ROBOTS ARE NOT TAKING OVER— Anish Kapoor, CEO AccessPay ‘Doing more with less‘ is a catchy phrase which is being bandied about a lot in this economy. For it to work, companies need to act strategically and ultimately think more along the lines of ‘doing more, by manually doing less’.
By this, we mean less pointless, mundane, labour-intensive tasks that an automated system can do quicker, cheaper and with less chance of error than a human.
We’re not talking about the robots taking over. Businesses will never thrive without intelligent, creative, engaged staff, but those sort of employees don’t want to do boring work that software could do at the touch of the button.
If internal communications are handled properly and staff aren’t left to view automation as a threat to their livelihood and concerns are dealt with, staff can positively embrace software which will free them up for less thankless tasks and perhaps better customer interactions.
We all need automation in our lives
Automation is a very intelligent approach to reducing costs and streamlining business processes. Research shows that the primary benefits cited as most important are cost reduction, productivity, availability, reliability and performance. All easily delivered with the correct package.
Off-the-shelf purchases and in-house bespoke services offer equal amounts of benefits and obstacles. The key thing to remember is that the system is only as good as the people who develop and install it. Years ago, it was acceptable to have an element of downtime while new systems or products were installed. Nowadays, with the evolution of 24-hour customers, it’s bad for business, bad for brand and bad for profits.
Both upgrading current hardware and integrating new systems can create short-term problems and issues. They are easily outweighed long-term by the ability of the new system to minimise human intervention and dynamically handle complex tasks, but it’s this initial period of disruption that often puts people off.
So let’s look at the main benefits of automation. The right system can consolidate processes on a shared platform, retire legacy systems and save money on maintenance. It can minimise manual actions; limiting the room for error and also (due to human nature) the chance of bureaucracy. It’s easier to track progress and workloads. Project managers can get realtime overviews quickly and remotely of what work has been done and what is left to do. Urgent matters can be flagged up and monitored.
The positives are endless, the negatives are short-lived.
Automated systems can deal easily with high volume requests. Business which have seasonal peaks and troughs can relax as the software can easily respond to increased activity without more human intervention. Standards can be easily maintained which means that being compliant to certain regulations is easier and since everything is on the system, auditing is simple and company information is always retained and doesn’t leave with departing employees.
If you’re operating in an environment you know could be more efficient but you think you don’t have time to look at automation, it’s like saying you are exercising a flagging body but you don’t have time to stop for rest and refuelling. It’s not a long-term solution. It’s going to slow you down and eventually it’s going to stop you. Get someone in to talk to you about the costs and work involved to implement the software. With the right team, it could be easier than you think.
Anish Kapoor, CEO AccessPay, outlines the tech and business trends impacting corporates, and the ways they can respond to challenges that arise | Video by Finextra
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