It would be no news if we were to tell you that RPA has gained traction to become one of the most popular technologies, adopted by businesses, to become more efficient. The fact remains that RPA has already gained the position to become an inseparable part of almost every business.
Now while everyone accepts that RPA cannot be ignored, there has been some talk around when is the right time to invest in automation? Or, when does the investment pay off? This article will list out the answers to all those and help you identify the true potential of RPA adoption.
Let’s first dive into what RPA can be used for?
Simply put, RPA automates simple, repetitive tasks such as generating routine reports, monitoring, handling invoices, scraping documents etc. In principle, any task that does not require complex decision making or constant human intervention, can be automated using RPA tools. Robots are taught to identify certain rules in advance and trained to implement those rules to mitigate human intervention in the repetitive tasks. The most prevalent business areas for RPA intervention have been human resources, logistics and information management, financial management, customer management, sales and marketing, among others.
RPA reduces human error from routine, uninteresting tasks and while it can be argued that all areas of business can adopt RPA, tasks that require deep, analytical thinking and decision making still need human intervention, who can work beyond pre-set rules to navigate through complex & often difficult tasks.
RPA takes a two-pronged approach to benefit businesses. It not just eases work but also liberates employees from the fatigue caused by mundane tasks. Regardless the industry, the benefits of RPA remains unchanged. When manual work is redirected to a robot:
- Processes become more efficient and standardized
- Completion time of the task at hand decreases
- Errors are reduced
- Over a period of time, the process becomes more cost-effective
- Employee productivity increases
- Processes become more measurable and transparent
All these benefits, add to increased employee and customer satisfaction, thereby enhancing the overall business value.
When to Invest in Automation
Understand the potential impact on the business
Before diving into the RPA way of working, do an assessment of how it can impact your business. Will it help your employees get more productive and do more to take the business to the next level? Will it help bring in more creative ideas from the employees? Will it enable your employees to focus more on innovation and the future?
Remember to gauge the current scenario and also analyze what positive impact RPA will make to the business. Consider the areas that will have the maximum impact and even minor RPA-specific change could lead to heightened economies of scope and scale.
Consider the cost
Automation is great but it is also a big investment. While in the long run it would turn out to be a more economically viable option, it still take anywhere between 6-18 months to start reporting the return on investment. Do a check and see if this might be the right time to make an investment into introducing RPA tools into the system.
It is of primary importance that businesses remain cognizant of the initial investment into RPA.
While introducing RPA might seem like an easy solution to some basic jobs at hand, the implementation might be trickier than you think. It is dependent on systems and processes and some processes might need a complete overhaul for RPA implementation.
Not everything needs to change in one go. Scaling automation while working with the right team is also extremely important, so it’s best to identify the right team to take it forward.
Remember, the correct mix for any successful transformation – People, Process and Tools in that order!
Changing customer demands and behavior
In the post pandemic era, businesses will always need to be digitally available. Customers are becoming more tech-savvy and need instant solutions and services. If given a choice, almost all customers will opt for something faster, better, and more efficient. In case your business is finding it hard to keep up, it might be time to automate certain functions to keep up with the changing customer needs.
Systems need upgradation
If your equipment/systems have started to fail and need upgradation, it might just be the right time for you to dive into automation.
Upgrading your systems and ultimately having the ability to do more with fewer resources allows you to save on costs and increase production.
Lack of manpower and/or capacity
In case you are facing staff shortages and are in the process of minimizing losses by reducing your employee capacity, consider opting for automation to continue to optimize your spends.
Taking on innovative approaches with automation, businesses can build capability and scale. Overall, it will keep the costs controlled and boost productivity.
A new product or service
In case you are considering launching a new product or service, you might also want to consider adopting automation processes to support new development lines to ensure quality, end-to-end traceability and mitigate errors.
If you are struggling with quality control issues, it might be time to consider automating some processes, which ensures consistent quality.
The mindset to bring change
While running a business, it might feel intimidating to stop and introduce RPA tools into the business line. However, in order to be future ready and continue to be relevant, businesses will surely need to adapt to newer forms of operations. So instead of having to stop a unit to bring changes, consider migrating to automated processes in a phased manner.
Since the pandemic, automation adoption has almost doubled to keep businesses efficient and also sustain during the turbulent phase.
Investment in automation by small and medium-sized industries continues to prove itself successful, both in terms of productivity and financials. It has excelled in improving operational efficiency, delivering higher quality services, and offering manufacturers a competitive differentiator in the form of business agility.
How can Qentelli help?
If you’re looking to improve productivity, profitability, and compliance with bespoke RPA implementation, speak to the experts at Qentelli today. Our highly skilled advisors will not only help you design an automation process, but also help you get the most out of your investment in automation by identifying the best time to introduce RPA into your business.