When To Adopt RPA? 9 Situations Business Users Need Automation
We’ve identified 9 opportunities when business users have the most to gain by implementing robotic process automation
When should you adopt Robotic Process Automation?
We’ve touched on what is RPA, why it’s important to digital transformation, and how to implement RPA. Now it’s time to discuss when you need RPA. The truth is, with the ability of robotic process automation services to start you and your business on the path to digital transformation, it can be a huge asset to your organization any time. However, there are specific circumstances during which RPA acts as the missing piece in your business’ puzzle of success. Ready to discover if now is the right time for you to adopt RPA? We’ve unpacked nine different situations that call for RPA implementation. Let’s begin!
You Should Adopt RPA When…
You’re heavily reliant on human employees and/or were affected by COVID-19 labor hinderances
The pandemic changed business forever. The organizations hit hardest by COVID-19 were those most reliant on their human employees to keep business moving. Shutdowns and massive layoffs put them at a huge disadvantage — some were even forced to permanently shutter. Robotic process automation is the only thing that could’ve saved them and given them a chance to survive during the coronavirus pandemic. Fortunately, many organizations had foresight into the situation and saw it as an opportunity to digitize their workforce.
Businesswire reports that, “Nearly 50% of businesses around the world will increase robotic process automation adoption due to COVID-19.” Armed with RPA bots to fill human-sized holes, organizations can fight against pandemic-related staffing problems and come out the victor. As the leading research firm Horses for Sources says “If there’s ever been a time we needed a digital workforce to augment humans, it’s now.”
You have repetitive, rule-based tasks
There is a great deal of tasks within an organization that require no creativity, problem-solving, or really any skill at all. These tasks are often necessary to keep the business going, but aren’t interesting or challenging. Employees are forced to repeat these mind-numbing tasks over and over again ad nauseam. What some leaders don’t realize is that there’s another option to complete these jobs without boring their employees to death: robotic process automation. RPA bots can plow through repetitive, logic-based tasks to free up your human employees for more interesting, important work. Here are just a handful of the essentially-endless amount of tasks RPA bots can complete:
• Grabbing data from multiple applications
• Filling information in multiple places
• Reentering data
• Copying and pasting
• Make calculations
• Open and move files
• Parse emails
• Log into programs
• Connect to APIs
• Extract unstructured data
• Send emails
• Send notifications
• Send chat messages
• Customer credit monitoring
• Create and balance journal entries
• Employee onboarding
• Appointment scheduling
• Invoice processing
You’re concerned about wasted company time
Humans are great, but they like to scroll through Facebook, eat, and gab around the water cooler. That may seem harmless, but you’ll probably think otherwise after reading these three statistics from Hubstaff:
• The average employee wastes about 8 hours every week on personal tasks and mobile devices.
• 60% or less of work time is actually spent productively.
• Work time lost to frequent distractions costs U.S. businesses an estimated $650 billion per year.
Pretty shocking, right? Software bots, on the other hand, could care less about a juicy comments section or an hour-long lunch. In addition to being distraction-free, bots are able to complete tasks much faster than humans, too. What’s more? The more you work your bots, the better and faster they get! In all areas of business and in all industries, there are countless examples of how RPA can save company time.
You can’t get work done around the clock
Small to mid-sized enterprises don’t have the luxury of first, second, and third shifts to get work done. They’re working with a small staff of individuals who work eight hours a day, five days a week; not to mention vacation and sick time off. Adopting robotic process automation can take your productivity from 9am- 5pm Monday-Friday to 24/7/365. That’s right, software bots can work around the clock while you and your employees rest. RPA can also offload your human employees so they can get more done elsewhere.
You’re dealing with an exorbitant amount of human error
One of the main reasons RPA helps companies save money is by the reduction of human error, which accounts for 60%-80% of risks in high-risk industries. As long as the software bots are correctly programmed with the right tasks and are properly managed, they will perform with 100% accuracy 100% of the time. Remember: RPA bots are perfect rule followers. Mistakes only happen when they are not informed when rules of the process change, security clearance to access application is altered, or when they are improperly governed.
Your customer satisfaction rate is below par
Combining the speed and accuracy of RPA results in a much higher customer satisfaction rate because your customers are being served better and faster than ever before. For example, customers have access to support 24/7 with the help of chatbots that can quickly and accurately get to the bottom of the issue. Customers are able to affect real change in an organization via their reviews and feedback with sentiment analysis or opinion mining. And for more sensitive matters, human employees have more time to spend with the customer one-on-one now that the automation has the basic tasks handled.
You experience highs and lows in demand and/or you foresee downsizing or expansion in your future
Scaling is an important aspect for companies of any size. For small organizations looking to grow in the coming years, to large corporations that experience periodic work influxes, robotic process automation can be quickly and easily scaled to accommodate. This also eliminates any concerns with major budget changes and mitigates the stress of doing major layoffs or mass hires. For the organization to implement RPA at a scale, a top-down approach (also called Center of Excellence or CoE) is needed. CoE helps organizations adopt RPA deeply and effectively at scale.
Your employee retention rate is dropping off
Remember the repetitive, rule-based tasks from earlier? We hate to break it to you, but your employees don’t want to be doing them. They’re boring, and often an insult to their intelligence. This type of work leads to major burnout, which in turn increases a company’s employee turnover rate. RPA is a quick way to boost your employee satisfaction because it allows you to assign more purposeful work to your human staffers. They’ll instantly feel more useful and fulfilled at their jobs. This will restore trust between employee and employer, increasing retention rate.
You can’t wait to see a return on your investment
Some companies don’t have years to wait for a return on their investment. To avoid extended periods of time in the red, they need a quick turnaround. McKinsey has found that automating business processes with RPA can result in an ROI of between 30 and 200 percent in the first year. Organizations that possess the following operational qualities have potential for the highest ROI:
• Tasks that can be completed outside of normal working hours
• Process has high volume
• Processes involving several applications
When should you adopt RPA? Now!
So, the secret’s out: RPA is advantageous to businesses in a wide variety of circumstances. Whether you find yourself in all the aforementioned situations or just one, robotic process automation can take you to new heights. So now that we’ve got the what, why, how, and when of RPA, it’s time to find the “who” of who will help you implement it. With the right tech partner, you’ll be able to conceptualize an RPA strategy that will take you all the way from analysis to bot deployment.