In our last post, we described some common business processes and workflows that can be automated to help offset staffing shortages. In this post, we’ll look at some of the ways specific industries use automation to increase efficiency and productivity in the face of challenging labor markets.
Automation has been crucial in augmenting a workforce that has seen hundreds of thousands of doctors, nurses, therapists and technicians leave the profession in the wake of the pandemic. Robotic process automation (RPA) can handle repetitive administrative tasks such as data entry, appointment scheduling and billing. Automated prescription systems and pharmacy bots expedite medication dispensing. Surgical robots assist surgeons in performing complex procedures, reducing the need for additional surgical staff while enhancing precision. Telehealth solutions and AI-powered chatbots enable remote patient monitoring and diagnosis, extending the reach of healthcare professionals to underserved areas.
Manufacturers have long used physical robotics to assemble, package and move products, and they are aggressively expanding their use of automation. Collaborative robots, or cobots, work alongside human workers to perform tasks that require strength or precision. Automated guided vehicles (AGVs) transport materials and products throughout facilities, minimizing the need for manual labor. Machine learning algorithms can optimize production schedules, inventory management, and quality control, ensuring smooth operations even with limited staffing. RPA software is used to automate activities such as purchase order processing, order fulfillment, inventory reporting, ordering supplies and creating invoices.
Retailers are increasingly adopting automated checkout systems such as self-service kiosks and mobile payment options that allow customers to complete transactions without help from staff. Automated inventory management systems monitor stock levels, generate purchase orders and track product movement. Robotic picking and sorting systems and other warehouse automation solutions expedite order fulfillment. Customer service chatbots and virtual assistants provide instant support and personalized recommendations, enhancing the customer experience.
Restaurants now commonly use self-checkout systems that allow customers to scan and pay for their purchases independently, reducing the need for cashiers. Kitchen automation systems help streamline food preparation, ensuring consistency and reducing errors. Reservation systems and table management software optimize seating arrangements and reduce waitlist times. Hotels, motels and resorts now commonly use self-check-in kiosks or mobile apps to expedite the registration process. Chatbots and virtual assistants provide round-the-clock customer support, answering queries and providing recommendations. Automation also enhances backend operations such as inventory management, staff scheduling, booking and billing.
Transportation and Logistics
Automated fleet management systems enhance a variety of operations through vehicle tracking and monitoring, fleet analytics, fuel management, predictive maintenance, and remote diagnostics. Advanced routing and optimization algorithms optimize delivery routes, reducing transportation time and fuel consumption. Warehouse automation systems, including robotic picking and sorting, accelerate order fulfillment and reduce manual labor requirements.
Banks and other financial services organizations now commonly use RPA software to automate back-office workflows for accounts payable, mortgage processing, collections, credit card processing, general ledger updates and account closures. Automated trading systems allow stock brokers and traders to automatically execute trades based on pre-programmed rules and conditions. Automated financial advisors, or “robo-advisors,” provide algorithm-driven investment advice and portfolio management.
Employees are constantly urged to find ways to do more with less, and process automation is a proven way to accomplish that goal. In addition to enhancing efficiency by replacing many repetitive, manual tasks, automation also helps bridge the talent gap. It allows existing staff to do more with less, enabling them to focus on more strategic and rewarding tasks.
With well-developed methodologies and a team of certified professionals, Technologent can assist organizations looking to develop or enhance their automation strategy. Contact us to learn more.
August 18, 2023