5 Intelligent Automation Examples and Ideas
Intelligent automation (IA) is revolutionizing the world of business and accelerating digital transformation. As more organizations recognize its potential, these different technologies are rapidly growing in popularity.
This is because intelligent automation has many key benefits, which we’ll look at later in this guide. These technologies can also be applied to a huge range of functions and departments throughout a business.
In fact, you may have already implemented some of these tools. You may not. Either way, we’re here to show you why you need to make intelligent automation a priority this year.
In this guide, we’re going to look at:
- What intelligent automation is
- The key benefits of intelligent automation
- Five intelligent automation examples
- Ideas of how these technologies can be used in different roles and industries
So let’s start with a quick explanation of what intelligent automation is.
What is intelligent automation (IA)?
Intelligent automation refers to the combination of robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, for example, machine learning, and natural language processing (NLP).
The integration of these technologies increases the capabilities of process automation beyond anything RPA can do on its own.
Intelligent automation technology makes it possible to automate entire business processes from end to end. Essentially, it spans the entire journey from discovery to automating front and back-office processes.
This means that robots can not only mimic tasks that would usually be carried out by humans, but they can learn, adjust, and do these tasks better with less risk of an error.
And this is just one advantage of intelligent automation. In this next section, we’ll look at some more in detail.
The key benefits of intelligent automation
As we said, there are lots of benefits that come from implementing intelligent automation in your business.
So, before we move on to looking at some intelligent automation examples, we thought it would be helpful to share these benefits with you. Some of the key benefits include:
- Automating a huge variety of processes can make your business functions much more efficient
- Using bots rather than humans to do repetitive tasks. This can save time and money
- Intelligent automation can handle much more complex and unstructured data, which means these technologies can take on more complex tasks
- These tools can deliver faster results, products, and responses for both employees and customers. Therefore, they can enhance the experience for both parties
- With bots taking on some of the more mundane tasks, employees are free to focus on more important activities
As we move through the next section giving our intelligent automation examples, we’ll see in more detail how these benefits can have a real impact on a business.
Examples of how intelligent automation can be used:
As we said in the introduction, intelligent automation technologies can be applied to a variety of functions and across a range of departments and industries. So now, we’re finally going to look at these in more detail.
1. Customer service
Lots, in fact, most businesses require customer service in one form or another, whether that’s online, on the phone, or in person.
And the great news is, intelligent automation has provided various new ways that business can improve their customer service and enhance the overall customer experience. Some of the most popular and beneficial ways that IA can be used to support customer service functions include:
- Gathering customer information while speaking over the phone, via email, or through online chats
- Chatbots can assist with customer queries and are available 24/7 to offer round the clock support
- Automated customer renewals send emails or letters to customers letting them know if their contract or service is nearly up. This allows them to renew in good time without any unexpected disruptions
- Customer self-service portals allow people to take back control of their information and handle tasks themselves rather than having to deal with a person (if they don’t want to)
- Automatic communication with customers regarding sales, new products, deliveries, and more
This is great news for businesses as boosting the customer experience is often a key priority. Especially in today’s competitive market where consumers expect more personalized customer service.
2. Finance and insurance
Intelligent automation serves so many functions when it comes to financing and insurance activities. First and foremost, it can be used to quickly update customer records, either financial or for insurance purposes.
It also makes it much easier to quickly find and gather data when offering customer support. For example, when on the phone trying to help a customer with a query.
This is because IA tools can scan databases, emails, and online chats rapidly to find the relevant information. Something which was previously very time-consuming for employees and customers.
Other ways in which intelligent automation can support these functions include:
- Scraping data from forms and inputting this into a database
- Quickly processing online insurance claims or credit applications
- Scanning data to spot any inconsistencies with customer information or trends
- Delivering emails and other relevant information straight to the intended user (whether that’s a customer or employee)
And again, these are just a few intelligent automation examples in the finance and insurance industries. There are also a lot of other similar uses for banking, accounting, and other relevant business functions.
3. Shipping and logistics
Shipping and logistics have begun to rely heavily on intelligent automation. This is largely due to an increase in demand for deliveries thanks to the booming e-commerce market.
When it comes to shipping and warehouse logistics, automation is used in a number of ways. Particularly to deal with the large amount of data being processed. Other uses include:
- Analysing shipping data to choose the optimal shipping route. This can reduce bottlenecks and prevent delays
- Self-service portals for customers, suppliers, and trading partners. This might include tracking parcels and checking on shipping status
- Report automation can be used to take stock, create pick lists and delivery notes, manage cash flow statuses, and even send automated alerts when stock is getting low
- Similarly, text alerts can be automated to let customers know when their parcels will be delivered
- Finally, intelligent automation is important for facilitating collaboration between e-commerce businesses and their chosen courier service
As demand increases and more pressure is put on shipping and logistics companies, we’ll likely see more technologies emerging and increased reliance on intelligent automation.
4. Human Resources
Human resources is a very varied role and one that typically requires a lot of data entry and administrative tasks. As such, there are a lot of HR functions that can and have been automated.
And HR professionals rely on these technologies to make their day-to-day responsibilities more manageable and efficient. As well as making data entry easier, intelligent automation can be used by HR professionals to:
- Automate welcome emails to new starters and send them the relevant documents and policies
- Review and approve holiday requests
- Monitor sick days and automatically alert senior management if a particular employee has a high number of sick days
- Sending automated alerts to managers when an employee’s probation period is nearly over or they have a review coming up
- Self-service employee portals allow workers to access important HR documents, make queries and book holidays without having to go directly to a member of the HR team
Between juggling their numerous responsibilities and trying to support their colleagues, HR professionals are busy people. For this reason, intelligent automation is a lifesaver.
And finally, the marketing department relies heavily on data to function. This is used to target new and existing customers, monitor important metrics like website traffic, and analyse the success or failure of marketing campaigns.
Therefore, it’s no surprise that marketing professionals have begun to rely on intelligent automation to help them manage this vast amount of data. From sending automated emails to scheduling social media posts, IA technologies can be used for so many aspects of the marketing strategy.
Some of the other ways in which marketing professionals might use intelligent automation include:
- Sending out thousands of emails automatically for an email marketing campaign
- Automated SMS messaging to give customers updates on new products, services, or sales
- Automatically processing email unsubscribes
- Monitoring marketing databases and CRM systems to look out for duplicate or poor-quality data
- Scheduling social media posts and engagements to go out around the clock, even when employees aren’t in the office
- Automating marketing strategies aimed at upgrading, up-selling or cross-selling goods, or services. This can mean working in conjunction with the sales team
Many of these tasks would have once taken employees hours, if not days, to complete. These intelligent automation technologies have revolutionized the marketing industry, as well as many others.
Hopefully, this guide has shown you the vast array of uses and benefits of intelligent automation. From customer service to shipping and logistics, there are already so many functions that can be made more efficient using these technologies. And this list looks set to keep growing in the future.
If you’re going to start implementing these technologies into your business, consider the intelligent automation examples we’ve used above and how these technologies can help your company and brand to thrive.
And if you haven’t begun thinking about intelligent automation technologies yet, let alone implementing them, there’s no time like the present!
For more information about intelligent automation and examples of different IA technologies, you can check out our related guides below: