Robotic process automation is a paradigmatic case of transformative technology, with a direct impact on bottom lines, due to its productivity boost effects. This makes the growing need for people with requisite skills come as no surprise.
For instance, the 2019 index of the hottest skills in the U.S. freelance job market developed by the freelancing website Upwork, RPA skills were surpassed only by taxation and Hadoop skills.
It thus makes perfect sense to start pondering whether your company is ready for robotic process automation, and what this ‘readiness’ stands for. To begin with, you may have a look at some RPA application areas.
Operational activities in sales, portal queries, data extraction and management, are but a few examples. If you are interested to get a more comprehensive idea of the most common RPA use cases with cross-industry applicability, you are invited to read this article.
“For instance, the 2019 index of the hottest skills in the U.S. freelance job market developed by the freelancing website Upwork, RPA skills were surpassed only by taxation and Hadoop skills. ”
Is your company ready for robotic process automation (RPA)?
Many times, the signs that your company is ready for robotic process automation lie in the problems that you are confronted with.
1. Smooth workflow throughout the year requires difficult changes in the human workforce
Seasonal variation in the necessary amount of work is a rather troublesome issue for companies because it typically causes undesirable fluctuations in the revenue flow. The hospitality industry, for instance, is a good illustration. Peak cycles require too much from your existing workforce, and in order to avoid this, you are forced to hire more employees. This has a domino effect and leads to sub-optimal resource allocation throughout the year.
Increasing the workforce means significant money waste during off-peak times. If, however, you try to avoid this by not performing additional hirings, your low-capacity workforce is likely to be overwhelmed during the peaks, which results in higher employee turnover rates.
The scalability of software robots makes your company more flexible and hence better able to handle the issue since more bots can simply be deployed or reassigned for a given process whenever the context calls for the extra volume of work.
2. Your company is having a hard time delivering services efficiently
A primary indicator of business efficiency across industry sectors is your company’s ability to achieve a satisfactory resolution of clients’ demands in a timely manner. However, manual task performance can result in slower-than-necessary service delivery, increased risk of error, and overburdened personnel by dull, routine tasks.
If this is the case, it may be the right time to consider leveraging disruptive technologies to address incoming claims in more effective ways. At the same time, RPA would free your employees to make better use of their expertise for higher-valued jobs.
3. Manual performance of high volume, repetitive tasks is a serious waste of skill, time, and effort
A primary benefit of automation that can be taken for granted because it is part of its functional definition, is the increased speed and accuracy of task performance. Bots are quasi error free and minimise the high risks of costly human error.
Additionally, spending a lot of time on monotonous tasks like copying and pasting customer data between different banking systems, producing financial statements, activating cards, populating Excel files with raw data, etc., demotivates employees, drastically cuts down their level of job satisfaction and their job engagement.
RPA, on the other hand, is a human-centred way of doing business; it allows your employees the opportunity to better use their skills for higher-value work, leaving them more time to engage with customers and, thereby, to provide better customer service. This automatically ups customer satisfaction and enables a higher standing for your company, which is a top competitive advantage.
There are also ‘positive signs’ that your company is ready for RPA.
4. You have a clear idea as to the problems that you aim to solve in order to improve particular business areas
The rationale for this is rather straightforward: automation is not meant to uncover new problems, it is about concrete ones that you are aware of and plan to solve. After all, you are more likely to enjoy the full benefits of successful robotic process automation implementation by following a certain strategic path, with a business process design that is well suited to your goals.
A definite hierarchy of your company’s needs, objectives, and available resources are among the best practices for turning your automation journey into a successful story. Awareness of both the resources and the obstacles that you must surpass in order to attain your business objectives and use of this acknowledgment for devising coherent long term plans towards specific targets indicate that you are right to consider RPA implementation.
5. You have thoroughly assessed the economic viability of RPA for your company
You know that your company is ready for robotic process automation when the evaluation of both quantifiable measures (e.g., the ROI of labour) and qualitative ones (e.g., the organisational climate) enable you to make a rational, well informed decision regarding the benefit of digital transformation for your company. We wish to recommend staying safe from the recent hype surrounding RPA. Enthusiasm is definitely a valuable asset, but the way towards success is paved with realistic estimations of costs and benefits.
6. Your company culture is well beyond traditionalist thought in terms of silos
Taking into account all available resources, across the departments potentially affected by RPA implementation, e.g., well established collaboration between business and IT teams, is the kind of attitude fit with this new technology. Inter-departmental transparency, or active involvement in building pipelines to bridge the gaps between business processes, are the kind of company culture attributes that ‘call for’ automation.
What to do next?
In the first place, manage your expectations and acknowledge the challenges you will be faced with along the automation journey – this is the prelude for success. Further on, start doing things that foster your company’s readiness for RPA.
Acknowledge your employees’ fears about the loss of jobs due to the new technology, and encourage them to expand their skill sets in order to be better able to cope with digitisation. Implement training programs from the beginning, and involve your RPA provider of choice in the design of effective programs. Also, ask the provider for software support and hardware maintenance along the way.
Whether your company is or isn’t currently ready for RPA, you should be able to count on the high level of expertise of your automation partner to guide you through the digitisation process, all the way from mere consideration, to implementation, to scaling.
Additionally, your partner can use their automation delivery capabilities, their capacity to innovate and design processes, as well as their counseling skills to accelerate and optimise the digital transformation of your business. Since the RPA provider is so important for the unraveling of the RPA journey, we invite you to read here more about the things to be thought of when making a choice.