How enterprise intelligent document processing connects business goals to the manufacturing floor

Jun 03, 2022 by Automation Hero

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is underway. Here’s how it can unify production and business processes

The transformation underway in the industrial sector is unlike any we’ve ever seen before. The Third Industrial Revolution introduced the digitization of information, automated machinery, and other technological innovations. The Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) is about connecting all this new technology for levels of seamless collaboration we can’t yet fully imagine.

So far, the new industrial revolution has unfolded in two separate but parallel tracks. On one hand, manufacturing floors are incorporating more automated machinery on their floors. This comes in the form of fully autonomous equipment that enables lights-out, or unmanned, manufacturing, as well as collaborative robots that improve productivity. All of them generate incredible amounts of performance data, such as units per hour or cycle times, that create transparency, set benchmarks, and reveal potential areas for improvement.

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On the other hand, artificial intelligence-powered intelligent document processing technology is transforming the business side of manufacturing. AI eliminates or streamlines manual document-related tasks such as data capture, entry, and classification so employees are free to focus on higher-level work. The automation of document processing also allows organizations to quickly scale up operations without creating labor issues.

In Industry 4.0, AI is bringing these two parallel tracks together in an emerging field called enterprise intelligent automation. Some intelligent document processing platforms on the market are already capable of this type of automation

What is enterprise intelligent automation?

Enterprise intelligent automation is what Industry 4.0 is all about. It’s the process of systematically replacing manual processes with automation, creating greater connectivity between every process, system, and person in an organization. This connection streamlines processes even more to improve every KPI.

Traditional automation improves productivity and efficiency by eliminating bottlenecks, errors, and other delays of manual processes. Enterprise intelligent automation takes this even further by bringing disparate automated processes together for seamless workflows across departments and business units — even between sellers and customers. Removing human error from workflows also improves accuracy, compliance, and even security from data leaks. All these benefits combine to improve job satisfaction. When workers are free to focus on the work only humans can do, their jobs are much more engaging.

How intelligent document processing connects business units with the production floor

Automation has already improved productivity on the factory floor and in corporate offices. When enterprise intelligent automation unites the two through AI and automation, productivity increases exponentially. This cohesion even enables new benefits, like these:

Real-time productivity monitoring

When a manufacturing company can measure productivity on both the production floor and their offices, they can get a clear picture of their overall efficiency. At the granular level, this information can even reveal where bottlenecks occur between the factory and office side of the business. A long lag time between a company receiving an order and the factory gearing up for production could indicate issues with communication processes and lead to their refinement.

Supply chain optimization

One of the biggest causes of delay in manufacturing is the time gap between the factory running out of a material and the accounting department approving an order. With intelligent document processing, AI can seamlessly connect inventory management programs with accounting programs so funds for product reorders are automatically earmarked as soon as a material starts to run low.

More accurate revenue and cash flow forecasts

Seamless connections between accounting and other departments dramatically improve budget visibility. Stakeholders can see projected sales revenue in real time and compare it to purchase commitments from other departments, reducing miscommunication about budget needs and cashflow. What’s more, this type of cohesion streamlines accounting operations, improving both efficiency and profitability.

In the same way the Third Industrial Revolution was about easing the burden of manual processes in work, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is about easing the burden of managing different automation systems. Every company is undergoing a digital transformation at some point, but it can be easy to get distracted by flashy capabilities offered by different solutions. Find a tool that helps you focus on the ultimate goal of enterprise intelligent automation: guiding your decisions for lasting organizational impact.

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Learn how we helped Markerstudy reduce its claims processing time by 40%. Additionally, learn how we reduced total claim processing time by 80% for another multinational insurance partner — cutting down manual tasks from 10 minutes to just two minutes per claim.