A business’ operational efficiency is a key factor determining its ability to remain competitive in the long run, notably so in a customer-centric sector like Finance. In a competitive market, it is crucial that businesses aim to continuously improve their allocation of resources, leveraging their employees’ expertise to deliver simultaneously efficient yet personalized customer experiences.
Issues in Financial Data Processing
The scope of work for Finance departments typically includes a significant set of rote responsibilities, hindering the optimization of human resource allocation. Rather than fulfilling more high-value advisory, analytical or future-planning duties, professionals are often allocated intensely manual and repetitive tasks, undermining their individual potential and overall value.
The speed of transmission and accessibility of information following the digital transformation across all industries has created new challenges in stakeholder and customer relationship management. Whilst most modern businesses have gradually adopted Robotic Process Automation (RPA) systems over the years to cope with increasing volumes and complexity of data, the rising demand from stakeholders for near real-time data, as well as customers’ increasing demands for speedier and more seamless service experiences, have warranted the need for further improvements in companies’ technological capabilities.
Society en masse has also developed an acute sensitivity to issues surrounding the treatment and protection of personal and financial data. Recent years have seen a slew of publicly scrutinized and sensationalized cases of fraudulent activity gone undetected, as well as major leaks of personal data as a result of human error. This understandably necessitated the examination of manual processing practices throughout the Finance sector, notably ones through which sensitive information may become susceptible to vulnerabilities as a result of negligence or human error.
How exactly does IPA differ from RPA?
Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) supplements RPA systems with Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities. Key features include cognitive technologies and machine learning models that enhance rule-based automation with cognitive and decision-making functionalities which facilitate the automation of tasks that were previously labor and cost intensive. These include the interpretation and organization of unstructured data, language and currency detection, translation and conversion, as well as the formulation of complicated solutions and decisions. With the development and integration of machine learning or machine reasoning models employing a combination of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques, these seemingly complex tasks can now all be automated with ease.
How does the implementation of IPA increase customer satisfaction?
A persistent barrier to optimizing efficiency in the Finance sector is the tedium of manually handling customer information. Incoming financial documents are often submitted via multiple channels across varying platforms and formats, necessitating arduous processes of manual categorization, data extraction, data entry and more before the customer case even enters its initial stages of resolution. The series of manual tasks under such circumstances inevitably leads to a wastage of precious man-hours spent consolidating, processing, categorizing and eventually exporting the necessary data for their desired purposes. With the implementation of IPA, businesses can finally eradicate such inefficiencies, innovatively automating not only individual processes, but entire workflows from end to end.
With market-leading IPA platforms like bluesheets having seamless integrations with a spectrum of different legacy tools and softwares, it is now possible to automate workflows even across departments. From analytics, to bookkeeping and ecommerce, the possibilities for software integrations are limitless. This game-changing level of connectivity thus irons out any obstacles preventing seamless collaboration within the company, enabling the overall reduction of delays across all stages of a case’s journey through the various necessary backend functions.
In an intensely customer-centric industry like Finance, intrabusiness and interbusiness collaborations are part and parcel of the everyday. Different businesses and industries have significant variance in preference for content, formatting and processing procedures when dealing with documents like bank statements and invoices. The dramatically simplified process of setting up a one-off formatting and export rule, then allowing it to run automatically thereafter thus effectively accelerates accounts receivable and accounts payable processes.
Financial processes in every company regardless of size require the completion of hundreds of tasks with precision and accuracy. With current OCR and NLP systems like bluesheets’ proprietary technologies boasting more than a 99.5% rate of accuracy, and machine learning models having the ability to carry out cognitive tasks which preceding RPA technologies were incapable of, the leeway for errors in the execution of everyday tasks can thus be significantly reduced. Cost savings in service recovery, crisis management and more are a direct, immediate and guaranteed result of implementation. Processing of claim checks and other document-heavy procedures are now not only streamlined but speedier, with increased accuracy due to the eliminated probability of human error.
The market’s latest IPA technologies also bear the cognitive capabilities to flag out instances of fraud that might otherwise have flown under the radar when fed through manual human-centric workflows. With AI-powered systems making reference to historic data points whilst processing new information, anomalies or erroneous inputs are easily detected and brought to attention, lowering the aforementioned risks across the board.
With the automation of rote tasks like the collection, combination, checking and formatting to IPA systems, Finance employees are now able to pivot their attention to more high-value functions like performance analysis, data analytics, advisorial duties or engaging more meaningfully with customers. Overall upskilling of the existing workforce, with workaday duties shifting to higher value tasks that drive better customer and employee experiences, will in time, move the needle forward for the company.
IPA is driving the next generation of processing power. Companies who embrace these technologies will get a headstart in seizing the intrinsic value that these advancements can bring, putting them ahead of the data transformation curve. As is often the case with early adopters of emerging technologies, embracing IPA can help companies rapidly improve customer satisfaction, securing an advantage in the near future, whilst ensuring competitiveness in the long-run.
Bluesheets is a Singapore-based technology company that ingeniously delivers a holistic and intelligent commercial perspective for Financial and Insurance Service Firms so that you can move complex industry data sets into a simple, clear and automated journey.
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