SME: P.J. Yates
Date: 08.15.22

The Federal Reserve has reversed its earlier policies to combat inflation by boosting interest rates after two years of record-breaking transaction volume. Home sales took a nose dive in June because of the hikes, but lenders found ways to save money by cutting costs and many resorted to laying off employees. However, history has taught us that eventually markets always come back. The job market is more competitive than ever, and companies are struggling to keep up with the demand.

Companies can use technology to break the cycle of aggressive layoffs during market downturns and hiring sprees during upswings. Automation can help businesses enhance employee output and reduce strain on staff. The business’ seasonal swings can be handled by automating routine activities, allowing for constant operations and headcount while maintaining consistent operations and personnel. Employees are liberated to concentrate on profit-generating activities such as developing strong client connections by eliminating processes like data entry and document chasing.

It’s not as simple as flipping a switch to integrate automation into processes. Leaders must consider several factors that influence whether or not employees will embrace automated technologies while teams use them in their day-to-day operations. The following items should be part of the strategy:

  1. To ensure that Proof is accepted and utilized by employees throughout the organization, we must first change their mindsets.
  2. Building a framework for assessing processes and determining what it will take to guarantee success.
  3. Continuously providing training for automation after implementation is critical in allowing the growth process to continue.

Employee buy-in is essential.

Automation is frequently linked to the fear that robots may “take over” human jobs and make people obsolete. According to research, most organizations that use more automation do not necessarily decrease their staff; instead, workers move up the ladder and take on higher-level responsibilities while also performing value-added functions.

The banking sector is a great example of businesses that have adopted technology to help automate the consumer experience. Tellers and other banking staff are still employed despite the invention and widespread adoption of ATMs and online banking. Teller services, for example, are being reduced as automated teller machines (ATMs) replace them. Furthermore, history has shown that technology adoption creates new employment and demands for existing ones while also increasing labor productivity.

Despite the advantages of automation, workers may be hesitant. It is up to executives to also educate their teams about the benefits of automation and to allay employees’ fears that technology will replace them. It is also critical for management to recognize how employees utilize existing systems in order to assist them to see the advantages. Although many organizations have established protocols for various procedures, workers typically develop their own “micro” processes outside of the system as a way of circumventing a faulty or ineffective system.

Automation can help employees in more ways than one, and managers may establish the case for automation by demonstrating how it can reduce the need for time-consuming workarounds. Not to mention, the time saved from inputting data and using crude methods to get work done is only one example of the many benefits that come with automation. By stressing how technology and automation can help free up employees’ time, leaders can secure a larger book of business while cultivating better customer relationships. Repeating these benefits and being open to questions or concerns are key fundamentals for introducing automation effectively.

Create an automation structure.

Recognize that organizations can’t use automation in every case. The emphasis must be on processes where human involvement is unneeded or insignificant in routine operations. Furthermore, businesses need to keep a record of every part of the process- even the small details employees came up with themselves. It might take some time for you to understand the entire breadth of how workers execute procedures. Yet administrators may study how they interact with the system on a daily basis to see where operations are failing. Managers may then use automation to establish a consistent process by automating processes that break down frequently.

We need to have benchmarks set against the anticipated results for each step. Automation, for example, may reduce data entry errors. At a minimum, lenders should aim to have 10% fewer data entry errors in loan documents than the average of 13% across all their loans. Understanding the goals of each automated trigger helps you assess the new process’s effectiveness. Consistent reporting minimizes the risk of adopting new technology becoming a sunk cost while also allowing businesses to expand their operations beyond the initial implementation.

Continue to champion automation after it’s been implemented.

While benchmarks are a key metric for measuring the success of automation, businesses must also be aware that implementation is only the first step. Automation should always be evolving to keep up with changing markets and new opportunities. Technology is constantly changing and advancing, so integrations between partners will become deeper over time. This allows for more tasks to be automated throughout the loan production process.

As a result, more processes will be developed to automate and more employees will need training. Employees, on the other hand, won’t embrace the new framework overnight. In order for leaders to be effective, they must first master the continuous training process. Over time, this will become familiar and easier. Eventually, it will allow organizations to identify more processes that can be improved through automation with valuable insights from staff.