From manual kite flying to intelligent process automation

Two hundred and sixty-seven years ago, one of the U.S.’s founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, performed his famous kite experiment and set an explosion of technological advancements in motion. Our homes, cars and workplaces wouldn’t be the same today without that original spark of an idea.

The world of software is no different.

In fact, several of our solutions are enhanced with advanced intelligent automation (IA) technology that trailblazers of Franklin’s time couldn’t have possibly imagined. In fact, it can be difficult for anyone to grasp the breadth of applications and the magnitude of the benefits of IA without some concrete examples.

Below, you’ll find real performance data from organizations currently using intelligent automation capabilities like customer communication management, case management, intelligent capture and workflow automation.

Luckily, there’s no lightening required to see IA in action. And kites are purely optional, though highly recommended.

 It is summer, after all.

Customer communications management

Many organizations are now using intelligent automation capabilities like customer communications management (CCM) to remove time-consuming, rote tasks and give employees more strategic, customer-facing roles within their organizations.

Customer communications management provides a powerful tool for the automatic creation and distribution of personalized correspondence and customized documentation. It also empowers employees to communicate with customers in an efficient, cost-effective way.

As an example, the State of Montana’s Department of Labor and Industry used CCM in its unemployment insurance division to handle a high volume of notices in a short amount of time.

Within the unemployment insurance division, hundreds to thousands of documents are distributed to residents daily, including payments and related items. As a result, in addition to the user-driven mail merge that takes place, an automated mail merge also processes notices every night.

Meanwhile, Content Composer has increased the speed of this batch process exponentially.

Our previous automated merge process literally took hours to perform every night. It was extremely slow. With Content Composer, these notices – and we’re talking anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 at a time – get finished in a matter of minutes. It’s that fast. We went from waiting hours to get it done to waiting 10 to 15 minutes, tops.

— Casey Greenwood, IT supervisor, the State of Montana’s Department of Labor and Industry

Case management

To successfully fly a kite, you need to gauge the wind. The same is true for running an organization.

That’s where case management helps. With case management tools, employees are empowered with a complete view of all the information they need to make informed decisions.

“Knowledge-based work requires that case management solutions also support higher-order tasks, such as collaborative decision-making, and the ability to create and manage complex or ad-hoc tasks and approval processes,” according to a 2019 whitepaper from research firm Ovum.

As an example, the University of Notre Dame uses case management to intelligently automate and manage data, tasks, activities, correspondence and events surrounding unstructured cases and knowledge-driven work.

From the same interface, advisors add visit notes, attach supporting documents, email professors and manage change of intent and declaration of program events. Additionally, they easily see assigned tasks and upcoming appointments, allowing them to better manage and prioritize their work. Native security controls protect advising notes and sensitive student information, while an audit trail of all interactions supports the security and integrity of student files.

The university’s case management solution also offers insight into trends like frequent drops for a particular course, equipping the department to take action to protect the critical first-year student experience. This added visibility brings notable process enhancements.

We finished processing course drops three days earlier than we have in the past, so it’s a huge increase in efficiency.

— Ely Brenner, assistant dean of first year studies, University of Notre Dame

Intelligent capture

Intelligent capture is an IA capability that dramatically boosts productivity, increases accuracy and improves customer service. Tasks like manual data entry no longer take up the majority of employee time.

With intelligent capture, employees are free to tackle more strategic work, like spending more time interacting with customers. For example, Old Dominion Freight Line – a leading less-than-truckload super regional carrier – the percentage gain in productivity was in the triple digits.

As a result of all the automation we’ve deployed, as a $1.5 billion company today, we’re using the same number of staff members in accounts receivable that we did as a $200 million company.

— Ken Erdner, vice president of information technology at Old Dominion

To drive greater value and efficiency in accounts receivable, Old Dominion uses intelligent capture for remittances. As a result, accounts receivable boosted its productivity by 400 to 500 percent, from processing 400 remittances hourly to 2,000.

Workflow automation

Workflow automation uses tools like built-in rules and actions and customizable forms to automate tasks, route documents, manage exceptions and extend key processes. How does this translate into ROI?

Look no further than Suncoast Credit Union. Suncoast used workflow automation to intelligently automate domestic and international wire transfers and dramatically lower processing time.

Instead of relying on paper, now branches and the call center manage member requests for wires with electronic forms that initiate workflows. The workflows then automatically notify the Electronic Funds Transfer department, reducing processing time from one hour to three minutes.

With the ability to easily create workflows and get help complying with regulations, our return on investment is immeasurable.

— Wanda Chambers, senior vice president of payment services at Suncoast Credit Union

Check out our new ebook for more

I hope you find the examples of heightened productivity, efficiency and cost savings in these case study outtakes inspiring.

If you’re not quite ready to let your kite loose in the wind and want to learn more, check out our new ebook See the forest: A bird’s eye view of intelligent automation in practice.

Beth Politsch

Beth Politsch

Beth Politsch is a content strategist and writer for Hyland. She has been writing about subjects that range from interior design and food science to materials science, technology and software for more than a decade. She is a published poet who loves to learn and use her creativity to translate technical subject matter into exciting and engaging content.

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