According to research from TechNavio, the global market for process automation systems will grow at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 29 percent through 2019. While some people might think that means a dismal career outlook for the affected occupations, at the same time, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting an 11 percent growth in the number of jobs for accountants and auditors and a 10 percent growth in the need for customer service representatives. It seems counterintuitive that the job market and the software market would grow at the same time. Here are the reasons that this situation makes sense:
Increase Accuracy and Speed
Workflow automation and document management solutions eliminate non-value added process steps and speed the flow of documents and information using rules to ensure that routine transactions conform to company policies. As a result, most transactions are processed quickly and without errors.
Your data will be cleaner and more accurate, since there is no chance of input errors or lost transactions. When exceptions occur, they don’t get delayed or lost in the shuffle because the team has the time to focus on resolving the issue.
Eliminate the Mundane: Focus on the Critical
By automatically processing the routine transactions, you free critical resources to focus on more strategic or critical tasks — such as finding new ways to delight customers. Removing repetitive tasks allows your team to use their critical thinking skills to improve processes, increase revenue or streamline processes even more. As a result, your entire operation runs better and more profitably.
Every organization has critical events. Issues with key customers, late inventory, process glitches — they happen everywhere. However, when you automate processes, these issues come to the surface quickly, and the people who can resolve the issue are notified right away. You have the time and the information to resolve the problem, so issues don’t fester.
Using document management along with process management streamlines processes even further by eliminating reliance on paper. Your company will no longer have to deal with mountains of paper for filing. Documents are stored electronically and can be easily retrieved. This environmentally friendly solution helps your company achieve faster, more efficient business processes, along with a greener solution.
Improve Worker Engagement
People get bored when they have to do the same thing over and over. Their attention wanders, and mistakes creep in, or critical issues gets overlooked. By eliminating the routine steps in your business process, you enable employees to spend their time on more complex tasks that require judgment, knowledge and expertise.
Employees feel more valued in this kind of role, and they become more engaged in day-to-day operations when they have a chance to work on different activities. A more engaged workforce will improve customer service, helping you to retain customers and earn more revenue.
The Changing Workforce
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a decline in the number of unskilled positions that require little thought or experience. For example, at the same time that the demand for skilled and educated accountants and auditors is rising, the demand for entry-level bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks is decreasing by 8 percent.
Automation technology is not eliminating jobs, but it is changing the types of jobs that will be in demand. Employers will seek fewer unskilled workers to handle rote tasks, but those unskilled roles will be replaced with higher skilled individuals.
By adding more elements of critical thinking and autonomy, automation technology enables workers to use their skills to support the business in more complex ways. In the future, organizations will operate more effectively, have a better handle on costs, and be called upon to offer increased levels of customer service because of automation technology. There will not be a reduction in the number of jobs, but there will be much more growth in occupations that use automation for routine tasks while leaving critical thinking to people.