The potential of intelligent automation
Since its emergence, intelligent automation has provided endless ways for both traditional and digital businesses to become more effective and efficient. Organizations across sectors and geographies have delivered concrete results by embedding automation into their processes.
Yet only a few companies have been able to use automation to truly transform their businesses—to escape the gravitational influence of conventional methods and reach into the stratosphere. The reasons are myriad, and they include insufficient business engagement, poor planning, lack of focus on business outcomes and consumer context, or just not thinking big enough.
Intelligent automation, done the right way, provides a lot more opportunities than just “smart” and “fast.” Here are seven ways to super-power your automation journey. But be warned—you’ll have to leave the familiar behind.
1. Stay focused on clear business outcomes
At the most fundamental level, enterprises must clearly articulate their desired outcomes for intelligent automation in terms of improving efficiency, scaling in a non-linear way, accelerating business decisions, or achieving something even more ambitious. They must also focus on the end game.
Here, the crucial element is staying on course with a vision locked in on outcomes. This requires a holistic, insights-driven view of all the factors that are tied to outcomes and performance trends benchmarked against best-in-class industry standards.
2. Envision end-to-end automation
Most enterprises, due to their risk appetite, implement automation technology one singular joint at a time before moving to the next phase. This piecemeal implementation misses the opportunities that might be provided by intersections across multiple components, and it creates a lack of visibility and cohesion across the value stream.
For automation to be truly transformative, enterprises must take an end-to-end approach, ensuring that all automation components are working in continuity. This approach requires adopting an elevated mindset and looking across business silos with a goal of quick, successful process completions.
For example, it could mean looking across the entire order to cash (O2C) value chain—covering customer setup, inquiries, order receipt, billing, cash collections, and disputes—and making sure that all automation interventions are systematic, sequential, and cohesive. We worked with one global chemical organization to infuse intelligent automation across the O2C processes. The project led to improved order tracking and the prevention of order failures, which improved on-time order fulfillment from 71% to 93%.