There are many reasons why a business should implement RPA. One of the primary benefits of RPA in business, and a driver of its rapid growth, is the ability to save money and reduce costs. Additional benefits of business process automation and RPA include improved accuracy and increased productivity. Improved compliance and better insight and analytics are also benefits of RPA in business.
RPA can kick start a company’s journey down the path of automation. IDC recently stated that RPA will be a 6 billion dollar a year business by 2024. Gartner recently predicted that,
” By 2025, 50% of enterprises will have devised artificial intelligence (AI) orchestration platforms to operationalize AI, up from fewer than 10% in 2020.”
To date, most of the implementations of RPA have been in larger corporations. However, all businesses including SMBs can benefit from robotic process automation. So far, most companies that have deployed RPA have not gone past automating a few processes. Of the companies and organizations that have gone beyond this, most have created a CoE or Center of Excellence to help with the process of digitally transforming their business. Other companies, especially leading-edge SMB, have worked with outside consultants, outsourcing companies or MSPs to act as a CoE.
Savings are typically dramatic when RPA is focused on repetitive rules-based tasks that humans would have to do. The cost of RPA is typically 1/3 the cost of a human required to do the same job. The biggest benefit however is the ability to redeploy people. Various surveys and studies have found that 30-35% of company’s human resource costs are dedicated to non-productive and repetitive tasks.
If these tasks can be automated with RPA a significant amount of cost savings can be achieved. The redeploying of people within a company can focus personnel on more customer facing roles to provide better and more individualized service and care to customers & clients. Increased worker time and energy dedicated to critical and creative thinking as well as innovation, rather than completing routine, mundane and monotonous tasks is also a big upside.
RPA is all about unlocking human potential and using the right tool, … a bot for repetitive work. The ROI of RPA projects are often measured in FTE that is saved. FTE stands for Full Time Equivalent which is the workload of a person in a fulltime 40 hour a week 52 week a year role. Occasionally WTE or whole-time equivalent is also used.
RPA emulates human actions. A bot is capable of complex tasks and acting like a human and reading or screen scraping, copying, and pasting information, and moving and clicking a mouse, just like a human would. However, a bot never gets tired, never gets bored and never gets distracted like a human can. Therefore, a bot never or rarely makes mistakes.
When there are inaccuracies related to bots it usually comes back to poor input data or needing to tweak the design of an RPA by the human developer. One really glaring example of where accuracy is critical is IT security and IT data breaches. One recent study found that 90% of data breaches occurred due to human error. This is one example of where the stakes are high.
Even the most basic customer service interactions can lead to mistakes being made, a bad customer experience, and potential customer loss as a result. RPA and bots deployments can be done well, be additive to a customer experience, and provide real value. Today’s Millennials and Gen Z young adults prefer self service interaction with a bot versus interacting with humans for basic and routine tasks and interactions.
Increasingly, people expect and even welcome the efficiency that comes with elegant automation. The bottom line however is that humans are not attentive 24/7, and we have limited attention spans. A bot can work around the clock, have limitless attention and not make mistakes. This all results in improved accuracy and customer interactions.
Another of the benefits of RPA in business is increased productivity. If RPA implementations are well thought out, a bot can be working every nanosecond, … something a human cannot do. Bots can navigate screens, point and click, copy and paste and do calculations in seconds.
Bots need to be focused on rules based and repetitive tasks to get the best ROI but there is typically plenty of that type of work to be done in today’s data and document driven companies. If developed smartly, bots can work around the clock. This provides unlimited possibilities for companies to run their businesses with off the chart productivity.
One somewhat underappreciated way that RPA can increase productivity is replacing the need for and acting as a substitute for APIs. There are many disparate business software tools used in today’s companies. Not all of them are easily linked to one another and are coming from different vendors. Connecting software tools with API’s is an option but it can sometimes be a complex and expensive one.
Using RPA can allow these different tools to be used as they were designed. They can be linked together, so to speak, as a human would use the different applications … just at hyper speed and with near zero mistakes. Many companies often find that they have a legacy software application that is difficult to replace yet central to their business processes. These types of legacy software applications make great RPA candidates and can add value to businesses, especially SMB.
If a business needs to know how, document and record for audit or compliance purposes how a particular repetitive task is completed, RPA can be a great tool to leverage. Financial, accounting insurance, medical and legal based businesses are all good examples of companies that have compliance requirements.
An RPA bot can perform predefined sets of instructions and do them the same way every time. An RPA bot will never get distracted and deviate from a required and pre-defined workflow. An RPA bot’s tasks can easily be captured and logged, and therefore, provide an easy to access accurate audit trail. All these characteristics of RPA make a great case for using it in compliance, governance, auditing, and risk management.
Better insight and analytics
Another one of the benefits of business process automation is improved insights and analytics. RPA and bots can be used to collect more and better data and to analyze and report business data. Using a bot to interact with customers, clients, patients, and even workers on the front end can assist in the easy capture of important business data.
A bot never loses or misplaces information and never forgets to report or update data. The automation of data collection and the guarantee that it is getting captured and placed in the applications and programs of a business can do wonders for accurate, prompt, and complete collection of data related to transactions, customer interaction, inventory and more.
RPA can be used to automatically fill data required for the CRM & ERP tools that are already in place. RPA can automatically run dashboards, publish and share them. This reporting capability, the reliable capture of data, and automation of business analytics is often an overlooked opportunity for RPA to help a business. Have a look at Valenta’s RPA solution for Small to mid-size business
The case for RPA
The adoption of RPA is growing fast and will continue to accelerate. The National Association of Software and Services Companies estimates that cost efficiencies to companies for onshore deployments of RPA will net 35-65% cost savings and that offshore ones will net 10-30%. The ability of RPA to be flexibly deployed on top of existing business applications greatly reduces any roadblocks for SMBs to use RPA.
Although a lack of experience with RPA, and not having IT staff familiar with it can be a challenge, this can be alleviated by working with digital transformation consultants, RPA outsourcing service providers and MSPs of RPA. Valenta offers Robotic Process Automation services to mid-sized enterprises and focuses 100% of our time and effort on these types of companies.
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