Robotic Process Automation is not a magic solution to all business problems, it’s implementation will not always and not everywhere be justified.
Before deciding on implementing RPA it is crucial to fully understand the complexity of the enterprise’s processes. Their number, frequency, repeatability, structure and most of all the number of exceptions expected to emerge while performing the process.
It is precisely the number of exceptions that is key to success. The less of them, the more standardized the processes the better return will the implementation of robotic process automation bring on investment.
Another factor are the main systems operated by the company – if these are legacy systems, massive but often obsolete, whose replacement requires time and sizeable budget, then it is worth investing in RPA.
RPA works perfectly in SSC – Shared Services Center and BPO – Business Process Outsourcing type companies – in places where different systems of different entities need to be integrated, where massive amounts of data are processed, and the processes are well-structured and contain few exceptions; in back-office of banks, HR departments, healthcare, accounting, vindication – anywhere, where repeatable, dull activities pervade.
It is characteristic of the human brain that when unused it bores, loses concentration and this leads to errors, and errors lead to problems with customer service, post-sale service, invoicing and even granting leaves in big institutions. Replacing a human with a software robot results in a drop in the number of errors, improved data processing, increased reaction time and lowered cost of the whole process. It is also a remedy to a lack of workforce.
When considering implementing RPA to our company we need to take into account all the problems and barriers we can encounter while introducing such a solution. These can be security procedures, data sensitivity(for the robot has to receive full access to this data), and the programming possibilities of the systems themselves.
One has to also consider FTE(full-time equivalent). If automation does not liberate a sufficient number of full-time employees, it’s profitability will be questionable. The other issue is the complexity and cost of customizing RPA to our needs.
To sum up, robotic process automation is our future, whether we like it or not, but it is not a magic remedy to all business problems.