One of the first steps to consider before starting to explore any automation solutions is to take a holistic look at your entire organization and workflows. The easiest way to do this is through an initial 6-8 week assessment. This is a critical first step as it will provide the foundation for your automation plans and will help define your approach.
Starting the Process
When we kickoff automation assessments with our clients, it is important that they are part of the process. As we say here at NLP Logix, “Data Science is a Team Sport” and our clients are part of that team as they know their business better than anyone. As we start the engagement we first start mapping out all of the various processes and workflows in the organization and try to identify any areas of low hanging fruit. It’s important to get quick initial wins for stakeholders before tackling more complex areas. These are things like repetitive tasks, simple data entry and basic manual tasks. For example, if you have a team of 50 employees who are spending 20-30% of their time manually clicking on fields within a particular program, you can easily see how much time could be saved from automation as well as other areas where they can focus their efforts.
Another area we look at during the assessment is how much data a client has, which systems are they in, and how accessible is it? If there is a large amount of data available this opens the opportunity for building additional efficiencies through the use of predictive models as well as bringing multiple data sources together into easy to understand dashboards which can be used to make quicker decisions. We recently had a client that was using 4-5 different systems to monitor and make decisions on their large vehicle fleet. By bringing all of that data into a single source, the client was able to make decisions within minutes, which would have taken them hours before. Also, just because you might not be using all the data you have available doesn’t mean it can’t be utilized.
In order to calculate ROI for your automation projects, it is very important to first establish benchmark performance. During the assessment, we want to define various Key Performance Indicators that are relative your business so we can track and measure them after automation has been introduced. For instance, in the staffing and recruiting world, our automation solutions revolve around speed, so we are looking to improve metrics like Time to Submit, which leads to improved Time to Fill rates, which leads to more revenue. We take this approach regardless of industry and are ultimately looking at ways to increase revenue or drive down costs.
At the end of the assessment, we have a good understanding of our client’s environment as well as their goals. One of the deliverables of the assessment is providing our clients with an automation roadmap. The roadmap outlines specific areas for automation, our recommended approach, timeline and costs. In most cases a phased approach is the best bet, as it is important to know where to start so you don’t find yourself over budget and several months behind on your first AI automation project.
Interested in hearing more about Automation?
Our team here at NLP Logix has been working on these types of projects for over 8 years and can execute automation assessments quickly and efficiently. If your organization is interested in exploring AI/ML projects but not sure where to start, feel free to contact us at 904.208.5065