Automation has become increasingly important for businesses to operate nimbly and reorganize priorities based on the latest analytics. And moving forward, “companies with advanced automation programs will obliterate—not merely beat—the competition,” predicts Forrester Research.
If your company hasn’t joined the effort to automate business processes with intelligent document solutions, you probably have a reason. But does your reason really outweigh all the value that automation could bring? Maybe you’ve bought into one of the myths surrounding automation, or perhaps you just haven’t made it a priority; or it just could be your reason is an excuse in disguise.
10 Reasons Not to Automate: Which One Is Your Excuse?
Consider these 10 reasons you may be avoiding automation—and why you should reconsider.
1. I don’t understand it.
You don’t have to have a deep understanding of automation for it to work well. However, you need to understand the process you want to automate. If you have a solid, effective process in place, you’ve already accomplished the hard part. The right automation software can easily simplify an existing process that works.
2. I’ve been burned by vendors before.
No vendor is the right fit for every project or every customer. Consider looking for a vendor who specializes in the type of automation project you want to undertake and who can provide references from companies similar to yours. Also research the difference between “legacy” vendors, with patchwork on premise solutions, versus modern, built in the cloud applications. When you choose the right vendor for your project, not only will you not get “burned,” but you’ll also find a partner dedicated to the success of your business.
3. It takes too long to implement.
Implementing intelligent document solutions can take just a few weeks for many processes, unlike past software implementation projects where the “go live” date is months after the work begins. Once initiated, modern automation solutions can significantly save time for organizations.
4. It’s too expensive.
There are costs associated with investing in any new technology. But intelligent document solutions can provide rapid internal cost reductions and significantly increase ROI, which can quickly outweigh the startup costs. In addition, you can often get started with document automation without spending anything; for example, Ocrolus offers a free trial and on demand options, that allows organizations to see how the technology works without a large or long commitment.
5. I can’t see the ROI.
Automation usually works behind the scenes, so the results might not be completely obvious at first. But those willing to measure ROI will see the effects on their workflows, in terms of increased accuracy, efficiency, and cost reduction, as well as on their customer experience, with increased retention and satisfaction.
6. It overpromises and under-delivers.
There may be some areas of automation that aren’t able to deliver bottom-line-boosting results, but businesses with document-based workflows can always benefit from intelligent document processing. The right tools can eliminate the potential for human error, standardize documents from various different formats, and process documents faster and with greater accuracy than manual processes. For example, when ForwardLine Financial automated online loan applications, it cut loan decisions from more than three hours to 45 minutes.
7. I don’t want to disrupt the current process.
Over the past two years, business processes—and individuals’ lives—have been disrupted more than ever before. And in many cases, companies are better for it. Rather than bringing more disruption, intelligent document indexing and processing actually simplifies work and frees employees to focus on other, more strategic tasks. For example, automation makes it easy to quickly remove tasks from workers’ daily to-do lists, such as digitizing data, categorizing data, and managing data privacy.
8. I bought an automation toolkit before and thought it was a solution.
An automation toolkit usually includes several utilities to help organizations organize processes and automate general tasks. However, to truly automate your organization’s processes, you’ll usually find more success by using a vendor to design a solution that will work specifically for your business. There is nothing inherently wrong with a toolkit approach, but it is important to understand when you are buying the tools to build a program, versus the program itself.
9. It won’t work with our current core tech investments.
The right automation system will work within your current tech stack, preferable with standardized APIs. For example, Ocrolus can extract data from documents in any format and return the data in a single, structured data stream into a loan origination system or other back office platform via a single API call..
10. I’ll get to it later; I have other priorities.
Every business must juggle priorities, but embracing intelligent document processing offers significant rewards for investment in time and cost. Because it can provide rapid savings in ongoing expense and human effort, it should be one of the top priorities for forward-thinking companies.
The bottom line is that implementing automation can be relatively painless and easy, and can rapidly improve workflows, help employees work smarter, and save organizations money while adapting quickly to changing market conditions.