The COVID-19 pandemic was one of the most severe threats to business continuity. It was soon followed by an unexpected economic recession that transformed the corporate world. Many companies closed up shop, while many had to restructure themselves to stay in business.
When catastrophes or unpredictable events occur, organizations immediately stop spending money on digital transformation software and technologies they feel aren’t essential. While it’s wise to cut costs in uncertain times, experts say investing in something other than automation is a recipe for disaster. During the COVID-19 lockdown, companies that had undergone a digital transformation adapted more quickly than those that hadn’t.
The only way to navigate uncertainty is with process automation. Organizations that survived the pandemic by adapting to the new normal are thriving. According to 50 percent of organizations, automation minimizes or eliminates human error and allows skilled employees to focus on high-value work that directly affects the bottom line.
Automating processes can seem like a big job, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the benefits. You need significant money and have to change how your company operates. It is best to learn how to use new software and train employees to follow new procedures. You need complex numbers to create a solid case for the disruption that will happen.
It’s essential to know the automation ROI for each process. Knowing the numbers lets, you decide if investing in workflow automation is worth it. Identify the areas in your organization that have the potential for efficiency improvements. This could be accounts payable, human resources, customer service, sales, or inventory management.
When prioritizing areas to automate, consider operational improvements and the impact on customers, employees, and the business. Integrating a business automation solution will decrease manual errors, reduce tedious tasks, and control variable costs.
The business landscape changes at an astonishing rate because of cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics. Automation can help organizations quickly change course and succeed in a rapidly evolving business environment. They become agile and adapt swiftly to new trends and challenges.
In uncertain times, business agility enables companies to take advantage of new opportunities that may not be immediately obvious to others. They respond to customer needs faster and more effectively. Agile organizations can quickly use their resources and assets to handle new developments and opportunities. Process automation enables companies to overcome challenges and develop strategies to navigate uncertainty and disruption.
78 percent of business leaders believe automation increases organizational productivity. In the long term, increased productivity is critical to economic development. Productivity increases with automation, benefiting both workers and companies. Since process automation software can handle repetitive work, workers have more time for higher-value tasks such as problem-solving, developing new ideas, and finding solutions. Technology fuels business growth, creating new jobs and product lines.
In manufacturing, automation technology offers seamless connections across production and distribution chains, streamlining manufacturing and delivery processes. Process automation boosts productivity because workers do less predictable physical work. The software also processes and analyses data, and workers can make decisions based on the collected data and apply their expertise. By producing analytics, it enables real-time reaction to trends and customer needs.
COVID-19 was devastating for all businesses, but many that had embraced automation continued to run as usual and encouraged employees to work remotely. Let’s look at two companies that prospered during the pandemic.
Resolute Mining, an Australian-owned company, opened Syama Mine in 2018. Located in Mali, it was the world’s first fully automated mine and was safer and more efficient than other mines. When the pandemic disrupted mining activities, many mines struggled to meet expected production levels.
However, Syama Mine continued to run as usual.
Apple also reaped big during the pandemic, raking in $58.3bn in the first quarter of 2020. While it closed its stores worldwide, it made money thanks to online sales. Millions of consumers working from home bought Apple products online.
Digital technologies have transformed the way companies operate. 66 percent of businesses have automated at least one business process, and more are joining the bandwagon. Companies that combine automation with human creativity will continue to see higher profit margins.
Gartner reports that organizations that combine hyper-automation with redesigned operational processes will lower operational costs by 30 percent. Smart organizations exploit emerging technologies and enhance operations, products, and services. Now is the time to follow suit. Adopt process automation and prepare your organization for uncertain times.