The world has evolved into a more digitized environment. Human civilization has transitioned into a phase where there is even more demand and dependence on digital products than ever before. Companies and organizations who learn to recognize the gain in attending to these demands place themselves at the spot of being ahead of the competition and offering better services/products to their prospective customers and consumers.
This brings up the subject of robotic process automation. Robotic process automation began to gain more attention in 2012 when big companies began to see its value and implement it into their operations. This was influenced by the fact that businesses were looking for methods that could help them cut off expenses during the financial crisis of that time and most businesses recognized the need for more digital systems of operations. As a result, RPA became the most valuable option for achieving all that and even more.
Compared to those times, there have been major advancements in the tech world. Robotic process automation has now become one of the many strategies to improve customer experience and customer engagement.
No doubt, automation is an integral part of functional organizations across various industries. The question, however, remains, how can you implement and make the best use of robotic process automation in your business, company, or startup?
This article will provide unique and satisfying answers to the above questions and more.
What is RPA and who can use it?
Robotic process automation is a term used to describe software programs that help companies build, deploy and supervise robots. These robots are designed to follow a series of instructions to perform several tasks without the intervention of a human being. In other words, the robot replicates the way a person engages a set of systems but does it faster. Robotic process automation is used for tasks or responsibilities that are repetitive and do not require much intelligence.
With Robotic process automation, companies have less use for manual labor and can divert human resources to handle more complex tasks and responsibilities. Since the average worker spends 4 hours and 38 minutes performing repetitive tasks weekly, implementing RPA can help companies save time, minimize errors and reduce labor-intensive tasks by at least 80%.
Applying robotic process automation is possible for companies in industries like Banking, Healthcare, and others like Media and Finance. However, the processes must be repetitive enough for automation to be possible.
The fact is, not every process in an organization can be automated. It is important that in an attempt to implement RPA, organizations must be aware of specific conditions that make automating certain processes possible.
For instance, processes should;
- Be precise, stable, well-documented, and consistent with properly defined operational costs.
- Require little or no human intervention with exception rates as low as possible.
- Of high frequency and volume and should have the potential of boosting ROI.
- Be easily quantified and measurable.
Examples of such processes range from inventory management, sales analytics, reporting, product launch, and store planning, to others like invoice processing and supply chain management.
Advantages and Disadvantages?
Like every other form of technology, implementing Robotic process automation in your business comes with its pros and cons. Knowing how RPA can affect your business is one of the very steps to understanding its effectiveness in your business.
Robotic process automation comes with the following advantages.
Unlike humans, robotic process automation can complete more tasks with little or no mistakes all at low costs of implementation. And better, the implementation speed for RPA is faster than the average human. Hence, it becomes possible to get more done with little effort and cost. Organizations that implement RPA usually experience an increase in productivity.
- Flexibility and agility
The presence of RPA leaves room for adaptability. It allows companies and organizations to make changes to business processes. Since most RPA are layered on business processes, making changes to them is easier with fewer consequences and risks.
- Improved management of Human Resources
The presence of RPA implies that fewer people are needed to take on automated processes. As a result, organizations can divert labor into handling more complex and complicated responsibilities. In other words, organizations can shift their employees from low-value tasks to high-value tasks that could boost revenue and support a great customer experience.
The disadvantages of Robotic process automation are;
Implementing RPA in an organization means less need for workers. Although RPA doesn’t always replace workers, it can place enterprises in a place where they see less need for labor. Hence the tendency to hire more workers is lesser since most processes are automated and only need supervision/management.
- Splaying technology
In the process of implementing robotic process automation, organizations can get carried away with including bots that they end up building a collection that is difficult to manage. The result is an increased cost in maintenance, errors, and inefficiencies. It is advisable that organizations have effective management to curtail or prevent such occurrences.
- Increased complexity of enterprise systems and magnification of difficult processes.
Implementing RPA can cause a build-up of diverse layers of complex software especially when it is poorly managed. This could make it difficult for companies to improve, identify and solve errors in their working systems.
It gets worse when organizations fail to properly review, redesign and optimize processes before automation. What this causes is an increase in errors, inefficiencies, costs, and risks.
