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Using Smart Bots to Augument Humans

Dan Parsons

Discover how and why to use smart bots for work that humans are ill-equipped to do.

Dan Parsons, co-founder of Thoughtful explains where to find the best opportunities to use smart bots, why bots are an ideal match for such tasks, how to leverage automation to improve your business and why you should launch smart bots now.

Humans have gone to the moon, invented unthinkable tools and technologies, and created great works of art. People have also used their ingenuity in countless other ways to make amazing discoveries, explore new frontiers, identify better approaches and realize world-changing achievements.

But despite all these breakthroughs and our vast human potential, people are not perfect. 

People often make mistakes, especially when they become fatigued from repetitive tasks. In some cases, that leads to job burnout. That, in turn, can result in high employee turnover.

Businesses suffer from these problems, too. Burnout and fatigue adversely impact quality and speed. And amid high-volume turnover, companies are left scrambling to get the job done.

That’s why smart companies are investing in automation to help humans and improve the quality, scalability, security, and speed of work. But what tasks are best left to bots and why?

Where can you find the best opportunities to leverage smart bots?

Automation should not be relegated to day-to-day assignments in which people are uninterested. It should also be leveraged to complete tasks humans are ill-equipped to do.

Generally speaking, tasks that are high volume or take a long time to complete are a good match for digital workers. Maybe you have a single task that takes a person one minute to complete. But you need to do that task a thousand times in a day, week, or month. Or perhaps you have to do a task a couple of hundred times a month. But each time a person does that work, it takes up at least an hour of that individual’s time. Consider using a smart bot to do such tasks.

Tasks that live in companies’ operating departments tend to fit these descriptions. That includes accounting and finance tasks such as accounts payables and receivables and invoicing. Smart bots are also ideally suited to handle human resources (HR) tasks like employee onboarding and offboarding. Smart bots can also tackle claims processing within verticals such as healthcare and handle software-based data entry in many use cases in sectors such as retail.

Why are digital workers an ideal match for these kinds of tasks?

Typically, when a big portion of a human worker’s time is dedicated to such software-based tasks, there is an opportunity to use automation to get lift and outsized ROI. 

Say you have two or three people; all they are doing is claims processing or accounts payable This is the scenario in which you tend to see fatigue impact the quality of human work. These are the types of jobs for which there also tend to be high worker turnover. 

But if you have a smart bot handle these tasks, you avoid such problems. You can spin up parallel threads to scale up when the volume of work increases, or you want to shrink the time it takes to do such work. You also benefit because the bot will do the job perfectly every time.

Digital workers are also an ideal way for your company to deal with sensitive information. A bot only exists as long as it takes to address a task. After that, it destroys itself and the environment in which it runs. Unlike a human, it doesn’t remember what it did. And it doesn’t present the potential to go out into the world after work and discuss that sensitive data with others. 

See More: Virtual Assistant vs Chatbot: Do You Know the Difference?

How to leverage automation to understand and improve your business?

Leading automation-as-a-service platforms enable you to launch digital workers in weeks. And once your smart bots are up and running, you can generate reports about the work they perform so that you have a record of exactly what work was done. Now you can go back and see exactly what records were processed and when, and what values were used.

This is especially valuable if you use a smart bot to do high-volume tasks. That way, If any discrepancy or an audit arises, you can go back and see exactly what happened. Fine-grained reporting is also a source of truth when you are gauging your productivity, return on investment, or other business metrics. Without this, it can be hard to get at those numbers.

But automation efforts can deliver value even before you launch a smart bot. Our customers have uncovered huge opportunities for process improvement as they codify internal processes so that a bot can perfectly execute work. This has yielded significant benefits across sectors and use cases. For example, multiple revenue cycle management customers were able to optimize their process so that a bot could execute the work perfectly every time. This increased the total collections and the speed at which they could collect those funds.

When is the best time to launch smart bots to become more competitive?

Smart bots are here today and they’re the way of the future. You can join the movement now and gain a competitive advantage. Or you can try to catch up with your competitors later.

But all signs indicate there’s no time like the present to start with digital workers. After all, companies today are having a hard time hiring enough people to do data entry. Retention is a real problem, even when you can hire entry-level workers to handle these tasks. 

Part of the retention challenge is that most people probably don’t find data entry jobs fulfilling. Instead, employees are increasingly seeking personal value and purpose at work, and employers must be prepared to deliver, as recent Gartner research explains. 

At the same time, companies are under a lot of pressure to improve their margins and operate more efficiently. And the holidays are fast approaching, which can lead to spikes in the need for data input related to e-commerce software-based inventory management, ordering, and sales.

Smart bots based on technology that was built to operate software address all these challenges. And new automation platforms and smart bots are of higher quality, affordable, and more efficient than ever. Better, faster, smarter bots let you confidently reduce your operating expenses. You can de-risk your cost-cutting and workforce reduction efforts by automating your back office. Our customers have performed more than 10 million tasks, saved more than 170,000 hours, and above $5 million in overhead annually. That has given them $12 million of value due to increased speed, quality, and efficiency.

With smart bots, you won’t have to worry about finding and keeping people to handle boring tasks, and the potential for humans to fat-finger keyboards and introduce errors or share data with people outside of your business. You won’t be trapped in the cycle of hiring and training new people fast when volumes increase and cutting them loose when demand goes down. You can scale up and down seamlessly as needed and know that tasks will be completed perfectly every time. Meanwhile, the humans at your company can focus on engaging, fulfilling, and purposeful work to make your business more competitive and the world a better place.

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