RPA and the mid-market organization – seven ways you stand to gain

 

The business benefits of Robotic Process Automation

Robotics Process Automation (RPA) is a trending technology topic – but not so much, we’ve noticed, in the mid-market organizations. RPA refers to software applications (often called robots or bots) that replicate actions or tasks exactly like a human would – making RPA software an ideal application for automating repetitive, manual tasks. And mid-market organizations have no shortage of repetitive, manual tasks just begging to be automated. In our continuing series covering the applications and benefits of Robotics Process Automation, we highlight seven ways your mid-market organization stands to gain by bringing a few robots in house.

 

RPA brings accuracy

It’s difficult to underestimate the benefits of accuracy, or more importantly, the costs of inaccuracy. Human error costs businesses billions of dollars annually. Remember the simple typo that caused the stock market to plunge 1,000 points and wipe out $1.1 trillion in 2010?

No matter how skilled we are at a task, and how carefully we approach the task, mistakes are inevitable. Whether due to transcription, transposition or downright carelessness, the average benchmark for data entry errors in business ranges from two to five percent. We all know that errors cost money to find, and money to fix.

RPA bots are exceedingly accurate - they simply aren’t susceptible to the myriad of factors that result in human error. Of course, your processes and workflows must be optimized and error free before automation, or a RPA software robot will dutifully replicate any error.

RPA boosts productivity

RPA bots don’t take vacations or sick leave. They aren’t late to work, or moody, or known to take extended coffee breaks. They work tirelessly, around the clock if you choose, with the same level of consistency and accuracy every minute. Software robots are the model of productivity and efficiency.

Productivity gains due to RPA are real, and measurable. A new study from Information Services Group (ISG), a leading global technology research and advisory firm, found that Robotic Process Automation enables businesses to execute processes five to ten times faster, with an average of 37 percent fewer resources.

RPA delivers time and labor savings

Nobody can work as fast as a robot. And no one works as inexpensively – at home or abroad.

According to The National Association of Software and Services Companies, RPA implementation can deliver a labor cost reduction of 35-65 percent, and begin its return on investment in as few as six months.

RPA software is often touted as an alternative to outsourcing data entry tasks – and for good reason. Estimates from experts at Deloitte Consulting, Everest Group and KPMG place the cost savings of RPA over outsourcing at upwards of 70 percent.

While the savings are substantial, it’s important to note here that the goal of RPA is not to automate jobs, but to automate tasks – freeing employees to handle a higher volume of work and focus on higher-value activities.

RPA software is scalable

The scalability of RPA technology is a key and often overlooked benefit. Your robotic workforce can be as large or as small as you need it to be, and new bots can be deployed quickly and at a minimal cost.

During periods of peak business activity, due to seasonal fluctuations or a new product launch for example, RPA software can handle the increased transaction volume, meaning you won’t need to hire and train temporary staff. And when/if business volume diminishes, you can put a few bots on standby.

RPA can be a permanent or a transitory addition to your workforce, enabling you to easily scale up or down in response to changes in business activity.

Bots can improve service levels

Businesses that deploy RPA software to handle routine data entry tasks can refocus their human resources on creative, strategic work and on providing better service to customers.

A clever way to integrate RPA into your business operations is to have the bots work in concert with your staff. For example, you could improve service levels by automating tasks during customer interactions, speeding the time to resolution and minimizing customer frustrations.

RPA is flexible and adaptable

RPA technology can be applied to any software system. Since RPA mimics human actions, it does not involve coding changes to your applications, making it flexible and adaptable to virtually any business. Your ERP, CRM and industry-specific applications are all ideal candidates for Robotic Process Automation. And a bot can work across multiple applications simultaneously, matching your unique business processes and workflows.

RPA promotes agility

Companies that can pivot and quickly adapt to changing markets and varying customer demands are those that enjoy long-term success. By investing in Robotic Process Automation technology, you are establishing an agile foundation – an ability to scale up, scale down, branch out, take on new challenges, grow your capacity, minimize overhead, be lean and efficient and focus your workforce on strategic initiatives.

Agile companies are flexible, adaptable and balanced, and RPA technology promotes, supports and facilitates those qualities.

BTerrell Group helps mid-market organizations design and implement Robotic Process Automation solutions that empower operations and drive profitability. Contact me at brian.terrell@bterrell.com to learn more.

More reading on the subject of RPA:

Robotic Process Automation, More value, less investment

An RPA Q&A, Five things to know about Robotics Process Automation