Thoughtful Automation powering forward-thinking employees to new heights

ACM Case Study

The concept of automation is a spectre that continues to haunt the global workforce and Australia is no exception. In fact, AI-driven technology poses a clear and present danger to all kinds of employees, especially in our current economic atmosphere of weak job growth and stagnant wage development.

As Forbes notes, “The nature of all jobs is changing as organisations leverage the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning in the workplace,”

AI and automation can be a scary thought for many - one that has left employees afraid of their job future.

McKinsey Global Institute estimates an astonishing 800 million jobs will be made redundant by automation as early as 2030, employment opportunities feel more transient than ever. It started with menial back-office jobs and has been creeping forward to the point that no job seems to be safe.

Paradoxically, automation also poses workers with a tantalising proposition. Earning the same pay for less effort.

When implemented carefully, this automation can also, ironically result in higher pay.

Laziness vs Productivity

The ultimate job for any employee is one that involves higher pay for lower amounts of work. Unless there are significant performance incentives in place, the truth is, that as employees, we care about the company as much as we have to. Which often isn’t very much.

Back in 2013, there was the story of an infamous programmer who outsourced his day job to a Chinese consulting firm for a mere fraction of his yearly salary. This attempt to rid himself of daily work tasks essentially allowed him to spend nearly all his billable hours surfing the Internet and commenting on pictures of cats on Reddit.

While this solution to employment boredom, was ethically suspect, it was even a little ingenious, and perhaps more than just an enticing fantasy for the modern worker. Technology has come a long way since 2013 and many people aren’t aware that things like this are possible, let alone easier than ever before.

However, automation can be just as problematic for management to install as it is for lower-level employees hoping to hang on to their positions.

Yet suppose there was a way for forward-thinking companies and their employees to split the difference—implementing automation solutions that would make jobs easier and more fulfilling without leaving the door open for business fraud or mass firings? Enter “thoughtful automation,” (a term coined by Gizmodo) which is where automation processes streamline tasks while simultaneously allowing human workers to adapt and grow alongside technology instead of against it.

This is why products like Formstreamer are being increasingly adopted by forward-thinking firms.

Formstreamer’s benefits

An online formbuilder with complementary optimisation features, Formstreamer can drastically reduce some of the more repetitive aspects of administrative jobs and allow workers to assume greater, more interesting responsibilities. Management and administrators alike can utilise Formstreamer’s intelligent software to construct online forms and then gather form data in a centralised location for further integration into workflow systems. This in turn frees up employee time that can be spent on more attractive and engaging tasks such as client interviews, competitive research, sales pitching, market strategising, etc. Gone is the need for fillable PDFs and paper forms requiring manual data entry.

Ethical Automation in Action

Program administrator, Amanda Walker, from Australian Chief Migration (ACM), recently used Formstreamer to resounding success. At the time, the agency was struggling with an open-source competitor product in an effort to digitise application forms and cut back on time spent analysing and synthesising registrant info. When the competitor solution failed to deliver bug-free form automation, Ms. Walker had Formstreamer installed—to staggering results.

Once onboarded, Formstreamer completely digitised ACM’s registration application forms and helped streamline communications between customers and staff. The newly implemented web-and-mobile solution eliminated a large portion of ACM’s day-to-day drudgery and freed up company hours without making anyone’s job obsolete.

“Formstreamer halved the time our customers spend on their applications and quadrupled accuracy,” Walker noted, adding that, “We’ve eliminated $1200 worth of annual software fees and I’ve gained an extra 10 hours per week to spend on higher-level, more meaningful work.”

A promotion in the making

Walker was soon promoted to an operations manager role, but the benefits didn’t stop there. In addition to newfound form-building flexibility and the overall improvements made to the registration process, ACM employees enjoyed a company-wide decrease in tedious menial tasks (including those pertaining to initial screenings and post-assessment follow-ups). This enabled them to refocus their attention toward more impactful work such as candidate profile analysis, client relationship development and face-to-face meetings. With Formstreamer’s help, Walker was able to create a culture of thoughtful automation—a win for both management and administration staff without anyone being made redundant.

Want to see if Formstreamer can make a similar contribution to your business? Learn more here