It is estimated by McKinsey & Co. that automation systems could well and truly, undertake the work of up to 140 million jobs by 2025.
Everest Group reports that Robotic Process Automation is likely to lead to a cost reduction of close to 65% with its potential to register data at the transactional level, thereby enabling decision-making which is swift, precise and predictive. Organizations that stick to a watertight RPA implementation strategy will soon outpace those who still depend on human capital for all their processes.
RPA is gaining tons of traction for its promise of improving business efficiency, making employees more productive, and leading to an overall increase in profit. In spite of the benefits of RPA in enterprises for those who were the pioneers in implementing it, there are still some decision makers on the fence whether or not RPA is worth their time and effort.
Robotic process automation is a step by step undertaking that enables companies to automate routine, repetitive tasks and free their employees to focus on more fundamental ones. Besides this, there are numerous benefits to implementing it.
To separate the wheat and the chaff, we have compiled a comprehensive list of advantages businesses may enjoy as a result of using RPA.
How does RPA help enterprises?
RPA has made leaps and bounds from when it first came into existence. By automating tasks that are mundane and need little or no human involvement, businesses can-
1. Direct their workforce toward more critical functions that require decision making and human intelligence.
2. Save costs by replacing human potential with a machine.
3. Improve productivity as robots get more done in less time.
4. Minimize error.
5. Lead to a more efficient organization, overall.
Here’s a complete list of benefits that deploying RPA in business can bring –
1. Optimize resource use – To achieve high efficiency in business operations, you need to eliminate the risk of errors. This risk is significantly elevated with tedious tasks as humans tend to succumb to boredom and make silly mistakes when carrying out repetitive acts. These tasks are often undertaken with less interest and therefore, suboptimal vigilance. RPA can be used in these cases to replace humans and assign them tasks that are worthy of their time and effort. By optimizing the use of human resources, companies can get significant tasks done with least resistance from employees who were worn out by repetitive ones.
2. Introduce adaptability and flexibility to processes – Robotic Process Automation tends to introduce flexibility to business operations. The capacity of RPA systems to adapt to conditions and situations deems them useful in businesses where parts of a constant process change in particular RPA systems have the inbuilt intelligence to make these tiny changes in their working, thus freeing human resources for more useful work. Studies have shown that when humans are asked to make small changes in daily tasks they are habitual of, they will often forget making the modifications. RPA programs are installed on servers to combat this challenge, making processes flexible and scalable in case the demand shoots or the scope of a process expands.
3. Aim for cost-effectiveness – RPA tools along with workflow tools can prove to be a game-changer for businesses. Both tools don’t compete with each other- as is the popular notion- instead, complete each other. The program awaits a signal from the workflow tool to perform a specific job, and upon receiving the message, the programs perform the task and feed the process back to the workflow tool. In essence, RPA and workflow tools round each other off and complete the circuit needed for cost-effectiveness.
4. Improve communication – Replace document creation tools with RPA, as it is better equipped to carry out your critical communication processes through its intelligence. RPA can make changes in single documents with triggers along with processes and effect these changes throughout other documents, thus releasing the pressure on employees to manually update files and make tiny edits. These processes can ensure the end users, representatives, and on-field workers receive the latest information, every time!
5. Discover automated responses and triggers – Typically, every RPA system has scheduling capabilities and even though it operates way beyond the scope of a scheduler, it assists managers with completely automated and semi-automated scheduling. In the former scenario, it only triggers and responds when a particular event takes place- mostly a human activity such as a click. In the case of unattended automation, the trigger does not need to be a human action but can be anything such as an email or a document. Businesses can identify specific areas in their operations that can be wholly or partly automated with the use of triggers and responses.
6. Implement RPA hassle-free – RPA implementation does not require setting up an API, which saves businesses huge costs and time. Robotic process automation comes with its own set of Graphical User Interfaces – ones that are easier to use and need little technical expertise. RPA systems can perform the same operations humans do such as clicks, keystrokes, pressing buttons, and so on, through the same UI.
7. Eompwer the workforce – When robots get to do the tedious tasks, employees rejoice. Studies have shown that employee satisfaction increases as they perform meaningful and worthy jobs. As employees undertake significant duties, they look forward to appreciation, and that becomes an active driver in their efforts, leading to building an organization with driven people. Another indirect benefit of employee satisfaction is when employees have high morale and boosted spirits, they don’t feel the need to switch jobs. Appreciation and drive for one’s work has been touted as the #1 reason for the satisfaction of employees in multiple reports and studies like this one by the Boston Consulting Group.
8. Insights and Analytics – With robotic hands working on data and analytics, there are lesser risks of data leakages, obsolete information, and incorrect analytics. RPA helps companies see right through their data and get actionable/verified insights with minimal error rate. Robots also help collect data where it wasn’t feasible for humans. Therefore, a wider scope of data collection and analysis leads to fuller and more comprehensive insights. Meanwhile, employees can focus on more sophisticated analytics, leading to better decision making.
9. Error-free operations – With RPA, this benefit comes as a no-brainer. Process automation eliminates costly mistakes – those that lead to false analytics and poor decision making. RPA helps businesses introduce precision in their operations and makes monotonous processes error-free. An obvious benefit of this is when there is no missing or mistaken customer information & service reps face no hassles serving customers in a personalized fashion. However, even a slight disturbance to the customer can ruin their experience with your business – a risk that becomes negligible with RPA.
10. Secure enterprise data – RPA can be integrated with multiple applications to enhance the security of enterprise data. These integrations will ensure that client’s apps are not modified or enhanced by a robot. This system reduces the risk of unauthorized access as business functions use and inherit the already available security infrastructure where authorization concepts are already implemented.
Planning for RPA- the internal and external factors
When business executives consider implementing RPA in their enterprise, they ponder on the internal policies, processes, and people. They look for the operations that, if automated, would benefit the organization. Then, they begin to plan and strategize on how to go about implementing Robotic Process Automation.
In terms of business functions or departments that are ripe with opportunities for process re-engineering, improvement, and automation through RPA, they mainly include supply chain management, sales, finance and accounting, and human resources.
When it comes down to assessing and analyzing the different areas for transformation & discovering insights that are actionable in nature, enterprises or businesses should gather metrics relevant to each process under inspection that covers –
1. Where is the majority of the time spent in completing each process?
2. Which applications cost the most time and effort?
3. Which activities or tasks carried out result in the production of tangible results?
While internal factors play a vital role, along with that, businesses should also conduct external research to partner with the best RPA service providers. Doing this requires a holistic view of one’s needs, and a calculative study of each vendor’s strengths and weaknesses.
The right RPA implementation partner should be in a position to advise you on the scalability of RPA for your business. It helps you if they derive insights from process data to help predict and suggest the next best move for your organization.
Robotic Process Automation is an important asset in any enterprise’s digital transformation journey. Deploying automation on time-intensive, manual, admin level tasks first, enterprises can learn from RPA-enabled processes and replicate the same kind of success elsewhere in the business. Amalgamating RPA with a broader set of technological tools is bound to improve business outcomes across all processes.