You don’t have to know coding in order to build a successful automation strategy, it can be as simple as choosing the right automation software for your business.

However, report by Forrester shows that up to 22% of business are not implementing work process automation, which can cost a lot of profit and time lost in terms of work efficiency. In fact, we are able to help businesses in various industries by automating their workflow without any coding required. Let’s walk through what things to consider when you want to build an effective automation strategy.

Why Automate?

Automation offers a lot of benefits to companies who implement it, and some companies who already initiated its implementation have gained results, such as:

  • Reduced operational costs
  • Ability to allocate and upskill employees for value-added tasks that are more strategic
  • Created smart working environment for employees
  • Increased and improved productivity
  • Enhanced business efficiency
  • Ability to getting high volumes of tasks done in hours
  • Improved competitive advantages
  • Better customer engagement
  • And more.

Read Top 10 Benefits of Digitalization that Will Empower Your Enterprise

It is also important to know why you need to automate, despite acknowledging the benefits that automation can bring for you. You need to understand how the automation project will affect your company’s overall-directions or strategies. The simple question such as, why you need to automate – is it because you need to reduce operational cost in your company? Or, your company wants to generate new revenue? Or maybe, your company wants to offer better service to its customers – and to do this manual processes that are time-consuming needs to be eliminated?

To put Cognitive Automation to work in any company, you need to start with planning. As with any business change, the success of the outcome depends heavily on planning.

Which Process to Automate?

To get started with Cognitive Automation, you will start with evaluating which processes improvement will give your company the best value. You must understand the objectives of your business in the short-term and long-term strategy of your company. All process improvement shall be driven or guided by business directions.

What is a process?

A process involves steps that have variables that can influence the output. For example, loan application is a process. In this process, there are a lot of variables that you need to analyze such as employment status, age, income, etc. The output of this process is the approval or rejection of the loan application. Loan application is one example of process that the cognitive bots can automate.

See how cognitive bots automate loan processing

To understand which process to automate, you need to analyze the process. You can do this by doing process mapping.

What is a process mapping?

Process mapping is about identifying and understanding all the steps and decision taken in the process, document these steps with detailed explanation. This process involves:

  1. Analyzing and understanding steps involved in the overall process
  2. Documenting the process
  3. Improving the process based on the documentation
  4. Identifying requirements of tools and select the right automation vendor to automate this process
  5. Implementing the automation project.

How to improve current process?

When deciding which workflow you’d like to automate or how to improve it, you can refer to the 8 wastes in any process, you can remember with the acronym ‘DOWNTIME’:

  1. Defect – When a process can reduce defect, there will be less checking, and process will have a higher output. For example, you can look at your customized forms involved in the process, and make it simplistic and intuitive to complete.
  1. Over Processing – Decide if you really need to do this step. For example, when you create an online form that your system can pull out the full address just by filling in the postal code, the user can reduce the few steps of filling in the other details. 
  1. Waiting – Are you waiting for someone to give you the data to proceed? For example, when you email your HR to ask for your leave, is it delaying you?
  1. Non-utilization of good assets – Are you using a super-computer to process some simple tasks?
  1. Transport – Do you need to travel around to get things done?
  1. Inventory – Can you reduce your WIP (work-in-progress)?
  1. Motion – Are you taking a long time or moving around a lot to search for your information?
  1. Excessive work – If your customer only needs information A, do you need to give any extra?

To simplify the steps of process improvement, you can refer to this process improvement framework:

Process Improvement Framework

You will need to look at all the processes in the unit and find out which one to start first. The idea is to think big but start small.

Can These Processes be Automated?

When you want to find out whether these processes are suitable for automation, refer to the flowchart below.

Can this process be automated?

While referring to the flowchart, evaluate the process based on these parameters:

  1. Does the process have high volume?
  2. Does the process need to access multiple I.T. applications?
  3. Does the process involve structured digital data?
  4. Does the process follow pre-defined rules that do not change frequently?
  5. Does the process require limited human intervention?
  6. Does the process need minimal exception handling?

Which Automation Software to Choose From?

With an understanding of which process to automate, you will now be able to decide which automation software to start you project. Perhaps you have come up with your own selection criteria. You may also refer to the 6 questions below when choosing an automation software.

  1. Can the automation software access to my application?
  2. Do I need to extract information from unstructured text?
  3. Can my automation project scale (i.e to be deployed across larger parts of the enterprise)?
  4. Can the automation software work in my existing IT infrastructure environment?
  5. Do I need Cognitive functions such as
    (a) Classifying emails
    (b) Read email to extract unstructured information?
    (c) Extract semi-structured information
    (d) Make meaning from historical data and create predictive models?
  6. Do I need to identify logos or documents like passport using image recognition?

Read about 10 Essential Questions to Your RPA Vendor to Make The Best Deals

Now that you have a clear understanding on which process to automate and what kind of automation software to use, you are ready to proceed with the automation project. 

For more details on Cognitive Automation and automation strategy, do check out Gleematic’s FREE e-book on Cognitive Automation.

With Gleematic Cognitive Automation software, you are able to implement your automation needs without any coding knowledge. This makes it easier for users to learn and creates a shorter time-frame when implementing the software. Contact us to have consultation for your project!

Written by: Reiko Anjani & Kezia Nadira