The 4th industrial revolution is ongoing and automation is one of its main pilar.
Market of automation is expected to grow to 48,5 billion by 2021.
If you already deployed extended automation process within your organization, you may find in this serie of articles new use cases and ideas to continue deploy automation. If you did not put automation in your agenda yet, then I hope it will convince you give it a try, at least for a narrow scope pilot.
Automation is today applicable to all industries and can be deployed in almost all parts of the organizations.
Even if analysis demonstrate gaps in term of return of investment among different industries or functions inside the organizations, impact of automation is globally very positive. I invite you to give a look at the study Capgemini consulting published last summer . As an example, cost savings measured for customer services experimentations are around 13%.
Automation, what are we talking about ?
A short definition of automation is “The technology by which a process or procedure is performed with minimal human assistance”. Today, automation starts from Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to the most advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI). Tradition Mechanic automation (physical robots in manufacturing industries for example) are part of the 3rd industrial revolution. This article will not cover this area.
How is automation adopted ?
Potential of automation is not leverage by main companies. Sale adoption is rare. Organization are at the beginning of the journey.
In its study, that includes 700 major companies around the globe, Capgemini measured that at a global scale, only 16% of organizations reached maturity in scaling automation. Best adopters are United States (26%) and France (21%) whereas Netherland (9%) and Sweden (6%) are the last ones in the ranking (with an unemployment rate around 3,5 % in April 2019, the correlation between automation and employment destruction is not easy to do, despite of all polemics on this topic).
Thus, we can say that automation is still not a mature market and predict that automation will be on the agenda of executive for the next few years.
How automation can bring more value to your business ?
Before doing a deep dive in main kind of industries and functions and give you use cases, let’s say that automation can bring value in two different ways. The first one is making more operational benefits, the second one is creating new topline opportunities.
Making more operational benefits
Making more operational benefits can be achieved following 4 different ways, separately or in the same time) :
- Improve quality
- Improve workforce productivity
- Improve customer satisfaction
- Gain operational efficiency
As I mentioned it above, we are still main part of the organization are still at the beginning of the automation journey. Thus, it is not surprising to see that the great majority of companies experimenting automation are still focused on theses areas.
Creating new topline opportunities
A first way to leverage on automation to create new topline opportunities is to consider that if employees will gain time in their day to day noring tasks, they will then be able to spend more time on task with high added value. The connection is easy to do when automation comes to help a salesperson. If automation save time for time consuming tasks, employee will be able to get more interaction with new customer and create more business. Mathematically, if sales teams are not reduced, business will grow.
Automation can also help capture new customers. As an example, when a well known retail clothes company experimented a bot that helps customers find in which part of the shop the product they are looking for is located, the sales went up. Automation can also helps retaining existing customers and as you know, as it cost five times more to find a new customer than it is to retain it may be interesting to give it a try.
In a future article, we will see the main use cases of automation and their impact. We will also list by functions some quick wins opportunity you should deploy to start testing automation.
If you want to know more about our technology and experience in automation at Codixis, please contact us. We will answer you quickly and propose you solution to unlock untapped value of your business.
Forrester, “The RPA Market Will Reach $2.9 Billion By2021,” February 2017.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Eurostat