A few weeks ago, the world was a different place to live in, and today with the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, the deserted roads signal a new world order. Sectors like food and accommodation that houses 144 million-foot soldiers,  retail with 482 million partners, and manufacturing with 463 million champions are virtually at a standstill. The business and administration professional services market has approximately 157 million abettors globally who are awaiting the situation to get normalized and safe.

Fortunately, there are ways to ensure business continuity, leveraging automation technologies during the current tough times. This unforeseen pandemic has forced us to adopt a new way of working – working from home or working remotely yet staying connected, which needs a secure and reliable infrastructure and strengthened network. The IT teams across enterprises need a mechanism to monitor the same and ensure business continuity. With remote webinars and e-meetings, there may be a sudden spike in the bandwidth requirement that may cause unwanted disruption.

Automation solutions can enable threshold-based alerts to ensure that stakeholders are informed when network resources are stretched. In such instances, BOT’s are triggered to act immediately. The BOT can perform necessary actions and balance the network load for seamless operations. This BOT can be further programmed to intelligently automate network configuration, network management, testing, deployment, and operations of physical and virtual devices within the network.

An insurance agency’s call center was inundated with an unmanageable volume of requests. Some customers want to know if they’re covered in case they get infected by the COVID-19 virus, and others are looking for information to submit a claim. The process for filing a claim is long and tedious for customers, requiring a thorough understanding of their policy, manually updating forms, and speaking to an agent as an additional step.

An intelligent BOT powered with artificial intelligence can be implemented that can address generic customer queries w.r.t. Policy information till a human intervention is required.  Configuring an intelligent BOT will reduce the contact center agent’s load up to 60%. With automation, the agent can focus on non-mundane tasks while the BOT engages the customer and gathers necessary information, automatically extracts intelligence from the policy documents to perform downstream actions.

Let’s examine a similar situation in the retail sector amidst a surge in online orders due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The online retailers in the region need to add 3x full-time and part-time resources for warehouse and delivery operations to keep up with the sudden increase in demand. To increase their workforce, they are processing 3x to 4x job applications. Here our in-house solution, ZenBot, can assist the HR department in categorizing and shortlisting the massive amount of applications and streamlining the selection process. The intelligent classification algorithm helps eliminate incorrect applications and improves decision making. For example, a policy to re-hire a former employee is prioritized over other applicants. The ZenBOT checks if the applicant is a former employee or not by starting a background check for eligible applicants.

A lot of businesses are forced to delay the service requests needed for field visits, due to the unavailability of ground staff. As the current situation improves, there will be a surge of requests and a shortage of technicians/experts to address the pending services. In all probability, this surge might lead to chaotic customer experiences. Automating the field service application will help enterprises to prioritize the request to technicians and experts for timely and efficient delivery. An intelligent BOT powered with advanced decision-making capabilities and integrated with an analytics engine can increase the efficiency by fourfold.

The outbreak of this pandemic has posed a magnitude of challenges to the procurement team, especially for vendor on-boarding. On-boarding new vendors involve manual intervention like preliminary analysis of vendor documents, evaluating the vendor, running a credit check becomes a lengthy and time-consuming process for the procurement team. Managing change notifications with multiple existing vendors about delivery schedules, change in fulfillment centers, and point of contact are some other critical challenges. To counter this, our BOT solution leverages task-based automation and computer vision algorithms that help in validating the supplier details based on digitally submitted documents, credit scores, and tax data and onboard them if the information meets the criteria set by the company. This also includes regular and timely notifications to all inactive vendors and weed out supplier information if no longer relevant or unable to service present requirements. Procurement teams can receive automatic updates from the supplier regarding any change or contingencies that can help reduce the cycle time by at least 50%. This automation solution also helps improve compliance and minimize the risk due to the timely validation of credit checks.

Due to the subsequent economic slowdown, while customers are seeking discounts, the finance team is pressurized with the account’s receivables. Typically, this is a paper-intensive, complex and highly manual process often consisting of inaccurate invoice generation, billing & payment delays that negatively impact cash flow. To aid the needs of the finance team, our FinBot can be easily configured to fit into the F&A portfolio and help with account receivables, automated presentment, release, and delivery of invoices through RPA. It can also standardize the dispute capture and resolution processes using BPM to create, authorize, and approve or reject disputes. The timely AR aging analytics modules can report overdue notifications to customers, helping the finance teams to reduce the burden and improve process agility.

To conclude, it is a very appropriate time for transformation and anchoring automation solutions powered with AI, ML, and blockchain technologies that can be deployed in less time and integrate with an ecosystem without a glitch.

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Rajesh Mohandas

Posted by Rajesh Mohandas

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