How you can gain competitive advantage by automating your business processes using RPA
Rapid technological advances in digitization, artificial intelligence and data analytics have been reshaping the corporate landscape, supercharging performance, and enabling the emergence of new business innovations. In particular, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is gaining increasing popularity for its promise of improving operational efficiency, enhancing employee productivity, and reducing business costs. In short, adoption of RPA increases profit margins.
Organizations that rely on routine, repetitive, rule-based manual work stand to be biggest beneficiary of business process automation. Business leaders are aware of the commercial and financial benefits of RPA. Yet, we continue to see organizations not taking action to transform, persisting with outdated business tasks and legacy practices that can be immediately automated. The most obvious example is the prevalence of manual data entry in spreadsheets, which is a time-consuming monotonous process that can be easily improved both qualitatively and quantitatively through automation.
This article provides useful insights on whether RPA is right for your organization, and will help you make informed decisions on the benefits of getting started on business automation at an enterprise level. It should answer the very practical question of the usefulness of RPA; can it really help transform your business?
What exactly is RPA?
Let us first define RPA. Robotic Process Automation uses computer software or a “robot” to emulate and integrate manual processes and repetitive human interactions within digital system. RPA software applications can be programmed to work just like us − logging into and switching between applications, interpreting information, copying and pasting data, making calculations, and compiling reports. RPA software applications can process large volumes of data, trigger responses, and communicate with other systems at high speeds. In short, RPA enables organizations to effectively automate tasks, streamline processes, and increase productivity.
How difficult is it to implement RPA in my Organization?
RPA does not require system integration as it sits on top of your existing system to perform business processes, using the same interfaces that humans use. Essentially, Robotic Process Automation computer software bots can work in various modes to provide flexibility to better meet specific business needs. In terms of usage, when the entire end-to-end process cannot be fully automated, RPA bots can be programmed to work alongside humans to complete specific functions within a process. RPA bots can also execute tasks and interact with applications independent of human involvement, enabling companies to fully automate routine, repetitive tasks and freeing up resources to focus on higher value tasks.
What Business Functions are best suited for Automation?
All business tasks and processes that are ruled-based, standardized, highly manual, repetitive, and relying heavily on human involvement are ideally suited for automation. Here are some examples of business functions are most ready for RPA transformation:
- Supply Chain Management: procurement and inventory management, demand and supply planning, work order management, and returns processing.
- Finance and Accounting: accounts payable, orders, claims, vendor management, and collections.
- IT services: software deployment, password reset, back-up and restoration, server and app monitoring, routine maintenance, and batch processing
- HR services: data entry, payroll, time and attendance management, benefits administration, compliance, and reporting.
Benefits of RPA: How can it help my Business?
The case for implementing RPA is overwhelming clear. By automating tasks that are mundane and repetitive, you will free up resources which can be directed toward more critical functions. By minimizing the risks of human error, you will create a more efficient organization. By improving communication processes through business intelligence, you will create a competitive edge for your business. Here is a quick overview of the other RPA benefits for your business:
- Reduce manpower and operational expenses
- Eliminate manual duplication of data inputs
- Improve business economics and operational productivity
- Enhance customer engagement and service levels
- Transform organization workflows.
- Increase corporate governance compliance.
The positive impact on operational metrics and improved business efficiencies across all the above areas will deliver strategic economical advantage for your business.
How can I ensure success with RPA implementation in my organization?
Business leaders looking for RPA solutions will first need to plan and strategize on the best approach before proceeding with its implementation. Organizations that have successfully implemented RPA have reported significant improvements in cost efficiencies.
Having a clear vision is a critical first step in your organization’s RPA strategy. Avoid implementing automation solely for the wow factor. Be sure you understand what you intend to achieve with RPA and that you’ve considered the long-term costs involved.
RPA programs need centralized control and governance, including formalized methods and standards to ensure maximum benefits. Senior management buy-in, people, and organizational culture are other crucial elements required for enterprise-wide execution. Throughout the implementation process, communication is key because RPA will change how people do their jobs. Avoid working in silos − implementation efforts must be driven through close collaboration between IT and key business units, guided by a clear vision from the top of your organization’s leadership team.
Next steps: What should Business Leaders do?
For businesses, there are huge opportunities in taking advantage of new technological advances in process automation, digitization and data analytics. Leaders should act now by adopting the right technology to enhance business performance and stay ahead of the competition.
The selection of the right RPA implementation partner can help your organization navigate the path towards a successful transformation journey. Get in touch with us at MindsterDX to learn more about the benefits of RPA in business, and how you can gain competitive advantage needed to get ahead in your industry.