Automation: The Key to Future Business Efficiency
To leverage these new methodologies, managers need to identify the most suitable automation tools. It will help smooth any disruption to their organisation.
Administrative Processes Automation
Certain business functions are easier to automate than others. Depending on the IT structure of the company, an all-purpose software would cover most aspects.
A combination of software help streamline the operational workflow and save staff time.
Algorithms like Business Process Management (BPM), Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) tools help automate repetitive tasks with minimum error.
RPA has been applied successfully across several activities in finance, including:
- Financial Controlling & External Reporting
- Cash Disbursement
- General Accounting
- Better customer management
Internet-savvy consumers are familiar with managing their affairs online.
Automation integration also helps match these consumers’ expectations. It also boosts the company brand and maximises the effective use of resources.
Customers Inquiries Automation: Chatbot AI
Chatbots handle incoming inquiries efficiently without taking up valuable staff time.
Think about Chatbots as highly customisable, AI driven version of a customer service. The bot is instructed to handle inquiries in a timely and consistent manner.
Intercom is an affordable chatbot tool that provides professional support and efficiently manages customer inquiries.
Self-Service Portals For Automation
Self service portals enable a variety of processes to be handled remotely.
Those tasks include:
- client onboarding
- transaction management
- customer support
- knowledge database inquiries.
This open line of communication offers a wide range of options via the company website. Thus, saving time, boosting satisfaction levels, as well as improving customer retention.
In today’s time, while customers are first, employees’ satisfaction is also equally important.
Appogeehr is a HR software that helps employees and staff manage leave applications from anywhere.
Automation Tools Supporting Complex Tasks
Despite a growing role for AI, some financial management tasks still necessitate a degree of human intervention. These include:
- Risk Management
- Financial Planning and Analysis
Automation will increasingly encroach these areas in future, but experienced employees shall still retain an essential decision-making role.
Automation Handles More Complex Tasks
Any area of activity that depends on human interaction is inevitably more challenging to automate. Such tasks include:
- Business Development
- External Relations
- Accounting Management
In these areas, software plays a supporting role to the personal touch of the sales and marketing teams. A range of applications exist to support specific areas.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) provides a centralised alternative to spreadsheets and manual record-keeping. It ensures that sales executives closely follow a detailed programme of interaction with clients. Sales, marketing and administrative team members enjoy access to the same up-to-date information. Thus, customer management is significantly improved.
- Email marketing software like Mailchimp, automates customer outreach by enabling a faster and highly targeted interaction. Customised messages maximise the effectiveness of new and existing prospect databases.
- Marketing automation applications take customer targeting to a higher level. It helps marketers with content creation, advanced market segmentation and leads nurturing techniques.
Brought to you by Velotrade, a marketplace for corporates to access financing.
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Automation in Trade Finance: An Industry in Transition
While supporting USD 15 Trillion per year of global trade, trade finance remains a largely paper-based process.
Important documents like Bills of Lading and Invoices are still printed. Paper copies of shipping documents are exchanged as goods travel along the supply chain.
However, change is coming quickly.
Today digital trade finance platforms like Velotrade are minimising administrative tasks through automation. We use automation when connecting suppliers and investors to the platform.
API connects banks, risk assessment firms and e-commerce portals. Trusting your API service provider is compulsory when turning to automation. On Average, a security breach causes US$3.86 millions in data losses.
Customer Care and User Experience
Existing clients can track transaction status via a self-service website on desktop or mobile devices.
The CRM (Client Relationship Management) software tracks prospect origination. It helps scheduling follow-ups to maximise client conversion rates.
CRM systems play a significant role in supporting a busy sales team.
Compliance and Security
Some credit checks and compliance procedures still need to be performed manually. However, regular database back-up is a necessity to meet the stringent compliance requirements of financial regulations.
Velotrade uses OCR to minimise human intervention when checking the invoice specifications.
Automation and Organisational Change
Automation tools offer a wide range of potential benefits to companies. These services range from performance improvements to high cost and manpower-savings.
However, successfully achieving these efficiencies involves overcoming many challenges that managements face.
New tools that enable digitisation and automation can rapidly change business processes. Such a transformation requires an equally rapid analysis by the management team.
The management team is under pressure to make the right decisions for the company based on a swift situational analysis. For example, sales is moving from a personal to a more self-service digital approach.
Not only that, it also requires a supportive and efficient response from the company’s staff.
These changes have a substantial impact on employees and the culture in which they work. Great care and assessment of the feedback is essential during implementation.
How to Implement Automation?
Before automation is introduced, the first step should be to ensure that there is a resilient and people-friendly culture. It can help team members absorb the impact of changes with minimal disruption.
In this way, organisations can smoothen the transition. It is also important that each individual has a better understanding of new processes and how he or she is likely to be affected.