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The Cost of Human Error and a Solution

Updated: Jun 26, 2020

Mistakes are inevitable. Sometimes, a mistake can pay off; a wrong turn becomes a shortcut. Games have been won, and things have been discovered on account of a blunder. Human error is a part of us and it cannot be eradicated completely. Mistakes happen, we are only human. If you are lucky, perhaps a mistake has no consequences, perhaps it pays off.

But what if you are not lucky? Whilst in some aspects of life human error is inescapable, our fast-moving society is leaving less and less room for human error in our work. Small mistakes can grow to have significant effects. When dealing with large spreadsheets and growing databases, minor mistakes can be lost in an array of information. Repetitive tasks that require human input are instrumental in inciting error on larger proportions. Such monotonous tasks result in a loss of concentration, and indeed, loss of interest. It is on occasions like this that consistency wanes, and preventable mistakes occur. A missed apostrophe can change the meaning of a sentence and impact a company’s message and brand image overnight. A misplaced decimal point could change the value of a product and potentially cost a company millions. The smallest of human errors may seem insignificant but have the capability of causing a chain reaction of events.

In 2018, Conviviality, owner of Bargain Booze and Wine Rack, lost millions in a few weeks. This began with an error in a spreadsheet causing a significant hole in the balance sheet. Only recently at the end of 2019 was a similar issue reported at Ted Baker on account of a balance sheet error leaving a £58 million hole in their finances. Here, a small mistake caused by human error grew to become one of great significance, affecting both the company’s finances and reputation.

The case is not always as extreme as seen here. If spotted, human error can be rectified. There is no doubt, however, that the presence of human error costs time and money. In the competitive market that we live in today, there is little time for backtracking. An automated process significantly reduces the time spent on checking for, or fixing, avoidable human mistakes. Customers, too, expect seamless service and there is an increasing demand for results that are accurate, reliable and fast. Automation has the ability to eradicate human error and provide smart decisions. With Intelligent Automation in place, confidence can be had that information is correct first time, every time. Performance is consistent, and we can spend time where it counts; on those tasks that require human judgement.

Competition is only going to heat up, customer expectations are only going to increase, and we are only going to be faced with larger and larger amounts of data. In this environment there is no room for error, therefore an intelligent solution is required.

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#automation #digitaltransformation #futureofwork #smartflow

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