Boosting Efficiency with Human Supervision and Automation

Boosting Efficiency with Human Supervision and Automation

Automation has transformed our lives in multiple ways. From mass production to handling repetitive tasks, automation offers practical solutions for various business challenges. However, there lies a paradox: while automation excels at routine tasks, it often falters when faced with complex or unique situations that demand human judgment and intuition. The absence of human supervision and insight can cause hindrances in the path of operational efficiency. In our current industrial landscape, automation is undeniably a powerful ally. Yet, it cannot stand alone. By infusing automation with human insight/wisdom, we achieve efficient results while still maintaining the compassionate essence of problem-solving.

The Importance of Human Supervision

Although humans cannot mass-produce certain product types or perform repetitive tasks rapidly, they excel at sensing and recognizing unfavorable outcomes. They can also identify discrepancies in rhythms and patterns, and their creativity allows them to generate effective, out-of-the-box solutions for unique and challenging situations.

Here is why the human presence is essential to supervise any kind of process:

  • Complex Decision-Making: Humans possess intuition, empathy, and the ability to consider various factors when making decisions. These qualities are essential for handling complex scenarios that require judgment beyond what automated systems can provide.
  • Adaptability: Human adaptability allows us to respond to unexpected situations, learn from mistakes, and adjust our approach according to the situation. Automated processes lack this flexibility and are likely to fail when faced with unique challenges. If humans start to regularly monitor automated processes, the likelihood of identifying a faulty step or an ineffective approach early on increases significantly.
  • Creativity and Innovation: Human creativity drives innovation. We invent new solutions, think outside the box, and create situation-specific approaches. Automation, on the other hand, can streamline repetitive tasks, but it cannot generate truly original ideas. However, it is important to remember that human ideas can be perfectly executed with the help of automation, and that too within a short period.
  • Emotional Intelligence: Humans can recognize and understand emotion. Simultaneously, we can build relationships and provide emotional support in times of need. The field of customer experience/service is a great example to justify the presence of human-supervised automation. Support agents are capable of empathy and understanding. While automation is useful for self-help tasks when customers are unable to figure something out, directly talking with an agent helps customers understand and grasp solutions more effectively.
  • Ethical Considerations: Often an overlooked aspect – Humans can identify and weigh ethical dilemmas, anticipate outcomes and twists, and make morally informed choices. Ensuring ethical behavior in processes requires human judgment.
  • Personalization: While automation can repeatedly perform the same task, it cannot customize specific aspects of the task to meet personalization goals. Humans, on the other hand, not only comprehend the importance of personalization but can also address personalization requests of varying complexity. Sectors such as customer service, healthcare, design, and education benefit significantly from human-supervised automation, leading to remarkable long-term outcomes.
  • Trust and Transparency: While AI and automation are highly capable of accomplishing complex tasks, it’s essential to recognize that customers are ultimately humans and require human assurance. Moreover, ensuring transparency in a process necessitates actionable measures, a capability that only humans possess.

Challenges and Solutions in Implementing Human-Supervised Automation

Implementing human-supervised automation may come with certain challenges, but organizations can overcome them with the following solutions:

  • Resistance to Change: Employees may resist the adoption of automation due to fear of job loss or unfamiliarity with new technologies. Organizations can address this by providing proper training and communication to help employees understand the benefits of human-supervised automation.
  • Integration Complexity: Integrating human insight into existing automated systems can be complex. Companies can make things easier by slowly bringing in automation that focuses on people, or using solutions like Experts on Demand, which bring in experts solely dedicated to knowledge share or working through complex challenges without the long-term payroll commitment. This way, they can smoothly blend it with their current processes.
  • Data quality and availability: Human-supervised automation ensures accurate and reliable data production. But for that to happen, brands must invest in advanced data management systems and effective data privacy initiatives to make sure quality data is available for automated decision-making.

By addressing these challenges with appropriate solutions, organizations can successfully implement human-supervised automation and reap its benefits.

Human-Supervised Automation Will Benefit Many Sectors

Automation conducted under human guidance has many benefits to its credit. Let’s look at some scenarios where human-supervised automation will ensure efficiency and resolve various process issues effectively.

  1. Supply Chain Management: Human-supervised automation is essential in supply chain management for several reasons. Automation can do many things but not identifying areas of improvement. For instance, if a shipment is missing a specific box or package despite the machine claiming dispatch, human supervision, and awareness can swiftly identify the issue and devise solutions to overcome complex business challenges.
  2. Customer Service: A human-influenced automation can help to create authentic and empathetic customer experiences. Human interaction has always been an indispensable part of successful customer service. It allows customers to feel heard, understood, and valued. Since chatbots are unable to provide such a kind of experience, initial interactions have been frustrating for many customers across the world. During prolonged and complex situations, customers yearn to speak to a human agent.
  3. Goods Packaging: Human supervision is required while automating tasks in the packaging industry. Picture a line of packaged products moving swiftly toward their final destination. Human supervisors stand watch, eagle-eyed and attentive. They ensure that each item meets quality standards. If a package is misaligned, a label is smudged, or a seal is imperfect, they intervene. Their discerning eyes catch what automated systems might overlook. By maintaining product excellence, they safeguard the brand’s reputation and meet new efficiency standards.

All of these scenarios thrive with automation but can only truly provide CX excellence with human-supervised automation.

Humans Guiding Efficiency

Efficiency is not merely an outcome; it is an ongoing practice that must be executed at every stage of a process. While automation excels at replicating tasks, it falls short in various aspects — such as identifying finishing issues, upholding quality standards, and adapting to unique situations. Human-supervised automation and insight not only address these gaps but also elevate the process, rendering it more efficient.

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