DocuBots and Intelligent Automation

Once upon a time, there lived a highly paid process administrator.  She was a respected management leader who signed on to help move the organization forward in its technology and customer experience. Unfortunately her aspirations were buried in a blizzard of mundane tasks; the daily routine of processing paper documents, entering numbers and checking boxes in the company’s software systems proved time consuming and expensive. As the months wore on, the goal of empowering true excellence slipped further away. She knew there had to be a better way. She wanted to follow through on the vision of streamlining processes and improving service, but she could not keep up with the backlog of tasks, nor could the company afford to hire a full time person to keep up with the workload.  

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We hear this story quite often in customer offices.  The cost of paying experienced professionals to perform tedious tasks is expensive in terms of both dollars and misuse of valuable human resources. Additionally, many companies simply have too few resources to keep up with systems driven daily tasks. If this scenario sounds familiar to you, you are not alone.  Fort Docs and AI/RPA  (Artificial Intelligence and Robotic Process Automation) can help relieve some of that burden associated with heavy workloads and the ever-growing demand for increased efficiency. With a price significantly lower than hiring more staff and leasing more space, automation may just be the boost that your organization needs.  

Using AI and RPA, Fort Docs now has the capability to deploy a “Bot” that can, with controlled access, log into a software system, such as an EMR or ECM, and perform tasks. The tasks can be anything currently done by a human, ranging from attaching scanned documents to a specific record inside a line of business application, to entering data into fields and checking boxes. The bot can even compare two sets of data and alert you to inconsistencies such as when an invoice does not match a purchase order. The capabilities are endless, and Fort Docs can help.   

Why you should care about Intelligent Automation. 

Analysts with AIIM explain that 96% of companies believe process automation is critical to business success. (AIIM, 2017). And, McKinsey and Company explains that companies who automate 50-70% of a task using IA, see average results such as: 

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• 20-35% annual cost reduction.                                   

• 50-60% process time reduction. 

• Return on investment “most often” in triple-digit percentages. 

 (McKinsey, 2017) 

 

With these numbers, it only makes financial sense to explore the possibilities, but will it cause job loss? “It’s unlikely,” say most experts, though your job responsibilities will likely change. As routine tasks are increasingly performed by bots, your efforts should turn to higher level skills. Chances are, your job will get more interesting and rewarding. - McKinsey & Company, 2017 

“By freeing up a person’s time, employees can now focus on more advanced and engaging tasks, and over time organizations could see lower turnover, higher morale, and increase internal innovation.” - Deloitte, 2017 

Ok. So you’re sold on the value of automation and want to explore more, but you may not be sure if you need RPA or IA to get your job done. Let’s check out the scenarios that work best for each type of technology.  

Good Candidates for RPA

As a more mature technology, RPA has a track record of helping companies automate specific, routine tasks such as accounts payable and human resources onboarding that rely on structured documents. Two key factors: 

1. The process is rules-based, meaning the same basic steps are followed for every instance. 

2. The data is found in documents that are similar in structure time after time (i.e., invoices) 

Good Candidates for IA

More complex processes that make use of less structured information require AI to automate. AI can deal with probabilities rather than rules, which allows greater flexibility in how the application responds to information. In particular, Natural Language Processing (interfaces that allow users to speak with the application as if it were human) and Machine Learning (algorithms that identify categories and patterns in very large data sets) are useful tools that aid automation efforts. (See Real Automation Story 3) Two factors that indicate your process needs IA: 

1.  The process varies depending on a variety of factors, so some sorting and categorizing may be necessary along the way to route information through the right steps. 

2.  The data is found in structured documents (similar layout), semi-structured documents (location of key information varies), and unstructured documents or information (such as data streams, email, and text messages). 

With several options available, Fort Docs can enable the first step into automation. If you’re ready to move from tedious work to tremendous success, contact us for a free evaluation of your current processes.