Coming up with the most efficient processes for your business is a very important move when it comes to managing a business. Many organizations nowadays are constantly looking for ways to save operational costs in the long run and be able to implement a more streamlined and efficient business process. This is one reason why robotic process automation or RPA has become a go-to solution for various businesses. In fact, almost all of the biggest and world-renowned conglomerates across various industries are implementing RPA.
What is RPA?
Robotic process automation (RPA) is the method of using artificial information (AI) software along with machine learning capabilities to accomplish bulks of routinary functions that are usually performed by humans. These can include calculations, records maintenance, transaction processing, query responses and more. RPA requires software robots that are programmed to mimic human actions to accomplish tasks by logging into applications, inputting data, or calculating. There are 3 primary RPA software categories:
- Probots. Basic bots programmed to follow simple and repeatable rules to process information.
- Chatbots. Used to provide real-time responses to customers’ queries.
- Knowbots. Bots used for searching information from the internet and storing the data collected
Why RPA Alone is Unwise
According to a 2018 survey, 75% of finance executives expected to use RPA in 2019 to 2020. The utilization of RPA is indeed growing, but it still does not make sense to make it the sole process to implement for a business. In fact, a recent study shows that the failure rate of implementing and adopting RPA is at 30 to 50%. So if you are thinking about implementing RPA and joining the thousands of businesses running through automation, you might want to reconsider. Here are some of the reasons why you should not rely solely on RPA.
1. Costly investment
One thing that most business owners disregard before deciding to implement RPA is the large amount of financial investment it will initially need. Considering how costly it can be to purchase the necessary software and applications to implement this new process, there is no guarantee that it will pay off in the end. Before you decide to invest in RPA, you should first conduct an extensive research about the viability of implementing an automated process. Moreover, with new systems in place, you will also need to train your team to familiarize them with the new system (which means spending additional time and resources), or might even have to let go of some people (which will also mean setting aside funds for severance pays and the like). It’s not the same as dealing with an outsourcing provider wherein your investment is flexible and can be made over time. When it comes to preparing for your RPA setup, all investments are upfront, meaning you will need to come up with a large amount of money to proceed with RPA.
2. Inaccurate outputs
Another disadvantage of relying only on RPA is that quality can be sacrificed. Without human intervention, the output derived from your new automated process could be riddled with errors. Most businesses that use RPA for their processes include human resources, accounting financial operations, supply chain management and more. Automating such processes can be helpful as you can utilize your available manpower to handle core functions, but to make sure that the processed data is accurate, you should still have a quality team to conduct audits.
3. Not applicable for all processes
RPA is a complex process and can only handle a limited number of business functions. Given that fact, it would not be a wise decision to completely replace your current process and manpower, be it in-house staffing or outsourcing, with RPA. If you ever decide to include RPA in your business functions, you might want to consider using it on repeatable processes only, as this is where RPA can usually be helpful. But keep in mind that you still have to assign a person or a small team to check the quality of the data processed by your automated process. You can’t expect your RPA to accomplish these all without any human intervention. Thus, if RPA is not used for the right processes in your organization, this can cause redundancies, which can be an unwise business move, as it will eat up more of your resources.
4. Will require regular updates and maintenance
If implemented alone, RPA will not survive on its own. Considering how much contextualization and customization it will require to start it up, it will also need constant maintenance to make sure that it adapts to your organization’s needs. To do this, you will need to have a team of RPA specialists who can efficiently manage the use and updates your bots will need to keep up with your ever-changing needs. For companies that already have a team of IT specialists, handling and incorporating RPA into the business can be easy. Those without it might have a hard time making this new process work efficiently for them.
5. Requires huge process change
Transitioning from a solely manpower-reliant to an RPA-reliant business operation is going to be tricky. It is a huge challenge for any organization as it will entail lots of changes in the current processes that your team may already have gotten used to. Just like any changes implemented in any business, employees will more likely feel resistant to these changes and cause some difficulties for everyone involved. This can then affect your team’s productivity and even cause delays in your production. So if you want to implement RPA, you will have to be ready for all of the changes that will come up.
6. Less flexibility
If you decide to use RPA for your business, there’s no option for any immediate changes, in case you decide to scale up or down your operations. Dealing with RPA can be a very sticky situation, since once you decide to implement it, you will have to settle for it and try to make the most of it, considering the amount of time and money you have invested on it initially. At the same time, if your RPA provider decides to change their terms or pricing, you won’t be able to easily switch to a different company, unlike when you are dealing with an outsourcing company wherein you can easily switch from one provider to another anytime you need or want to.
Make the Most of RPA with Outsourcing
Considering how much effort will be needed in implementing RPA, the benefits of using it are still enticing various organizations to use it. But how can you make sure that it will be a success if you decide to implement RPA for your company? For this, you will need to pair up your RPA approach with outsourcing. If you think RPA will work wonders for your business and help you save operational costs in the long run, then working with an outsourcing company to help you optimize your RPA will be a good addition to your process change.
By implementing RPA and working with an outsourcing partner, you can make sure that all of your business functions are accomplished according to your expectations. You can rely on your automated processes in accomplishing your repeatable tasks, while your outsourcing partner can help you make sure that your RPA is well-maintained and works well all the time. If you want to learn more about how outsourcing can help you make the most of your RPA process, talk to us here at Assivo and will provide you with all the details you will need to get started with making RPA and outsourcing work for your business.