Production and efficiency are at the core of any business model. The level of output and operational efficiency can mean the difference between profit and loss. Since the first industrial revolution, companies have been working towards higher levels of performance. As new technology and methods emerged over time, businesses have sought to harness those advancements. Not only are businesses under pressure to be flexible and insight-driven, but they must also find effective ways to engage customers and innovation.
With the arrival of the fourth industrial revolution, also known as industry 4.0, high-level advancements are pushing companies more than ever towards being data-driven and automated. Success requires strategic planning, partnerships, and investment but the outcome could be smarter, faster, and simpler business operations. Let’s take a look at some ways to make your company work more intelligently.
The most common way for a company to integrate intelligent processes is through the automation of digital and physical tasks. Typically seen in back-office administrative and financial activities, companies are using robotic process automation technologies. These advanced automation tools, behave like “robots” through the use of coding for inputting and consuming information from various systems.
Some tasks that these tools could help with are transferring data, automatically updating files, “reading” documents to extract information, and reconciling billing systems. These tools are the least expensive and the easiest way to implement “smart” technologies. While these applications are the least intelligent of the industry 4.0 tools, they typically bring a quick and high return on investment.
It is particularly well suited to working across multiple back-end systems and can free up your employees to focus on more valuable tasks. Even NASA has implemented this technology in their accounts payable, IT, and human resources departments!
Another type of higher-level intelligent technology used to increase business efficiency is cognitive insight applications. This technology uses algorithms that can detect patterns and interpret data. It also has the ability to make decisions. Think of it as analytics on steroids. These machine-learning applications can be used to make predictions, identify problems, and provide and process information.
In the manufacturing industry, versions of machine learning can be used in smart factory settings to analyze and digitize the manufacturing process and incorporate mass customization. Intelligent manufacturing combines information from sensors with machine learning and other artificial intelligence abilities to find patterns in production data. It can allow business owners to collect relevant information in real-time, such as an anomaly detection dataset, and apply solutions to keep the intelligent manufacturing system operating smoothly. These insight applications can make the process more reactive by automating responses based on findings and delivering actionable solutions.
In other areas, this technology can predict purchases and sales, detect potential financial fraud, and personalize digital advertising. Intelligent insight applications are typically used to improve performance.
Intelligent applications that engage employees, customers, and other parties are also a part of the key technologies that make up the industry 4.0 revolution. Intelligent engagement technologies can use natural language processing chatbots and intelligent agents. These tools are allowing companies to “work smarter, not harder” by doing some of the work for them.
Help for companies from this technology can be in the form of intelligent agents that answer phones and provide solutions, give recommendations, and custom plan options to customers. One example of this technology can be seen in the use of intelligent interview scheduling software to hire the best candidates. This smart solution can help with the hiring process by serving as a recruiter for the best candidates, sort interviewees, and schedule interviews. Intelligent engagement technology is another way to save time and resources by freeing up employees to focus on other tasks.
In today’s business landscape, growth opportunities, performance management, and increased workflow are all benefits that come with the integration of “smart” technologies. While there will be a learning curve and possible bumps in the road, improving your business value is your top priority will be the ultimate benefit. With the right planning and development, intelligent technology could usher in a new age of productivity, work satisfaction, and prosperity for your business.