Intelligent automation is now a critical part of the business transformation agenda. A Deloitte 2020 survey revealed that 70%+ organizations have embarked on intelligent automation. These organizations range from those piloting with less than 10 RPA bots (37%) to those scaling beyond 50 bots (13%). These statistics reveal while RPA adoption is becoming mainstream, scaling is proving to be a challenge.
However, it's clear that software robots or digital workers are augmenting human workforce. Organizations embarking on digitization and automation are achieving significant operational and financial outcomes.
While there are many tools in the digital transformation toolbox, RPA (Robotic Process Automation) is a key one. Here are 7 reasons to start your intelligent process automation and digitization with RPA -
1. Opens up process and continuous improvement discussion
The biggest impact of RPA has been triggering a process improvement discussion. Reviewing the current process and assessing how it could be improved. Baselining the cost and process metrics. And embarking on a phased continuous improvement plan. Especially for complex processes run by large teams spread across geographies.
Use Case: Most large organizations started their RPA journey with Finance - Accounts Payables (AP) automation. Large organizations with finance shared services have a central team managing AP for businesses across the globe. This was a heavily manual work; mainly split into 4 stages. Indexing, Scanning, Matching, Approval & Payment. With a combination of automation tools (low code/RPA and OCR) the majority of these steps can be automated. Key outcomes are Improving Payment on Time, Reducing Invoice Processing Transaction cost and freeing up the AP team to do more analytical work.
2. Kicks off Customer Experience discussion
Automation also kicked off a discussion to put customers at the heart and center of operations. Improving customer experience, both for B2B and B2C enterprises. Many customer facing operations can benefit from automation. Attracting new customers through marketing & sales automation. Upselling through assisted customer service. Retaining customers through a great customer experience.
At senzcraft, we have helped organizations use RPA to automate order processing and delivery. We have also helped customer service teams employ RPA assistants to improve quality of calls and reduce call handling times.
"What's fascinating and quite important is that we see more and more executives considering RPA deployment with the primary objectives being not traditional reduction of costs and increase in operational efficiency but the retention of existing and the attraction of new customers. It's exciting to recognise that we're now operating in an experience economy where in order to drive growth, enterprises are focusing on the customer journey , as opposed to ways to achieve greater cost efficiencies. Numerous times a day RPA is proving that it fits extremely well into this new economic landscape and shift in business priorities and tactics." - Capto
3. Balance Offshoring with RPA and Near Shoring
Generally the only proven way to reduce operational cost was offshoring using labour arbitrage. RPA introduces a new paradigm to this labour arbitrage model. RPA has helped retain more critical customer facing roles on-shore by automating tedious and manual tasks. Allowing the onshore teams to focus more time on customers. Gaining customer intimacy and delivering a better experience. At the same time, reducing cost of operations. Human workers augmented with RPA has reduced operations cost, yet significantly improved customer intimacy.
4. Drive operational Improvements, productivity & cost competitiveness
3 key reasons RPA has gained tremendous adoption in the past few years –
Ability to run operations 24x7, unlock productivity on legacy IT landscape
Automate processing of rule based activities at scale without error
Cost reduction and ability to generate ROI in months (unlike traditional projects that could take years to achieve)
"RPA is the quickest way to have a return on investment when working on automation. We've had a few projects where the investment had returns after one week only, focusing on simple processes that are repeated by the whole team, several times a day. One of our last use cases is saving a team of 30 people an impressive amount of 85 hours per week. This, together with the capacity of RPA to add value over end-to-end processes (especially in instances where human input is also required), completely transforms how businesses are operating and will fundamentally impact the working experience in the coming decade." - Capto
5. Start Small, scale with experience; complement with OCR, AI and ML
RPA allows an organization to start small with specific use cases. And then expand and scale as user confidence and team’s experience with automations increase. It is also a good starting point for combining other digital initiatives & automation technologies (OCR, AI/ML). For example, customer orders could be accepted in a portal while inventory checks across multiple systems could be done by RPA. Finishing with order entry into ERP.
6. RPA Financial models that fit your bucket
RPA vendors are offering multiple models that can fit into your budget. The leading RPA product vendors are offering on-cloud and on-prem RPA solutions that are priced on licenses. For large enterprises, with high transactions and process variations, the license based models are a good option.
Challenger RPA product vendors like Robocorp are offering pay by hours cost models. For mid-size organizations starting their journey, this is a good option. As it eliminates the need for large upfront investment and moves completely to an opex model.
7. We live in times of Covid and the great resignation!
Robotic process automation can help your team cope with staff shortages. Maintaining operational KPIs even during these times. Additionally, with RPA you can scale your operations with demand fluctuations. From Senzcraft experience, we saw a client that had a spike in orders during the holiday season and monthly orders spiked by 50%. Prior to automation, the team would take months preparing to hire additional staff to support the spike. However, with RPA they could scale simply by adding more RPA bots to process the additional volume. And at a fraction of the cost.
In summary, RPA has great benefits and is a great way to start your digitization and automation journey. While there are a lot of advantages to starting your digitization journey with RPA, there are many pitfalls too. Issues with RPA bots can quickly bring disillusionment in automation amongst business teams. This can slow down digitization and automation efforts. You need an experienced team to help you succeed. Senzcraft brings years of experience to automation. Doing the right automation, the right way! Get in touch!