Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is beginning to thrive. It is the subject of investment for over 80% of Global 2000 companies. In case you’re not familiar with RPA it is where manual processes are automated to the nth degree. This brings considerable productivity benefits.
Few seem to doubt that over the coming ten years, more and more industries will be using RPA to some degree and that is despite the numerous RPA challenges that need to be overcome.
Scaling and Implementing RPA
A big challenge for the industry is to scale the RPA solution so as much of the business is automated as possible. After initial use case piloting the next step is to extend the RPA as much as possible. Many companies have failed in this regard simply due to not using the right vendor to implement the solution.
Generally, when scaling and implementing an RPA consider the following:
1. Chose the right RPA for your business
RPA’s breakdown to either runners or repeaters. Runners handle the more day-to-day repetitive tasks and work between applications to achieve an outcome. Repeaters take on more complex tasks that take a long time to complete. Closing out books at the end of a quarter is a good example of an RPA runner.
2. Integrators to plug IT gaps
Often, teams have to copy data from one system to another to complete a process. This time-consuming work can be carried out by an RPA. Due to the fact it is almost impossible for an RPA to make a mistake and can operate 24/7, this is the perfect job for an RPA to complete.
3. Implement RPA one department at a time
It is accepted practice to implement RPA one department at a time. The one that is chosen works to fixed business rules and requires a lot of manual processes. The advantage here is that as the chances are most of this will be back-office processes, and it will not be too intrusive and easier for staff to cope with change and implement new ways of working.
4. Prioritise implementation on economic viability
Another factor to look at when implementing RPA is the economic viability of deploying RPA in a chosen department. What does the investment vs. return look like? Is there a specific business case for the deployment? This question should be addressed at the management level bringing in relevant stakeholders.
5. Utilise IT departments from the start
Given the amount of back-office processes, it would be a mistake not to include IT departments in the implantation of RPA at the beginning of the project. The chances are issues and problems will raise their ugly head so it is always good to have your departments ready to find workaround and solutions to help implementation.
It is often an idea to use IT personnel in the vendor selection process as their knowledge can help choose the right solution for the business.
If you can find the right RPA solution you can streamline your business making it more productive than what was imagined just twelve months ago. Imagine what you can do with an almost error-free productive environment.