4 business challenges you can solve immediately with intelligent automation

Find out how intelligent automation can help you quickly and efficiently solve core business problems.


Improve your business processes and accelerate digital transformation with these IA quick wins.

Intelligent automation (IA) is a collection of agile and smart technologies that augment human work and empower us to make better business decisions. With a combination of robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and low code, workplaces can see up to a 300% increase in productivity within four weeks

The benefits of IA in the workplace include increased process efficiency, improved customer satisfaction, optimised back office operations, reduced costs, reduced risk, more productivity and more innovation. But all of this sounds like pie in the sky until we understand what and where IA can be used. We want to see the rubber hit the road before we make an investment decision, not after. 

Below we have explored the top four use cases and quick wins that can be successfully attained within four weeks with intelligent automation. Almost all businesses with a digital arm are familiar with these challenges and many are turning to IA to solve them quickly and efficiently.

End-to-end document processing 

Document processing is a lingering pain point for businesses. Attempts to solve it in the past have failed, with over half of information workers saying their business applications and systems either do not automate this process or do not communicate with each other. 

With IA, however, in particular, Intelligent Document Processing applications like Appian’s IDP, structured and unstructured documents alike can be processed with high accuracy rates, opening the door for the automation of complex workflows and increased visibility on ‘dark data’. 

Handling customer requests and complaints

Customer complaints are nothing new, but until now they have constituted a laborious and costly (both in time and money) business function. Dealing with other humans is complex, which means lots of intermediary and manual steps before a solution is reached – all of this locks up worker capacity and keeps them from higher-value tasks. 

Intelligent automation can augment the customer service aspect of your business and speed up complaint processing in a number of ways. By reading and understanding incoming emails, complaints can be routed through the appropriate channels, either automating a response or escalating the complaint to a human worker. This screening functionality helps prioritise workloads and ensures larger complaints are dealt with more frequently, helping to satisfy disgruntled customers and improving compliance in industries where complaints have mandated response and resolution times. 

Invoice processing and approval

Anybody who works in a finance department will tell you – invoice processing is a time-consuming and repetitive task. Due to its repetitive nature, it can also be open to human error, which can be costly for both the company and the individual involved. Thankfully, invoice processing – which includes structure data – is something IA can do rather easily. 

Using robotic process automation and machine learning, key data such as money amounts and dates can be extracted from invoices and fed into the back-end system for processing. If no exceptions are found, the invoice can be processed quickly and easily. If an exception is found, it can be escalated to a finance manager who can either reject or accept the invoice. Either way, a lot of time and money is saved. According to research firm Gartner, it costs a UK firm between £4-25 on average to process an invoice. If ten invoices are processed a day, that is a cost of between £280-£1750 a week. RPA, when implemented correctly, can reduce this cost significantly.

Improved onboarding and customer checks

Most, if not all, businesses deal with onboarding in some form, whether that is employee onboarding or client onboarding. In a similar vein, financial services businesses have to do KYC and due diligence checks to verify the identities of prospective new clients. All of these actions are, for the most part, still executed manually, with high rates of error. 

IA can quickly take control of structured processes like onboarding and customer verification. It can schedule, automate and process huge amounts of data, creating new customer and employee records without any human intervention. Data entry errors will also be effectively reduced to zero, saving time and money fixing mistakes and releasing human workers to action on a higher level and more strategic tasks. 

A toolkit for thousands of business problems

These four use cases are barely scratching the surface of what IA is capable of. Unbeknownst to most SMEs, IA is also no longer the plaything of big multinational businesses. With the help of companies like Procensol – Appian’s longest-running partner in the UK – small to medium-sized enterprises can achieve the same results with the same technologies. For more information on our IA methodology and capabilities, take a look at our services page

OUR BRAND NEW WHITEPAPER FOR 2022

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