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6 Top Benefits of IDP Automation

Elizabeth Bell, Appian
November 29, 2023

Whether it's invoice processing or compliance management, it's likely that your organization grapples with numerous processes centered around documents. And for many, a relentless increase in document volume without an efficient way to process them has continued to challenge productivity. The manual handling of documents not only consumes time and effort but also introduces errors, which creates more costs. 

Many organizations have found that intelligent document automation provides a solution to their paper-heavy woes. By combining automation and artificial intelligence, these organizations are eliminating manual document processing and transforming their once paper-ridden workflows. 

In this article, we’ll explore the six main benefits of intelligent document automation, and how this technology is solving real-world document challenges across multiple use cases.

1. Greater efficiency and cost savings by dramatically reducing the need for human interaction.

Organizations need a way to “unlock” the information in their paper or PDF documents, making that data actionable in real time. Intelligent document automation does this by converting unstructured data into usable, structured data, using AI and ML capabilities that are enhanced by humans when needed. See how this could work in a few different industries:

  • Public sector. Constrained budgets and revenue shortfalls mean government agencies have to do more with less. Intelligent document automation creates a cost-effective solution through centralized document processing and reduced human intervention.
  • Financial services and banking. New technologies, increasing regulations, global competition, and disruptive new business models are shaping the future business landscape. AI document processing enables financial institutions to streamline their processes, adapt to a changing environment more quickly, and create a competitive advantage.
  • Insurance. Forms from adjusters, customers, vendors, and other sources make manual document processing a nightmare. Intelligent document processing captures data and intelligently processes it into structured, usable information for faster resolutions for all parties.
  • Life sciences. As the challenge to create new and more effective drugs becomes increasingly urgent, automated document processing uses machine learning and AI to facilitate decision-making and help organizations manage a myriad of customer, regulatory, and other forms to track the efficacy of patient studies.
  • Healthcare. Regulatory mandates and a renewed focus on optimal patient care make accurate document processing a high priority. Intelligent document automation helps healthcare organizations deliver the highest quality care while meeting strict regulatory standards.

Find out the five pitfalls to avoid when adopting intelligent document processing in this report from Everest Group.

2. Higher accuracy with lower error rates through an AI/ML system that is continuously learning.

Intelligent document automation classifies documents and extracts data with consistent accuracy, unlike human workers. And AI document processing puts the right task in the hands of the appropriate worker, human or digital. Getting these documents reviewed and organized is important work for the business, but it’s not very enjoyable. AI is a way to refocus people’s time on strategy and decision-making.

3. Increased revenues because you’ve multiplied the speed of invoice processing.

Improving the invoice processing workflow with AI can lead to faster payment cycles and improved accuracy. By automating data extraction and validation and connecting data across different systems, such as accounting softwares, organizations can reduce manual data entry, minimize invoice discrepancies, and get paid faster.

4. Better regulatory compliance due to fewer errors.

Massive amounts of regulation, with severe penalties for non-compliance, complicate business acceleration. But automated document processing can strengthen regulatory compliance. It provides a consistent and auditable process and eases the burden and stress of managing regulatory compliance by reducing manual effort and the potential for human error. 

Want more examples of process automation at work? See how 12 industry leaders are innovating.


5. Higher customer satisfaction through the delivery of faster, more accurate information and improved customer services.

Your processes will move faster with AI document processing, and that means customers get what they need sooner. Leroy Merlin, a large home improvement retailer, found this to be the case with their returns, refunds, and exchanges process. They used process automation to both refund payment transactions with robotic process automation and extract customer information to initiate refunds with AI-powered document processing. Through all this, they increased refund processing efficiency by 55%, bringing their Net Promoter Score up 20% and achieving 90% customer satisfaction in the returns process.

6. Higher employee satisfaction and productivity by freeing workers from rote, repetitive tasks.

With intelligent document automation, customers aren’t at the mercy of slow, manual processes anymore, and neither are your employees. Improving your processes with document automation gives employees a chance to focus their time on higher value tasks. What are those big projects they have on their plates that they struggle to make time for because of all the repetitive tasks they’re trying to get through? Redirect document processing to AI and refocus their talents on more valuable work.   

A final benefit of intelligent document automation.

Here’s a bonus benefit of intelligent document automation: it makes data more available for larger processes. Whether it’s data from lab results, customer onboarding information, or order forms, AI takes these from unstructured formats to usable, structured data that can be incorporated for use in other applications or processes, helping you become a more data-driven organization. 

In summary, apart from any one specific use case, you will see these benefits from implementing intelligent document automation:

  •  Greatly improved processing times. 
  • Efficiency even in the absence of document standardization.
  • Significantly reduced data entry errors. 
  • Scaled workload without scaling your workforce.

See how to go further than just automating document processing with the Process Automation Guide.