Not just for the giants – scaling RPA to the midmarket enterprise
Many business technology innovations get their start in large enterprises, and when proven effective, trickle down to smaller organizations. Think EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) and EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) for example. These two technologies were once the exclusive purview of the largest corporations and now have become commonplace among even the smallest start-ups. Yet another acronym, RPA (Robotic Process Automation), is the next business technology to have started large and is now finding a home among midmarket enterprises. How effectively does RPA technology scale to meet the automation needs of midmarket companies?
More bang for the RPA buck
Midmarket enterprises have the same type of high-volume, routine data entry tasks as their mega counterparts, and in fact those tasks typically represent a larger share of the corporate workload. Complicating this is the fact that midmarket organizations have a harder time than large enterprises competing for top talent in the first place, and then are financially less able to retain that talent during fluctuations in business demand.
This reality means that RPA is especially beneficial for midmarket companies, because automation can facilitate growth without additional overhead. Investing in automated processing early on allows you to ramp up and scale back as market demands dictate, without the need to hire or fire.
Cost effective and rapid ROI
Return on investment (ROI) is a critical factor in making any technology decision, and midmarket companies with fewer resources than their larger counterparts must carefully cost-justify each investment. The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), found that RPA can save 35-65 percent of the cost of an onshore employee and 10-30 percent of an offshore employee, and can provide an investment recovery in as few as six to nine months.
Additional studies, surveys and use cases on RPA show ROIs ranging from 30 to 200 percent in the first year alone. With metrics like these, if RPA allows you to eliminate even a single FTE, you’ll begin to generate a return on investment instantly.
No IT burden
Increasingly, midmarket organizations are choosing to outsource more business processes, including deploying cloud ERP solutions like Intacct and working with managed IT system providers instead of maintaining a fully staffed in-house IT department. By removing the burdens of maintaining an ERP application and associated servers, midmarket enterprises are able to invest more resources in their core operations.
RPA is a unique technology, in that it requires little to no IT intervention. With RPA, it’s the business users, not programmers or IT professionals, that drive the design and development of the automation project, and then manage and maintain the automated process. Robotic Process Automation is code-free and non-invasive, so the security and integrity of your current applications is fully maintained – which should certainly please the IT resources you do have.
Employee engagement and improved retention rates
Chances are, your top talent is spending valuable time manually gathering, reviewing and acting on routine information. Not only is this a major waste of their time and talents, the boring and mundane aspects of the work leads to errors and inefficiencies, and leaves your employees dissatisfied and demoralized. This is bad news for midmarket enterprises trying to raise employee engagement and retention rates.
According to a recent Gartner research report, RPA is improving the customer and employee experience by removing drudgery from process work, shortening turnaround times for processing activities and potentially increasing quality by eliminating human error.
Midmarket enterprises can leverage RPA to empower their employees, giving them time to innovate and focus on high-cognitive and service-oriented activities and strategies. Essentially, RPA delivers both the freedom and toolset to be creative, innovative and entrepreneurial – the things we humans do best.
One area where midmarket enterprises often excel is customer service, as they are still small enough to provide that seemingly elusive human touch. Larger companies developed a (perhaps well-deserved) reputation for being impersonal machines with a distinct indifference to creating human connections with their customers.
While customers embrace technologies such as self-service portals and the convenience they provide, there are situations that demand a conversation with a live, compassionate and empowered human. More recently, larger enterprises embraced this fact, which was certainly part of the equation leading them to adopt RPA. When routine tasks are outsourced to an RPA robot, companies of all sizes have more resources to devote to human-centered tasks.
Midmarket enterprises, with their existing culture of service, can continue to enhance their offering by deploying RPA - freeing employees to make customer satisfaction, not data entry, their top priority.
Scaling RPA to the midmarket
Midmarket enterprises are well-positioned to take advantage of the many benefits of RPA, and can achieve the same benefits from an RPA implementation as a company many times the size. With RPA implementation, your midmarket businesses will quickly see productivity increases and streamlined business activities, improved customer service and great scalability opportunities. You will also be able to reduce costs, better address customer needs, and efficiently respond to changing market demands. In a real sense, RPA helps level the playing field, significantly reducing the competition gap between midmarket enterprises and their larger competitors.BTerrell works with midmarket enterprises to implement RPA solutions that fit your business operations, allow you to do more with fewer resources and result in a rapid return on investment. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on LinkedIn to start the conversation.
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