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Automation: the robots are coming

Publish date May 21, 2019

Danny Bell Sales Director YASH Technologies – UK

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Let me start by saying, I’m not a writer, which will become clear very quickly …. but I do understand people and their fears.

Right, if you are still with me, then thank you for your unfound confidence in my knowledge of the subject, which from a technical standpoint is minimal. I want to write something that was from a non-technical person, who has cobbled together their knowledge from articles laden with acronyms, short conversations with the vaunted technical SME’s (who also love a good abbreviation) and the myriad of scaremongering articles out there in the e-world.

I confess, whenever I used to hear the words automation, bots, Artificial Intelligence. My mind would race straight to me either becoming a human battery, being hunted down by lookalike automated Hollywood actors or being processed down to my constituent elements so they can build more killer robots. Even when I could stop myself from behaving like a hysterical howler monkey, my first thoughts were always negative. I would straight away go to my default position:

Automation + AI + Bots = Job losses, no empathy, and ultimately starvation!

Sorry, a bit of howler monkey sneaked in there.

But nothing could be further from the truth.

Process Automation and its many guises is like any technology, outstanding if it is used correctly and implemented for the right reasons.

Using automation to remove the need for your staff to do repetitive, monotonous, and dull tasks can be nothing but good for both the company and the people.

Any good company invests in staff and rightly so, as the people are the real life-blood of any company. If you have an environment where your talent is working on an electronic production line that can only be a little, or if we are realistic, extremely toxic. Imagine a company where the people did what they were paid for rather than filling in electronic data from either hardcopy, different systems (this is called swivel chairing, apparently) or manually manipulating the same data but into several different forms. Imagine that removed?

Imagine an environment where the information was at hand, in as near as real-time as possible and that your people could use that information to improve the service offered to both your internal and external customers. Imagine, again, your people having the time to use their skills to address any abnormal problems (increasing your customer service), to plan and to use the data to maximize both service and profit (not a dirty word).

Having been in recruitment for a long time before moving roles, I can testify that one of the major reason people leave is that they have to work every hour god sends just to keep the wheels turning. This is not just a shop-floor phenomenon; senior managers say the same thing, so the training of people to take over or upskill is out the window.

Automation, if utilized correctly, is a weapon every business should have in its armory. It should be looked at as a digital employee who works with us mere mortals and takes away some of the pain of the modern-day business.

Quick straw poll: Who would want a digital employee who?

  • Was between 3 to 5 times more efficient than its human counterpart
  • Was available 24/7 to run your processes
  • Would do all the jobs no else wanted to do? (within reason, not one built who can make a decent tea)
  • Never made a mistake, reducing drastically your risk exposure to the curse of fat finger syndrome
  • Never flouted the rule and regulations
  • Only need to be taught a process once
  • Never complained or was sick

Think of that little digital trooper beavering away on your repetitive processes 24/7, leaving your real employees, talent, people whatever you want to call them to:

  • Improve systems and processes
  • Deal humanely with your internal and external customers who maybe need a helping hand
  • Be creative and bringing real innovation
  • Be themselves and bring real quality to the workplace

Too often, automation is brought in to cut costs (headcount) but in my opinion, that is the last thing you should be looking at?

Automation brings creativity and flair to a business. It improves both your compliance and your management of risk. It is a tool you need to be using now or at least speaking to someone about where and what is possible in your environment. Which raises another point, your current technology infrastructure is no barrier to automation, so I have been informed.

If you would like to carry on this discussion or want to have a grown-up conversation on how we, Yash Technologies, can assist you on the journey, please feel free to drop me a line. I have added the link to the relevant page on our website

If you have made it this far, well played and all power to you. I would appreciate any comment on the subject as I am also still learning. Again thanks, and who know this may not be the last thing you hear from me.

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