McKinsey Digital has found that implementing RPA can result in an ROI of between 30 and 200 percent in just the first year! Sounds great. But how can you achieve such a result, and where to start?
For example, your company needs to automate order processing. With the help of RPA, you can configure software robots to get the orders via email in PDF format. Every order contains a list of products that your company has to produce and deliver. The robot then adds the order in the ERP software, sends it into production and sets the date and time for delivery.
With RPA, your team will be able to significantly reduce the cost and time it takes to input invoices into your system. This way, you can save about 60 hours of labor work for one person (or around 720 hours a year). What is also critically important is that robots help to eliminate human errors.
Robots free humans from routine tasks and interact with data the way humans do: they interpret human actions and perform them autonomously. Retail, banks, industrial sectors most often use RPA in finance and accounting for operational tasks, procurement and in customer service.
Software robots can repeat any process if their data is structured and they have a clear repeating algorithm. For example, bots might reconcile data in formalized electronic documents but not in emails with unstructured information. You can set up software robots to simulate routine actions in the workflow.
7 Metrics to Measure when Implementing RPA
There are multiple ways to evaluate the effectiveness of robotization. But at the start, it is essential to know what to pay attention to. Here are several metrics that should change once you implement an RPA solution:
- One of the main benefits of implementing RPA software is saving time. It is not a big surprise considering that a robot can do everything fast and eliminate human errors. Even the most diligent employee won’t copy a hundred questionnaires with 50 fields in each, making no mistake. And robots can do that.
- Robotic process automation reduces operational, data input and processing errors to zero.
- Cost savings. RPA will cost the company 3 to 10 times less than if these tasks were outsourced. Companies often have to hire new employees to control the accuracy of data input and transfer, which, in turn, leads to additional expenses. And RPA process automation helps to avoid this.
- Durability and flexibility. The robots are customizable and can work efficiently at any time and on any schedule, even 24/7.
- Implementation speed. The average time to automate a process using RPA is from several days to a couple of weeks.
- Employee motivation. Implementing RPA frees employees from tedious routine work. It allows teams to focus on more creative tasks, thus increasing employee performance and motivation. You may quickly check this by asking them to complete two questionnaires with respective questions before and after the implementation of RPA software.
- Business flexibility. The pandemic compelled every company to accelerate digital transformation, to become more agile and ready to change further. RPA allows companies to accelerate processes and quickly adapt to ever-changing conditions.
Steps for a Successful RPA Implementation
How to start implementing the software? And how to do it successfully?
First of all, you have to create a clear automation plan that should be based on the following points:
- Ask yourself: What are my business goals? Look at your business strategy, focusing on the goals that you want to achieve with RPA. For example, your business goal is to increase your sales. In this case, your automation strategy should focus on tasks that are consistent with this goal.
- Think about processes that you want to automate. Not all tasks can be automated. But with RPA, you can streamline routine tedious tasks and thus save time for the areas that can’t benefit from automation. Figure out what processes can be streamlined and prioritize them.
- Ask users. Gather client stories to understand what are the current requirements of your customers. It’s valuable for your business to understand your end-users clearly and see ways they benefit from RPA automation.
- Choose an RPA software. Well, here you should ask yourself and your team the following questions:
- Are you looking for an easy-to-use platform for basic automation actions or a platform for broader business needs that can scale with your business growth?
- Will the solution work in the cloud or on an internal server in the organization?
- Will the business manage the implementation, or will the IT department be responsible for programming the solutions?
- How secure is the platform?
- How quickly does the RPA vendor respond if support is needed during the initial phase of the operation?
Cristian Ignat is Founder & CEO at Aggranda
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