27th Sep, 2018
, , Designation
The world is at the cusp of a major transformation. A transformation powered by a wave of technological breakthroughs. And riding high on that wave is automation. Over the past couple of years, automation is gone beyond from being a mere concept to a driving force behind the global transformation.
Now that you have got automation right and realized the supreme level of efficiency and advantage over competition it brings with it, let’s explore how we can boost innovation via automation.
Automation isn’t an end-all in terms of building the most efficient process. Innovation is the real driver that keeps ball rolling, creating newer ways to achieve the targets and beyond. Lets look at it in more detail.
- Just because a process is automated, doesn’t mean that it is perfect. Constant innovation keeps evolving the performance benchmark of an automated process in tandem with the dynamic eco-system.
- When you innovate, you don’t just make improvements to newly automated processes but to old ones as well, making sure that business operations evolve as a whole and not in silos.
- Even though automating processes brings in substantial changes in the way your team works, once it is adopted, automation itself becomes routine. Innovation breaks this cycle as you come up with new and innovative ways to improve processes.
- Innovation results in intelligent automation. Instead of blindly automating a routine task, think how it can be innovated so that it adds more strategic value.
- Innovation keeps you a step ahead of the competition always.
Where to start
Some believe that innovation comes from a profound moment of inspiration. While it’s true to some extent, we can still follow a rough outline to initiate innovation.
- Set a definite time interval, which can be a month or a quarter, to identify an automated process that you think needs innovating.
- Map out the process in a process illustration tool and decide how you will be tracking the performance of the process.
- Map out the future state of the process with your suggested process improvement and evaluate success measures (improve quality, reduce cycle times, cut costs, etc.)
- Discuss the process with as many stakeholders as possible and make the appropriate alterations based on their feedback.
- Implement the improvements you have decided to make in the process.
- Test the process and make alterations where required.
- Invite stakeholders to walk through the new process and provide feedback. Make alterations based on the feedback.
- Based on the scale of the process, roll out the new automated process.
- Make more edits as the process is used in the wild and track your success.
Emerging technologies – Hotbed of innovation
Advent of newer technologies have prompted enterprises to push their boundaries. Though the adoption rate is yet not over the top but steady progress is in the making surely.
- Integrating AI – Artificial Intelligence can help in simplifying the way your team works and also bring in new insights. For example, when integrated with CRM tools, AI can identify leads that are most likely to convert.
- Leveraging RL – Reinforced Learning can help free up valuable resources to be utilised for other, more important tasks.
- Merge BI –By implementing Business Intelligence modules within automated processes, you will be able to derive actionable insights in every step of the way and make more informed business decisions.
- Preventive Maintenance – Automation gives you a bird’s eye view of how a process starts and ends. Leverage that to anticipate roadblocks and take preventive measures to make sure that the process runs smoothly.
- Speech Recognition – Bolster your data entry platform with speech recognition. This will not only reduce the number of errors but help standardise data inputs.
- IoT – Enhance your existing Point of Sales systems with IoT to automate customer data entry and improve the quality of last mile data by reducing instances of human error.
So, there you have it! Automating business-critical processes is well and good, but if you don’t fuse it with innovation, your organisation will not evolve the way you intend it to. Automation has gone beyond factory assembly lines and is revolutionising how products are sold and marketed, and capabilities are being built. In short, it gives a sneak peek into the future world.