May 30, 2024 • 3 min read • Market News

 

What companies did with millions in raised capital and years of negative cash burn, many bootstrapped companies are doing today with comparatively miniscule start-up cash. In this blog, I dissect from my own experience and observation the impact intelligent automation (IA) can have on businesses, including ours. 

 

Intelligent automation (oftentimes incorrectly used synonymously with artificial intelligence) is a holistic approach to business automation by combining artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), robotic process automation (RPA), natural language processing (NLP), and other cognitive technologies used to automate complex business systems and operations. 

 

For example, credit card fraud causes annual losses of approximately $28B — a major loss to credit card companies and a nightmare for its affected customers. In 2019, Truist, a leading bank, decided to leverage the latest technologies to rework the entire credit card fraud management process. The project involved having their IA team work in unison with the fraud prevention team. The teams recreated the entire process end-to-end, incorporating language processing, robotic process automation, machine learning, and vision (optical character recognition). The results were incredible. While only 20% of the process was initially automated with machine learning, the IA team was able to now automate 80% of the workflow. The bank generated more than $100M in additional savings by the following year.

 

Intelligent automation (IA) is the cohesive use of the four pillars of automation and deep learning. The chart below depicts the four pillars, as shown in “Intelligent Automation” by Pascal Bornet.

 

 

Intelligent Automation Map

 

How can you implement IA today?

 

Here are a few of our own examples on how IA can be implemented:

 

  1. CRM automation
    1. From email to CRM: Zapier allows “trigger” automations. Repeat emailers are automatically added to our CRM tool (Salesforce). 
  2. Email automation
    1. Follow-ups:
      1. Website visitors who exit during registration are sent a follow-up email within 4 hours. 
      2. Meeting follow-up emails can be sent automatically at a  delayed time after the meeting. (We don’t do this, but it's an idea nonetheless!)
      3. Email prospecting based on the user's specific characteristics. Example: “Hi Stan, I reach out, as I noticed your firm utilizes the Schwab custodial platform….”
  3. Process automation
    1. Yieldwink’s user investment process is being simplified by utilizing:
      1. OCR: optical character recognition (via Python) to match data from investor uploaded forms.
      2. RPA: robotic process automation is used with OCR to cross-check the extracted data for document verification. RPA can also be used for payment processing by tracking payments and reconciling them with investment records.
  4. Language Processing:
    1. Intelligent chatbots: 
      1. An intelligent chatbot can walk an investor through the investment process and answer complex questions. 

 

Tools like chatGPT, Midjourney, Zapier, Make, Python, and others allow for automation in almost every aspect of a business. Content creators can cut hours of production time using a detailed Midjourney or ChatGPT prompt that can help create images in seconds. Speaking of, below I’ve included a Midjourney prompt and the image it created:

 

Prompt/imagine high-quality, realistic photo taken by a professional photographer using a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV camera with a 50mm lens, aperture f/2.8, ISO 400, and a shutter speed of 1/60 sec of aesthetic lifestyle photos of a penthouse in new york city with floor to ceiling glass 360 views of central park. The furniture is modern and white with black and gold accessories.

 

Midjourney created art

 

In Sum

 

The implementation of IA across industries has gained momentum in recent years. With the advent of new technological innovations, it is likely that the manual, tedious parts of certain sectors will be replaced faster than others. Financing and accounting, supply chain, logistics, and other departments will likely be those immediately adopting automation. 

 

In a 2018 Deloitte survey of employees, respondents reported that an average of 42% of their working time was spent on “thinking, research, and admin time.” IA will drastically cut decision-making time, allowing employees to focus on creative tasks and productive collaboration. The implementation of IA may help increase employee morale and engagement. 

 

Like anything, Intelligent automation too has its assumed pros and cons. 

 

A few pros include:

 

  • Improved services: Less human error in healthcare, finance, and support. 80% of US medical bills contain mistakes — creating avoidable healthcare spending of approximately $210B. 
  • Cost savings: Corporations reduce operational costs, leading to potential savings for consumers. 
  • Creativity: Less mundane work can help boost creativity and employee morale.

 

Possible cons:

 

  • Privacy concerns: Increased automation can raise privacy concerns related to data usage.
  • Job displacement: IA can eliminate the need for specific roles in organizations. 
  • Customer experience: A double-edged sword, automation can create a loss of personal touch. 

 

Deloitte Survey

Source: Deloitte, “2024 Gen Z and Millennial Survey”

 

Navigating these pros and cons thoughtfully will be key to maximizing the potential of IA.

 

As demonstrated by Truist's overhaul of their fraud management process, IA can dramatically improve workflows and financial outcomes. For Yieldwink, implementing IA in CRM, email automation, and investment processing simplifies operations and enhances customer interactions. Regardless of your stance on IA, one thing is certain: it will shape the future of business.

 


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Yieldwink is a digital platform linking investors to highly vetted private investments in an effort to lower volatility, provide higher levels of income, and enhance returns.