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It’s the plot of an 80s Sci-Fi film — the robots are coming and they’re coming for you. The virtual take over of robots in business processes, however, need not stoke the flames of job insecurity or send IT departments into panic mode.
In fact, these types of process robots don’t even exist in tangible form. Sorry, no creepy eye contact or awkward attempts at dexterity. These robots, the kind that exist as virtual mimics of human actions in IT systems, can save businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars, shift FTE focus towards innovation and lead to higher employee engagement.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is poised to become the dominant digital transformation trend of 2020. So what qualifies a process for robotics and why are humans and process robots a match made in fiscal heaven?
For starters, robotics is not exclusive to any particular process. From Order to Cash, Procure to Pay and every Sales Cycle in between, RPA can be applied to any process which matches the following criteria.
What qualifies a process for RPA?
The decision to automate a process should not be driven by frustration. The most cumbersome, stress inducing tasks may not necessarily qualify for RPA — both from a technical standpoint (unstructured data) and an investment POV (no need to scale). Decision-makers must let data lead when selecting which processes to automate. Think high repetition, high savings.
The following criteria must exist for a process (or parts of a process) to effectively employ robotic automation.
- Process must take place across a minimum of two systems. The more manual effort involved, the higher likelihood of human error, and thus, higher compatibility with RPA.
- Data must be structured, often existing in a traditional row-column database (as opposed to unstructured data such as text and multimedia content, which is better suited for human interpretation)
- Tasks are highly repetitive and occur in large quantities with high frequency
- Process follows a rule-based systems to make decisions and determine next step outcomes
- The need for scale should be present to deliver higher ROI
Humans + Process Robots = Better Processes
Now that we have a better understanding of RPA, lets quell some of the hype and myths. As a disclaimer, RPA is not a silver bullet solution. Automated processes must still be monitored and require maintenance efforts by humans. Furthermore, not all processes are suited for automation. Targeting the wrong process for RPA will deliver unnoticeable, at times damaging, results.
All things considered, we’ve seen the cost saving and headache reducing impacts of RPA done right. When repetitive tasks are left to the machines, human workers get a promotion and avoid costly mistakes.
Key benefits of RPA include:
- Big cost savings due to reduced case duration (see Minit’s RPA case study)
- With the additional time saved by RPA, employees are able to spend more time on higher level tasks which require empathy and innovation
- Employees feel more valued when work is rewarding, thus leading to lower burnout rates and deeper connection to the company
- Robots don’t get fatigued, humans do. RPA nearly eliminates costly human errors (some may still exist in process design and maintenance)
Minit Success Story with RPA
Our passion for robotics is driven by results. Minit teamed up with a global logistics company to identify cost savings related to RPA implementation. By introducing RPA into a key process, the organization was able to realize €466K of savings over a 5 month period.
Download the RPA case study here to learn more.
This is just the beginning. Imagine what a year of successful RPA implementation can deliver across multiple processes. Get on board with the digital trend of 2020 and take data-driven decisions to save your company hundreds of thousands of hard earned capital. Reach out to our team of process mining experts today to discuss your organization’s future with RPA.
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