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4 Steps To Getting Started With Digital Process Automation (DPA)

Technology has revolutionised the world we live in. At home, automation assists you with nearly every daily task. From the moment you wake…

Technology has revolutionised the world we live in. At home, automation assists you with nearly every daily task. From the moment you wake up until you go to sleep you’re surrounded by an automated world, from turning on your lights to giving you the weather report and reminding you to pick up milk.

As consumers, we have embraced automation technology, and it is making our days better, more comfortable, and more efficient.

Yet, when it comes to ways of working, we still tolerate manual processes to get our work done. Many of our companies, organisations, and teams, especially in financial services, have been slow to take advantage of the exponential power of technologies like Digital Process Automation (DPA), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), and Intelligent Automation.

These organisations are ignoring, at their peril, the efficiencies that streamlined processes and digital transformation offer. They are missing out on simplifying, automating, and improving the customer journey, both for stressed employees and hurried customers.

What Is Digital Process Automation (DPA)?

Digital process automation (DPA) is the method of using advanced technologies to automate analogue processes. In other words, AI-powered workflow automation helps organisations save time and reduce operational costs by cutting down on manual labour to complete tasks.

While DPA may help streamline certain parts of an organization’s workflow, it doesn’t always imply automation. DPA can also include partially automating or supplementing manual tasks with bots or triggers, transforming manual work into semi-automated workflows.

Why Digital Process Automation Matters

As we wrote in our article about process bottlenecks, banks, payment processors, and financial service organisations must now find ways to cut costs without cutting corners. Research shows that office workers spend an estimated 70 days each year performing administrative tasks, which costs companies billions of dollars annually.

McKinsey reports “our research suggests that as many as 45 percent of the activities individuals are paid to perform can be automated by adapting currently demonstrated technologies.”

Courtesy of McKinsey

In these same organisations, CEO’s spend roughly 20 percent of their time working on tasks that could potentially be automated.

McKinsey continues, “Although we often think of automation primarily affecting low-skill, low-wage roles, we discovered that even the highest-paid occupations in the economy, such as financial managers, physicians, and senior executives, including CEOs, have a significant amount of activity that can be automated.”

It’s now crystal clear, in today’s cut-throat business environment, no business can hope to succeed unless they elevate cost reduction and make automation technology a central element of their operations.

But, where to begin?

For many organisations, identifying the digital process automation software and up-to-date approaches can be a minefield. The difficulty is not knowing where to start and how to begin this journey.

Here are four steps to explore DPA and decide if it’s right for you. 

Four Steps To Kickstart a DPA Project

When we set out to create our award-winning, no-code Automation Experience Platform, we wanted it to be easy-to-use, risk-free, and generate ROI fast.

For many companies, incorporating Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, ready-made connectors and modular components into their business workflows sounds exciting, but can be overwhelming if you’re new to Digital Process Automation.

Turning manual processes into contextually aware automated workflows can feel like going from driving a car to flying a jet. It’s a learned skill.

Before you fully automate your business processes, you first need a starting place. These four steps will kickstart your project and measure results in a matter of weeks:

1. Select a business area that needs streamlining

First, identify a starting point. For example, imagine you’re a financial institution, and you’ve chosen customer onboarding as an area in need of greater efficiency. 

A lot of work goes into starting a relationship with a new customer. Onboarding includes completing forms, processing documents, verifying identity, evaluating risk, and approving outcomes. If your chain of processes is analogue, or you’re doing these tasks manually, you could be wasting more than time.

Manual onboarding processes can lead to heaps of paper forms, compliance issues and low levels of customer satisfaction. This is both inefficient and costly, as well as frustrating for new customers. 

Manual onboarding processes can lead to heaps of paper forms, compliance issues and low levels of customer satisfaction. This is both inefficient and costly, as well as frustrating for new customers. 

2. Identify your current business process steps

Once you’ve identified a business process where there’s current pain, you need to quickly gain greater visibility. Sure, your end goal is to intelligently automate onboarding, but before you get there, you need to remove bottlenecks in production and ease transitions between each step.

That’s why a tool like Process X-Ray is essential.

Process visualisation enables you to quickly map your workflows, understand where bottlenecks might be occurring, and establish a benchmark for process output.

In just a few short hours, Process X-Ray can present a full analysis of your existing workflows and give you a clear picture of your organisational efficiency (or inefficiency), without the overhead of costly external consultants!

3. Implement process flow improvements 

Once you know where the problems are, you can begin to automate them with process orchestration. Combining process visualisation with DPA tools is a great first step towards achieving end-to-end automation. 

The benefits of Digital Process Automation is that it encourages big thinking whilst starting small with a handful of repetitive tasks. 

Unitek’s Automation Experience Platform acts as an orchestrator that unifies siloed data to give a better view of all customer information and engagement. It unites business, operations, and IT departments for better collaboration.

Unitek’s Automation Experience Platform acts as an orchestrator that unifies siloed data to give a better view of all customer information and engagement.

Once you’re comfortable automating smaller tasks, you can begin thinking about bigger digital transformation initiatives. Create more sophisticated workflows and user-friendly customer journeys that leverage your existing investments in data, systems and APIs.

4. Measure improvements

The last step in kickstarting a DPA project is about measuring end results. Starting with a smaller sample size allows you to determine outcomes quickly, then extrapolate them across larger sample sizes.

Unitek’s DPA platform harnesses “real time” intelligence, deep learning, natural language processing combined with ready-made integrations to streamline processes, improve customer experience, and create better employee experiences.

Fail fast and learn more about what works and what doesn’t. Present your results quickly to get buy-in for bigger projects. Compare against the performance of the initial benchmark in step two to measure improvements.

This “wrap and renew” approach encloses outmoded systems with an open, extendable layer that improves outcomes right away.

No more silos. No more limits.

Wrapping Up

When choosing a software solution to kickstart DPA in your organisation, you need to think about scalability, ease-of-use, integration capabilities, and innovative technology.

Scalability

Your DPA must be able to scale with your needs to keep business on track.

Ease-of-use

An easy-to-use system is essential for end-user adoption and business success. Be sure to look for providers who offer comprehensive system support for your knowledge workers.

Integration capabilities

Your DPA needs to integrate with your existing systems and infrastructure, so it doesn’t take away from anything else but instead adds something new.

Innovative technology

If your DPA software provider isn’t investing in innovation, your business won’t scale at the rate it should. Stay on the cutting edge with automation solutions partners that prioritise digital innovation and in-house technology.

Ready to learn more about Unitek’s DPA solutions? Request a demo to see our platform in action.

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