COVID -19 is a pandemic disease, caused by the deadliest virus - SARS-CoV-2 (Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2).
The disease is termed pandemic, as the nature of the virus is contagious and it spreads rapidly into the masses through respiratory droplets. The world is currently battling a war against the enemy in disguise. The largest forces across the globe, have zeroed down their missiles on the toxic microorganism, which has invaded across the borders to cause mass destruction. Thus it is the time for the world to strengthen their health care sectors with due importance equal to their armed forces.
The world economy graph has crashed to bottom levels, rising panic alarms within organizations and businesses across the globe. There is a sudden shift in the topic from the pandemic to a financial recession. It is too early to estimate and debate on the overall loss caused by the pandemic. But most of the businesses are currently stagnated, experiencing tremendous pressure on their revenue, forcing them to either shut down the complete business or look into measures of cost curtailment such as lay off the employees, stop capital expenditure on procurement, etc. The outburst of the current economic scenario would leave back an unpredictable jolt in the history of the global economy. The impact is predicted to be worse than the viral infection itself.
In an ocean where ships and boats are sailing parallel, a sudden uninformed storm occurs. The ships can resist the impact of the storm on a certain level. On having the support team in the deck, the damage can be patch up, allowing the ship to continue sailing. Whereas the boat is completely damaged and it is on the verge of sinking due to lack of support.
The current global economic state can be correlated with the above example. The large scale businesses may have a fair chance to withstand the present turbulence, based on there working capital position and cash flow management. But there are meagre chances for the SME & individual businesses to survive under such circumstances and the impact is evident. Many restaurants, manufacturing units, consumer & merchandise goods chains, courier services, tourism, and travel agent business, etc. are on the verge of closing down their business due to crunch in the cash flow.
Each technology displays its uniqueness confined to a designated task. RPA works best when deployed in fixed predefined, repetitive tasks. Whereas BPM is a master in resolving complex business processes with the help of IT solutions. Both technologies have the same goals i.e. Optimization of business processes by increasing productivity, with minimal human intervention. RPA is not a replacement for BPM instead it complements BPM. Thus with the help of the hyper-automation process on combining the technologies can accelerate the critical care processes with minimal staff. Below is the list of few domains where automation plays a vital role during pandemics.
To have an efficient system in place all the departments should corporate by giving accurate data, especially the local Health care institutions must support the government by giving them access to their Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and Electronic Health Record (EHR) records with strict guidelines, securing the patient's information. But the major issue the government is facing during a critical situation like COVID-19 is inconsistency in data and loss of patients' medical records due to negligence, shown by many health care organizations. The complete system must be readdressed and planned for future betterment. Thus treating the root level cause for infection is required before treating the shoot. Automation can bring effective working procedures in the health care sector to handle pandemics with preparedness.
E.g. During pandemic, the inflow of patients is high and the working staff available is very less. Thus Bots are deployed in certain areas to speed up the screening and testing process. The results are proven to be outstanding, in less time more patients’ details are digitalized. All the data is secured safely for further treatment references and follow-ups.
Insurance companies are on hotspot due to a sudden increase in workload. Preparedness is very essential to make the process run without any interference. 50% of the work in the insurance field is a repetitive task thus is very important to reduce the workload by introducing the Bots into action. Automation is the only smartest method to disperse the work between Bots and humans. On sharing the tasks, the burden of work is eased out and helps in completing the work on time with minimal manual support.
Before COVID-19, many banks and financial organizations had adopted digitalization methods in their work processes, such as money transfers, bill payments, EMI payments, policy buying, creating new accounts, investment plan updates, etc. But 100% acceptance in technology had not happened. The reason being a reluctance to learn new technology by overruling the traditional methods.
During pandemics like COVID-19, we see a still landscape out of our windows but in reality, lots of money transactions are happening across the globe. With a sudden shoot up the workload, the banking and financial sectors are undergoing tremendous pressure to handle the process with less staff. This is where the automation process plays a vital role in speeding up the tasks by maintaining stability in the workflow. Sharing workload with Bots in most of the repetitive tasks such as answering customer queries, generating passwords, fund flow analysis, sharing details of new policies and benefits, etc. will save time by bringing down confusion levels. Automation helps to keep the workflow in the loop yet, maintaining accuracy in work with a zero percent error rate.
The outbreak of the news about the coronavirus, there is a sudden demand for the supply in the non-clinical health care division for testing kits, medication, gloves, face masks, hand sanitizers, etc. Parallel to this, consumer product areas are on hotspots. Most of the outlets are completely out of stock due to a lack of continuity in supply on time. with this, the outlets may lose the customer and business. Introducing the automation process in inventory levels helps in building proper communication within the departments. By sending notification on stock updates regularly without any interruption in workflow.
At times of pandemics, People use the helpline numbers to seek immediate help. It is very crucial to differentiate between the patients seeking immediate medical help and the people trying to get tested, out of fear despite, not having any symptoms. To avoid the chaos and bring in a systematic process, the callers can be shared with a pandemic related pre-designed questionnaire form, request to fill the details a submit for further evaluations. Thedata evaluation can be initiated with the help of the automation process.
This process helps in tracking the patients' data which can help for further analysis.
Most of the companies are continuing to operate their businesses by adopting a remote workforce setup. Remote workforces can obtain 100% results on implementing the automation process into the businesses.
To bring in continuity in workflow the employees need to get access to the data. Thus with the help of the automation process, new users for the VPN are created to enable the employee's equipment to connect to the central server. This process is conducted securely with controlled measures, by keeping the hacker on the bay. On automating the business processes there is no loss in communication within the teams thus workflow is hassle-free.
Conclusion: Plan the future with automation technology. Let us learn from our past & present experiences and build an effective system. Preparedness is the best way to fight pandemics. Let us all start working towards progression with the help of the automation technologies, to overcome the critical situations like COVID-19 with steadiness. As the government alone cannot bring the changes in the system, it is the responsibility of the citizens to work towards building a better system.