You stare at your product backlog for the first time this new year. The list of initiatives has grown from last year, despite your team’s incredible accomplishments. You have deployed a number of new customer-facing features and executed some great campaigns… so why is the backlog still growing?
On closer inspection, you realize there are a number of items that have been on the list for the entire year, plus many new items you’re not even familiar with. By categorizing the backlog request, you see that outstanding items are mostly automation items that impact the effectiveness of your fellow associates. These automation requests have been subordinated all year because you needed to hit your customer sales goals. But have you compromised your customer service or your operational efficiency in the process?
Automation never appears to be as important as the shiny new product feature, but it has a dramatic impact on your customer service, customer satisfaction, and employee engagement. Automations simplify tedious, manual, slow, or error-prone steps in operational activities. Often, though, they require coveted designer, analyst, and application development time to streamline the process and make the necessary changes.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is helping to solve the backlog dilemma. These tools are low code options that allow for rapid automation of many common manual tasks and require less development support. You can automate a process if you have access to the data and can describe the process using simple Boolean logic or a workflow
Banks are full of manual processes that have a low tolerance for errors, including remittance, compliance, loan processing, underwriting, treasury, and image services. Automation may prevent or delay large-scale infrastructure investments by alleviating the immediate issues. Automation is also the first step toward more advanced optimizations with artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities.
If an RPA license is out of reach for your bank, consider contracting with a Python developer to automate some of your most common tasks. Python is great if you need to:
- Search for text across multiple files
- Create, update, move, and rename files and folders
- Search the Web and download online content
- Update and format data in Excel spreadsheets of any size
- Split, merge, watermark, and encrypt PDFs
- Send reminder emails and text notifications
- Fill out online forms
It is not surprising that automation tools are the fastest growing software segment last year. Large banks are leveraging these tools to improve their efficiency ratings by almost one percent per year. Regional and community banks need to invest in automation to stay competitive with the FinTechs and neobanks.
Digital Banking Transformation can help banks target automation opportunities, identify the best tools, and develop and operationalize the automations. These automation improvements will save money, reduce manual errors, improve speed, and enhance customer service, which in turn improves employee engagement by freeing associates to learn new skills.