Organizations and consumers alike are looking to learn how to fight inflation, and it’s no wonder. November’s overall consumer price index was up 7.1% compared to November 2021, with food prices increasing by 10.6% over the past year.
Simultaneously, organizations are battling a red-hot labor market with more job openings than potential workers. Inflation also means that there’s more to do with less, which puts stress on employees and compromises their work lives.
Many organizations have historically approached workload increases and other challenges by simply “throwing people at the problem.” While this model used to pass with flying colors, it’s clear that our current economic landscape no longer supports it.
Unlike past inflation crises, we now have intelligent automation tools. Sophisticated tools like RPA, AI, OCR, process mining, and more can increase efficiency, promote growth without increasing headcount, optimize human talent, and reduce waste across industries. And when you adopt these tools widely across your organization, they can influence inflation in various ways.
Why It Can’t Wait
We get it. The idea of spending money on technology when inflation is at a multiyear high is counterintuitive. Your instinct might be to reduce spending and scale back. But if your organization aims to thrive rather than survive now, you can’t solely watch your budget. You need a proactive approach, too. While every organization faces its own challenges amid inflation, technology can help you work smarter, not harder, even with a tighter budget.
Dubbed “digital deflation” by Gartner, this strategy focuses on selectively investing in technology to reduce business costs in the face of inflation. Gartner experts recommend a two-pronged approach:
2 Steps to Digital Deflation
1. Continue to budget for technology investments, even when profit margins are tight.
2. Be selective as you apply technology to your processes to maximize your ROI and other benefits. If you play your cards right, you can boost productivity and make better, data-driven decisions while reducing labor costs.
The bottom line is that these benefits will help you fight inflation now and flourish going forward. So, it’s to your advantage to start embracing intelligent automation now, not later.
Let’s explore four ways intelligent automation can help your organization be resilient in the face of inflation.
How to Fight Inflation with Intelligent Automation: 4 Use Cases
1. Automate Document Processing with Intelligent Document Processing
Process automation has advanced dramatically over the years, and its latest evolution is intelligent document processing. This technology allows you to automate your manual document-centric processes. As a result, you save time and gain productivity since employees can instead tend to other valuable work. In addition, it can interpret, read, and understand document content and scope faster and more accurately than humans, eliminating time-consuming human error. And as you get more done in the same amount of time, your business becomes more effective and profitable in the face of inflation.
2. AI-Powered Risk Assessment & Security Efforts
Tough economic times can amplify the damage caused by disasters like data breaches. However, AI can identify patterns at a larger, more comprehensive scale than any human. This expertise makes AI a valuable addition to risk assessment and management efforts. For example, companies have begun using AI to help predict the likelihood of future issues, from supply chain disruptors to cybersecurity threats. This technology sifts through high volumes of unstructured data to reveal existing vulnerabilities that would likely otherwise go unnoticed until it’s too late. As a result, you can dodge expensive, reputation-threatening problems that no company wants, especially during an economic crisis.
3. Better Insights & Compliance with Process Mining
The goal of intelligent automation isn’t just to digitize and automate manual processes. It aims to gather and apply insights that otherwise would be impossible or too time-consuming to attain. Process mining is a powerful tool that allows you to improve your processes based on accurate, precise, real-time data. This technology captures information from log files within your existing solutions. Then, these findings provide detailed, data-driven insights into how your processes are performing, down to how long individual steps take and who performs them. You can then use this data to pinpoint which processes to prioritize and the exact steps that need improvement. In other words, this tool lets you rest assured that you’re making the right improvements to the processes that need it the most.
Easy access to these detailed insights also makes it faster to audit processes and supply chains and deliver insights to stakeholders. Additionally, process mining can help you achieve automatic, data-driven compliance and reporting. For example, it can:
- Enforce Compliance Risks & Levels
- Identify Performance Deviations
- Assess Compliance Risks & Levels
- Standardize Your Processes
- Automate Compliance Reporting
This benefit is especially vital for organizations currently facing rising transparency demands.
Organizations are also using process mining to get the detailed, real-time data necessary to improve their processes. Process mining also optimizes the process redesign phase by offering personalized suggestions for improvement based on your goals. Honing your processes can increase productivity, save time, and streamline the customer experience.
4. RPA Eliminate Repetitive Tasks & Boost Customer Satisfaction
RPA can eliminate manual, repetitive processes so your human talent can tend to other value-added work. These manual processes are costly, error-prone, and often high in volume. Fortunately, these tasks are easy and quick to automate and can offer a high ROI.
If your business struggles to fill positions, RPA bots are your saving grace. In addition to taking over repetitive tasks, RPA bots can work alongside your employees to keep up with rising workloads for optimal productivity. And in embracing RPA, your organization can reduce the impact wage inflation has on it and save money on training.
When applied to customer-facing tasks, RPA can enhance customer satisfaction by speeding up the process and increasing accuracy. And when you can make your customers happy without adding headcount, your business grows. This ability to thrive with less is especially valuable for small organizations in industries highly impacted by inflation.
Similarly, chatbots can increase customer trust and revenue by quickly resolving issues. It’s become a service that customers expect and a standard benchmark for assessing the customer experience. This way, organizations can provide a more personalized customer experience while increasing revenue.
Adding Intelligent Automation to Your Digital Transformation
Get Ahead with Intelligent Automation
Intelligent automation is a vital tool in the ongoing battle against inflation. Organizations that embrace it will enjoy cost benefits that build resilience through difficult economic times. Businesses must look for creative, innovative ideas to use technology to their advantage.
If you’re looking to future-ready your organization, it’s time to start building your intelligent automation plan. Need help? We’d be happy to discuss your current situation and goals. Drop a question in the chat to get the conversation started.