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How to Maximize ROI with AI-Powered Business Process Automation

All organizations – regardless of industry – are concerned with maximizing return on investment (ROI). With every decision made and every resource allocated, ROI is top of mind.

In this pursuit to achieve a high ROI, organizations are increasingly turning to artificial intelligence (AI)-powered automation solutions. Business process automation (BPA) driven by AI has emerged as a transformative force, promising to revolutionize processes, optimize operations, and drive profitability to new heights.

And its effectiveness has been proven. Statista found that on average, businesses increased revenue by 6-10% in 2022 just by adopting AI tools.

The question is: How exactly are these businesses using AI-powered automation solutions to maximize ROI and how can you do the same? Here’s your answer:

Identify High-Impact Use Cases

The first step towards optimizing your payback from automation is to determine where you should implement it in the first place.

Start by assessing your current workflows and processes to determine which tasks can be streamlined with AI automation technology. Look for functions that are repetitive, time-consuming, error-prone, and currently manual.

Automation can deliver tangible benefits that lead to high ROI, like increased efficiency, cost savings, decreased cycle times, enhanced insights, and improved employee satisfaction…when used in the right areas, that is.

Here are some common use cases to consider:

  • Invoice processing: With AI-powered accounts payable (AP) automation, you can streamline the extraction of data from invoices – from vendor information to line items – as well as data validation. AP automation solutions can even match invoices with purchase orders and receipts, giving your AP staff back the time they need for higher value tasks.
  • Mailroom management: Manually managing incoming physical and digital mail is incredibly time-consuming. And the monotonous mail-related tasks don’t end once the mail is distributed. Zapier found 73% of workers waste 1-3 hours each day looking for documents and pieces of information – many of which come in through the mail. With a digital mailroom that leverages artificial intelligence, you can automate the entire mail management process – from receipt through routing.
  • Customer onboarding: Customer onboarding is yet another tedious process that can really be a financial strain on your organization. A poor onboarding process can lead to low customer satisfaction and retention rates. Powered by digital mailroom technology, customer onboarding automation solutions streamline the process, so you can avoid such negative outcomes.

Set Clear Automation Goals

Setting clearly defined goals before diving into AI-powered automation is crucial to achieving a high return on investment.

When setting your goals, take your past performance into account. Review historical data for trends that may indicate issues. Be on the lookout for hidden costs associated with manual processing, such as rework due to errors. It’s also a good idea to survey staff about the challenges they face and the processes they think can and should be improved.

Here are some additional pieces of advice to keep in mind when setting your goals:

  • Be specific: Define precisely what you want to achieve with business process automation tools.
  • Make them measurable: Quantify your goals to track progress and measure success. Some examples include reduce processing time by 30%, cut operational costs by 20%, and boost customer satisfaction scores by 15%.
  • Align with business objectives: Ensure your automation goals are in line with your broader business strategy. Consider how AI automation can support your company’s mission, vision, and long-term objectives.
  • Ensure they’re attainable: While you don’t want to set easy-to-reach goals, you do want to make them reasonable. Make sure you have a clear understanding of the power of AI-driven automation tools to do so.

Establish Performance Monitoring Strategies

Goals mean nothing if you can’t effectively monitor whether or not you’re on track to meet them.

Achieving sustained ROI from automation powered by AI requires ongoing monitoring, measurement, and iteration. Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to track the effectiveness of your automation initiatives. These can include productivity gains, cost savings, and customer satisfaction metrics.

You should also leverage analytics and reporting tools to monitor performance in real-time and identify areas for improvement. Then, use those insights to update your automation workflows and algorithms to drive better outcomes. By embracing a data-driven approach to optimization, you can maximize the ROI of your automation efforts over time.

Invest in Data Quality & Infrastructure

Just like setting goals means nothing if you can’t track your progress, implementing performance monitoring strategies means nothing if the data you’re monitoring isn’t accurate.

The effectiveness of AI-powered automation solutions hinges on the quality and accessibility of your data. By investing in data quality and infrastructure, you can ensure your AI algorithms have access to clean, relevant information. This will enhance the accuracy and reliability of your automation initiatives, ultimately driving higher ROI.

Achieving an effective infrastructure may involve consolidating data from disparate sources, implementing data governance policies, and leveraging advanced analytics tools to derive actionable insights.

Choose the Right Business Process Automation Partner

Selecting the best business process automation solution provider is potentially the most crucial step to achieving a high return on investment, and it’s not an easy one.

According to a recent survey that enterprise resource planning (ERP) data professionals completed, 78% of organizations believe software vendors intentionally make it difficult to access data. We’ve already established that access to quality data is key to achieving a high ROI, which means that identifying the 22% of vendors who make providing it a priority is a must.

When evaluating potential automation partners, inquire about their data management strategies. Request demonstrations, example reports, and references.

Data security measures should also be a main topic of conversation. With the average cost of a data breach in the U.S. at $9.48 million, it’s no secret that poor security can prevent you from reaching your ROI goals.

The same is true for partnering with a vendor who doesn’t understand your goals or have experience automating the processes you’d like to streamline. Make your needs clear to prospects right off the bat and always ask about the processes they’ve helped clients automate through advanced AI tools.

Build a Compelling Business Case

In order to drive ROI, you need to secure buy-in and investment for automation tools. In other words, you need a solid business case that includes:

  • A cost-benefit analysis of the projected advantages over a specific timeframe. Pro tip: Consider providing senior management with best-case, worst-case, and most-likely scenarios.
  • The anticipated return on investment from the automation project.
  • An estimation of how long it will take to recoup the initial investment.
  • A timeline with key milestones, roles and responsibilities, and dependencies.
  • How automation will allow employees to focus on higher value tasks.
  • Security features of the proposed solution.

With these elements, a business case can ensure everyone involved will be working towards the same objectives and critical activities for achieving payback will get the attention required to stay on schedule. It can, ultimately, keep your organization on track to achieve payback.

Get Started Today

Are you ready to achieve a high return on investment with AI-powered automation? MetaSource has over 30 years of experience helping organizations of all kinds do just that.

While we have streamlined a wide variety of business processes, we specialize in invoice processing, customer onboarding, claims processing, and mail management.

Contact us to learn more about how we can help your organization. If you’re not quite ready for a conversation, check out our free business process automation guide to gain more information.

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