues in its global system that runs various business processes, like tracking packages. Detecting issues was dependent on operators noticing a problem after the fact, or when a customer complained. The shortcomings caused delayed troubleshooting and resolution, and ultimately breaches of the company’s service agreements with its customers.
By using ‘Application/Process Monitoring Tools,’ the company now has control over its production and its Network Operations Center is able to identify issues in their systems before problems arise. Ultimately, these automated tools decreased down-time, and shortened training periods for new employees.
Three examples of how robotic automation improved work. #WorkingBetter http://ctt.ec/Cnc5H+ pic.twitter.com/wS2CZblEPh
New Mexico’s Medicaid system was experiencing a high average handle time in their customer care center. The agents taking the phone calls from Medicaid beneficiaries had difficulty identifying procedural codes and eligibility of callers. They were not meeting their target to answer phone calls in under two minutes, and far too many callers were hanging up without talking to an agent.
When we introduced our automated intelligence tool, the agents were able to quickly locate necessary information while helping their customers. Accuracy increased, and training time decreased. Now, New Mexico’s Medicaid customer care center exceeds its targets.
These instances collectively represent the wide variety of processes that can benefit from automation. The technology will transform high-volume, repetitive, manual tasks, reduce costs, and improve efficiency.
By combining unique strengths of robotics and humans, automation can help businesses of all types scale with higher accuracy and significant cost advantages.
Xerox Automation Services allow us to deliver improved productivity, quality and reduced costs to your operations while allowing your staff to focus on higher value business processes.