How does RPA work?
Robotic process automation works by automating bots to follow a set of well-defined instructions in the form of codes. These codes are designed to emulate and replicate the results of each process like they were done by a human but with better precision and speed. However, before Robotic process automation is implemented, the processes and enterprise systems involved must first be properly reviewed, sometimes redesigned, and even optimized to ensure that it is workable. This helps prevent cases of errors, and inefficiency after the installation of RPA.
Your decision to implement RPA should be done after a thorough examination of specific criteria like vendor features, and software features concerning the goals of your business.
Robotic process automation works by triggering responses based on specific events, communicating with other digital systems, and capturing and interpreting data while documenting and providing unique insights into each action it performs.
What are the benefits of RPA?
There are a host of benefits that can be derived in automating your business processes. Here are a few;
- Enhanced productivity
Robotic process automation supports productivity. Since certain tasks can be very tiresome and time-demanding, using manual labor means more time is wasted, and less work is done. With RPA, more work is done in less time with more efficiency.
When implemented properly, RPA improves the capacity of the workforce without reducing the time needed for data processing. This makes it easier for your team or staff to attend to other important tasks while a higher volume of work is done.
- Less cost with more accuracy
One of the major needs of most businesses is to cut as much cost as possible. RPA helps businesses save more time spent on monotonous tasks since most are prone to errors. With the assistance of bots, less time is spent with more accuracy. Also, using RPA reduces the possibility of mistakes by a mile, especially in tasks that involve finances for businesses. With RPA there is zero room for errors.
- Enhanced security
Unlike popular beliefs, RPA improves the security of company databases. Since security is defined by RPA parameters, RPA reduces leakages, especially in systems that deal with direct or personal data. RPA does this by limiting access to such data and reducing human interaction.
- Improved customer experience
One of the many benefits of implementing robotic process automation in your business is that it supports a healthy customer experience. Customers love businesses that allow them to get the best value for their money. So if you are talking about top-notch customer service and experience, RPA is one of the ways to achieve that. Since RPA allows your team to automate mundane tasks, it gives your customer care unit enough time and resources to attend to the needs of your customers. This means that customers have to wait for less time for their complaints and inquiries to be attended to. Using RPA in customer service will not only improve customer experience but will convert first-time customers to returning customers.
- Process development and improvement
RPA allows your team to identify loopholes or gaps in your working processes and fix them before damages are incurred. Through the gathering, interpretation, and processing of data, RPA can show you weak areas that can be improved for optimized results thus increasing efficiency in enterprise systems.
How can automation help boost business scalability?
1. By using RPA for financial processes
Most processes that involve finance are usually time-consuming, very repetitive, and low-value but also important to the smooth running of your business. Automating tasks like this can help you save and reduce the amount of energy in monotonous processes. It will also provide more time for strategic analysis and decision-making. You can choose to automate processes like payment processing, store planning, or invoice processing to save you time and money as well as improve the use of manpower.
2. By using RPA to improve customer service
Using RPA to boost customer service, satisfaction, and service delivery can be done in a myriad of ways. Everything from self-help tools, providing sufficient information, or inputting FAQs in your digital products to Chatbots with automated responses are simple examples of how you can use RPA to handle more responsibilities without manpower.
A common example of scaling customer service with RPA is the use of mobile apps and virtual assistants by banks.
3. By using RPA for sales and lead nurturing
Using RPA for handling sales makes generating revenue easier. It allows you to create space for consumers to make purchases and pay for products without you being directly involved. Especially if your company sells a digital product, you can make online purchases through a self-service system to support contract generation, invoice creation, and delivery along with an onboarding process.
Through this, you can boost sales with less human intervention in a shorter time.
Predictions from Gartner show that at least 90% of huge organizations will adopt RPA on a large scale by 2022 and will triple the volume of their current RPA portfolios by 2024. Hence, finding and using the right RPA systems for your business is not only crucial for its growth and development but places you in a strategic position in the market.
At Tezza business solutions Ltd, we offer simple and strategic advice and solutions that can help you scale your business with robotic process automation. Contact us here and you will be provided access to affordable consultancy services and solutions for the needs of your company.