An AI Starting Point: Automating Back Office Operations
Every company has back office operations that they have to deal with daily. These vital functions can include:
- Billing and invoicing
- Purchase order processing
- Records maintenance
- Data entry
- Catalog maintenance
- Application processing
- Data digitization and conversion
And many more, depending on the industry and company size.
Although these operations tend to happen in the background of a business and are often outsourced, they take up a significant amount of time, manpower, and therefore financial resources for almost every enterprise because they are completed manually. In the world of sales, some representatives report that they spend up to 64.8% of their time doing tasks that generate no revenue, primarily data entry and other back office administrative activities. One option is outsourcing these tasks to designated administrators, or to companies that manage outsourcing for large enterprises. However, outsourcing still requires human dependency. And when companies rely on humans to complete tasks, they risk inaccuracies, inefficiencies, and slowdowns.
There’s a simple solution to this problem that more companies need to adopt: AI-driven process automation. It’s not only the fastest way to get a great ROI, it’s also the easiest way to lay the groundwork for more time- and money-saving automation in the future, all while increasing the accuracy and precision of back office operations.
So why don’t all companies automate their back office operations? There are three key reasons why many enterprises still haven’t taken this important step:
- They think their processes are too complex
- They think that AI will be too expensive
- They think the transition will be disruptive
Luckily, there’s no need to worry about any of these perceived issues.
The range of processes that can be automated is huge. An AI company like CrowdANALYTIX can automate some of the most common time-consuming tasks like data entry, purchase order processing, and invoicing, which almost every company utilizes in their operations. But they can also automate the conversion of PDFs documents into text, the extraction of accurate product information from image files, and the detection of objects from video files, among many more business-critical activities. AI can be used to automate most of the back office operations of most businesses across industries, from retail to real estate, from manufacturing to media.
It’s difficult for companies to commit financially to an experimental change, especially at moments of uncertainty like the one we’re experiencing now. Although AI, like any process change, does require an initial investment, it also requires far less ongoing investment than maintaining a group of administrative staff or continuing to pay another company for outsourcing. Long term, AI can save most companies between 20% and 40% of their costs, depending on the industry and the level of automation achieved. The initial investment is always worth it for the quick return, not to mention the increases in performance.
Transitions within businesses can cause stress and uncertainty. Luckily, most AI automation companies, like CrowdANALYTIX, are able to implement their solutions gradually with minimal disruption to business processes. There is no need to replace every part of a company’s back office operations at the same time; a phased approach can make the transition simple and smooth while leading to the exact same cost savings in the long term.
There are AI automation solutions for every company across every industry. Although the prospect of making changes in processes and organization can be daunting, the returns in cost savings, efficiency, and accuracy make the implementation of AI worth the effort almost every time. There are no downsides to automation.
This piece originally appeared on CrowdANALYTIX.