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5 Ways Energy Companies are Using Automation to Gain a Competitive Edge.

Energy companies can use automation to gain a competitive edge by reducing labor costs and increasing efficiency. Automation can make easy work of repetitive tasks such as data entry, invoicing, and customer service, allowing employees to focus on more value-added activities. Automation also improves the accuracy and consistency of data, which is essential for compliance with regulations and industry standards. RPA also helps energy companies improve customer service by providing faster, more accurate responses to customer inquiries. Furthermore, automation can be easily integrated with existing systems and processes, allowing for a seamless transition to automation while reducing the time and resources required to implement new technologies.

Let's look at the five most common areas where these companies automate.

Document processing

Energy companies collect a large amount of data from various sources, such as customers, service providers, and suppliers. They use this data for multiple purposes, such as billing, auditing, and reporting. This information needs to be collected and verified manually, leading to a lot of effort, especially when there is a change in the supplier or customer base, causing additional burdens on the operations team. Using bots for document processing allows energy companies to capture and verify documents automatically, thus reducing human error and saving precious time for employees who can focus on other tasks necessary for overall operations efficiency.

Fraud Detection

Energy companies have significant financial transactions with their customers or service providers. They have sophisticated tools to reconcile their books, but they need people to analyze the data and look for anomalies that may indicate potential fraud. Using a bot to capture data as it comes into the system and identify patterns specific to fraud by reporting them in real-time, energy companies can use their human intelligence on other critical areas impacting their bottom line.

Payment Denials

The finance department plays an essential role in any company, including energy firms, where they periodically process payments from customers or service providers, such as before the commencement of work or after the job, among others. With all these payments, there is always a possibility that some customers may delay payment beyond what is permissible by invoking technicalities in the language used in contracts or sending required supporting documents via courier, delaying payments further. To address this challenge, energy companies can use automation solutions to monitor costs continuously, looking out for delays from specific customers or fields within payment documents. Making it easy for employees to be alerted about delays early enough rather than find out at the end of the day when such delays cause operational delays at their end, impacting productivity negatively on both sides – customer and company alike.

Complaint Resolution

Customer service plays an essential role beyond acquiring new customers or winning new contracts with existing ones. For example, all businesses face internal and external challenges, with some complaints being unique only due to industry specialization or size. Using a bot or chatbot for complaint resolution allows energy companies to capture complaint details automatically, thus removing human error from complaint resolution one step at a time. This results in faster response times on average with maintainable quality levels consistently across all complaints, regardless of how complex they may be. Technically speaking, this delighted their customers while saving precious time for employees who can focus on other areas critical for overall operations efficiency, just like billing mentioned above.

Employee Performance Review & Compensation Changes

Every year performance reviews are conducted formally and informally by employers, whether part of the HR cycle or not, depending on the organization's culture. If these reviews are pulled out of various systems like workflow management and ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems, it's a challenging task to complete. This means this task will be rescheduled repeatedly, ultimately delaying actual review until things fall into place – huh? That's precisely what happens when you do not automate this process.

Employee compensation is another parameter that needs careful consideration, especially during a challenging economic environment where competition is high among firms trying to retain top talent.

What is the future of Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?

Robotic process automation (RPA) is a relatively new technology that can help organizations save time and money by streamlining administrative tasks. As with any emerging technology, some aspects of RPA still need to be worked out before it becomes a mainstream solution.

We see some significant trends that will shape the future of robotic process automation technologies.

Data is becoming more critical to organizations of all sizes. Users expect data-driven insights from their business processes, which drives the need for automation technologies to collect, analyze, and act upon data in real time. RPA tools that can leverage data from various sources and make sense of it will help organizations achieve their business goals faster than their competitors.

End users are increasingly tech-savvy and have higher expectations when using technology within the enterprise – whether for personal use or to do their job better. Therefore, organizations are looking for ways to improve the end-user experience while streamlining day-to-day business operations. Robotic process automation technologies can offer this: they eliminate redundant tasks and inconvenience while providing businesses with real-time insights. End users don't rely on other parties to get the necessary information. They can access the information through dashboards, reports, alerts, or other means. By enhancing the end-user experience, organizations increase their employees' satisfaction levels and their productivity at the same time.

The market for robotic process automation continues to grow as more vendors enter this space. Organizations will have more opportunities to choose from as vendors continue developing innovative RPA solutions tailored to multiple industries and use cases. These innovations will enable businesses to solve specific problems more effectively than ever – for example, by using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) or virtual workforce management systems, among others. With increased options available, enterprises can expect service providers to become even more adept at solving these problems through consultation and implementation services.

Published On:

January 19, 2023

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