Various businesses have had to adopt different strategies to survive the economic turmoil brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although we do not know when exactly we can hit the reset button, it is time to think about how to act instead of reacting to the situation. Planning for business continuity after the pandemic is what many business owners are grappling with.
The measures that were taken to navigate the storm like introducing automation or working from home are more than just a bandage for a fracture, they are implants that we are likely going to live with a post this pandemic. Working from home was under test during this pandemic and it has proved possible as well as cost-effective so we may as well keep on doing it. Automation will be key in helping businesses support new ways of conducting business. Let’s take a look at some of the ways automation software will help businesses through 2021 and beyond.
Automation Will Support the Adoption of New Operational Efficiency
When you think of what so many businesses will be trying to do as they reset their operations. Efficiency will be something that will come to mind. After making big financial sacrifices and some businesses barely surviving total collapse, adopting efficient processes that cut out bottlenecks and tiresome processes will be high on their strategy list. What better way to ensure efficiency than by ramping up automation?
Even before the pandemic, many businesses were already curious about hyper-automation. Ritu Kapoor, director of product marketing from Automation Anywhere indicates businesses that had adopted robotic process automation discovered its ability to enhance efficiency in the front office and give customers impressive service.
Automating different processes will lift a load off employees’ shoulders and make them more energized to take on new roles that ensure the efficiency of an organization.
Workflow Automation Makes Remote Work Fluid
If businesses are going to adopt working from home as a normal procedure, then they will need to have efficient workflows. A big hindrance to continuity is the lack of information about how work moves around within an organization. For example, knowing who to email a document to once you are done with it or knowing at what stage you need to seek approval and from whom?
David Thielen, CEO of Windward Studios, says workflow automation will iron out uncertainties. Automation software is designed with the knowledge of different work scenarios and what usually holds up work. The available solutions will make not just working remotely more efficient, but also everyday processes that involve many people like sharing and reviewing marketing documents, drawing up legal contracts, publishing web content, etc.
Automation Software is the Solution to Productivity Loss
For many businesses, the pandemic hit productivity hardest. Figures comparing the effects of the pandemic with the financial crisis show this pandemic hit productivity 10 times more than the global financial crisis. Post this scourge, businesses need to focus on doubling or if possible tripling productivity. For some industries, there is already a lack of sufficient labor due to health complications as well as the death of employees.
Automation software will provide the tools that different businesses need to improve productivity. According to Willis Towers study, boosting productivity is the top reason for 57% of employers pushes for automation. At a time when there is a huge deep in productivity, automation would ensure continuity by providing different tools to do more, faster, and with a minimal margin of error.
Increased Productivity Ensures Businesses Meet Demand
As commerce slowly recovers from the effects of the shutdown, there will be demand for certain products. Robotics and associated software is an example of products that will be on-demand. But even online businesses will need to meet increased demand as consumers start spending. It can be an overwhelming flock for certain items or services and the best way to ensure demand is met is by automating different processes.
Online businesses can automate the customer interaction process, right from dealing with inquiries to taking orders and packaging as well. Insurance companies can expect more claims from people put out of work as a result of automation and other circumstances. By automating claims, they will be able to attend to more people faster. The manufacturing industry can produce more products on demand if they automate workflow as well as integrate robotic process automation.
Automation Will Create New Jobs
Sadly, many people have been made redundant by the pandemic, and even more, will be laid off as a result of RPA and AI. But according to the World Economic Forum, AI will create 58 million jobs. This was contained in a 2018 report on the “Future of Jobs.” At the moment it may be hard to point out what jobs exactly will be created by different automation processes, but the good news is that businesses that would like to see their employees remain with the organization have the option of offering employees replaced by automation new roles. This will save a lot of paperwork as well as finance that would go into the process of offboarding employees.
The new jobs can be considered as a chance for professional growth through accepting roles that involve the use of new technology. According to the same report, more than half the employers of large companies intend to up-skill at-risk workers. This can boost employee confidence and have a knock-on effect on productivity.
We only need to take a look at the role automation has played during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many businesses relied on automation software to enable the business to continue operating even with fewer employees or with employees working from home. Organizations that continued operating, depended on some kind of automation to cushion the impact of the pandemic.
While some businesses had to shut down or go slow, other industries had to pick up their pace. Healthcare is one such industry and robotic process automation was key in the success of many of the health institutions. Despite the chaos that comes with handling patient records and ensuring revenue cycles operate smoothly, the essential workers were able to continue doing their jobs.
According to IDC estimates, nearly 50% of global businesses increased their use of automation during the crisis and this will not be a single-use strategy. The software they acquired will continue to boost continuity with the new challenges businesses will face after the pandemic.