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How Your Business Can Benefit From AI Workflow Automation

There’s been a lot of press lately about artificial intelligence, especially generative AI, or the use of AI-powered tools to create words and images. But the true power of AI may lie in the realm of business operations, where AI automation software can streamline processes and analyze data sets with little to no human intervention.

AI workflow automation has dozens of use cases and can be a game-changer in nearly any industry. Here’s what you need to know about using artificial intelligence to digitize and automate processes, and how AI-powered software can empower your team.

What Is AI Workflow Automation?

AI workflow automation refers to the use of AI tools to automate repetitive tasks in a business process. AI-powered tools use algorithms to perform time-consuming tasks that would otherwise need to be performed by a human. AI workflow automation can save you time and money and free your team members up to do other things.

Not all types of workflow automation use the power of AI, however, and it’s entirely possible to automate business processes without it. For example, robotic process automation (RPA) uses bots to perform routine tasks with simple, straightforward outputs, such as data entry and form-filling.

Intelligent process automation (IPA) goes one step further by using capabilities like machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP) to analyze information and make decisions along the way. With NLP, AI tools can make sense of spoken or written words in real-time and make decisions based on the context of a document, rather than just copying and pasting information from one place to another.

Key Benefits of AI Workflow Automation

AI workflow automation has a wide range of applications, from social media marketing to healthcare. Here are just a few of the ways it can benefit your organization.

Increased efficiency

The most obvious benefit of AI workflow automation is its ability to boost efficiency by simplifying complex tasks and streamlining manual processes. Instead of waiting for team members to fill out forms and process documents manually, you can use AI to streamline the process, reducing inefficiencies and removing bottlenecks.

AI workflow automation doesn’t remove the need for human intervention entirely, but it can set your team up for success by eliminating time-consuming tasks and giving them the resources they need for increased productivity and improved decision-making.

Reduced errors

Manual tasks are more likely to result in human error than automated processes, since even simple tasks like data entry can result in typos and copy/paste errors. Workflow automation reduces errors by ensuring that tasks happen in the right order, and that information is shared between databases quickly and accurately.

Enhanced scalability

Even large teams can’t keep up with the workload if your business grows unexpectedly. AI workflow automation is almost endlessly scalable, helping you make sense of large datasets and keeping your team’s workload under control. For example, you can use AI-powered chatbots to scale up your customer support team with automated ticket routing, reducing wait times and increasing customer satisfaction.

AI Workflow Automation Use Cases

AI workflow automation: employee using a tablet

AI-powered workflow automation has a wide range of use cases in different industries. In manufacturing, it can be used for quality control and inventory management. In the HR department, it can be used to standardize and streamline employee processes.

Here are just a few examples of workflow automation in action.

Employee onboarding

The employee onboarding process includes everything from filling out forms for payroll and employee benefits to completing training modules. Using AI automation to pre-fill forms and send out follow-up emails can speed up the process and improve the user experience, enabling new hires to start their job faster.

Other pain points in the onboarding process include account generation and permission setting. You can use workflow automation to generate new user accounts automatically and create passwords that meet your company’s cybersecurity standards.

Workers’ comp claims processing

Workers’ compensation claims management is a process that requires a human touch, but can benefit from AI workflow automation to ensure that injured employees get the support they need as efficiently as possible. From communicating with insurers and medical providers to generating OSHA reports, platforms like Pulpstream facilitate workers’ comp claims processing with the power of automation.

In addition to streamlining the process itself, you can use Pulpstream’s dashboard to view claims by month and type, and run detailed claims analytics.

Leave of absence management

The leave of absence management process involves a series of complex tasks, such as determining an employee’s eligibility and tracking their remaining leave balance. With AI workflow automation, you can generate custom rules to guide the process, reducing the time it takes to approve or deny a request and increasing regulatory compliance.

Plus, when you use a platform like Pulpstream, employees can upload documents and track their own leave balance using a self-service portal.

How to Implement AI Workflow Automation in 5 Steps

Workflow automation more or less runs itself — but you’ll need to make some executive decisions in order to get started. Here’s how to implement AI workflow automation in a way that sets you up for success over the long haul.

1. Assess your existing workflows

First, take stock of your existing workflows and look for bottlenecks and inefficiencies. Processes with repetitive, time-consuming tasks are great candidates for automation, while processes that require human input can still benefit from some AI tools.

Use a workflow diagram or process flow chart to visualize your workflows step-by-step and see which parts of the workflow are best suited to automation.

2. Choose the right automation platform

Choosing an AI-powered automation platform is a big decision, because each one has its own set of tools and capabilities. Low and no-code platforms can be a good choice, because they allow you to customize your workflows without having to code.

Still, you’ll want to make sure that the AI tools you use are a good fit for your business needs and your industry, and have a pricing model that you can afford.

3. Integrate your software

Next, link your automation platform to other tools you’re already using, such as the CRM (customer relationship management) software you use to store customer data. This will allow your AI software to perform tasks across your entire technology ecosystem.

Most automation platforms allow you to connect with other apps using an application programming interface, or API. For example, Pulpstream integrates with Salesforce, ADP, DocuSign, and other major human resources tools and platforms.

4. Add your data

AI-powered tools are only as good as the information you give them. The more data you have to work with, the more you can count on your AI tools to make accurate decisions that take the entire picture of your organization into account.

It’s important to have a data management strategy, especially if you’ll be incorporating multiple data sets that may have redundant or duplicate data. For example, you may want to digitize paper documents and reformat outdated spreadsheets in order to centralize your data assets and break down data silos.

5. Refine your workflows

Finally, track your metrics to make sure your AI workflow automation software is working as planned and is adding value to your business. If something isn’t working, continue to refine your business processes until you get the results you’re looking for.

You can use strategies like business process improvement (BPI) to identify problems and make continuous, incremental changes to your workflows.

Optimize Business Processes with AI Workflow Automation

Group of employees looking at a computer

AI workflow automation uses artificial intelligence (AI), including machine learning and natural language processing, to automate tasks in a workflow. Workflow automation is similar to other types of business process automation, but the addition of AI-powered software provides a whole new set of capabilities. AI workflow automation can save your business time and money and eliminate time-consuming manual tasks.

Pulpstream’s workflow automation platform supports everything from leave of absence management to claims and incident management. Our no-code interface means that anyone on your team can use it — without having to learn how to code — while our custom rules engine gives you granular control over each automated process.

Request a demo today to see how Pulpstream can improve HR workflows!