Automation, particularly when you can use software robots to emulate repetitive human actions like robotic process automation (RPA) software does, can make a big impact on the overall efficiency of your organization in different ways. Some of the effects include:
Faster Processing—Compared to humans, RPA can complete several times as many processes so you can handle more transactions more quickly.
24/7 Operating—RPA software robots don’t need to sleep and don’t get tired. They process around the clock, keeping certain business tasks and operations running at all hours. If something needs human attention, they also have the ability to set tasks aside until morning.
Analytics Collection—RPA collects data on everything it does, filing it into reports that you can analyze and to identify issues in your processes you might not have noticed. This will help check for common process ailments like bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and slow areas.
Improved Accuracy—Using RPA software helps to remove the vast majority of human error from processes as it’s designed to follow specific rules.
One of the most obvious benefits of process automation is the boost in productivity that comes with handing off repetitive tasks to robots who can work longer and faster than a human.
Additionally, automation solves some of the wasted time presented by the “productivity paradox,” where more technology slows processes down as people spend time navigating, switching between, and training on new apps. This poorly integrated technology is solved by RPA.
The amount of boosted production depends on what type of RPA robots are being deployed. There are two different types that have different working relationships with their human counterparts:
Attended Bots—These bots work in collaboration with humans in order to complete transactions. A human might focus on customer-centric tasks while the bot handles data, calculations, reporting, and notifications. Because of the human element of attended RPA, the process is slower.
Unattended Bots—In this case, processes are automated and executed without human assistance required. The bots are free to operate 24/7 which means production is ramped up.
Which type of bot you choose depends on the tasks you’re automating and the nature of your business. Some processes simply require human interaction to make decisions, but some don’t.
Overall, automation helps solve many problems within a process that streamlines it, meaning more production and less wasted time.
3. Cost Savings
Automation saves money in different ways within your business.
First, it takes away repetitive, “boring” tasks from workers so they can focus their time on more important tasks and ones which require creative and critical thinking.
This saves money by removing a lot of wasted time for your employees who can now tackle harder issues within your organization.
It’ll help you reduce the parts of your paid wages that go toward these types of tasks and, in some cases, completely replace them. This means you can also re-invest those wages into different jobs that will make a larger impact on business.
If a business is in one of the many fields which require maintaining certain regulatory standards (finance, healthcare, etc.), then RPA can actually help you get and stay compliant with those regulations.
Deploying RPA can help businesses build out their compliance programs by providing another level of oversight and control over processes.
RPA bots perform every process exactly the same every time—this reduces the chances of errors. The bots also report their own actions into an activity log which means you get a 100% accurate audit trail.
This is a crucial element of most security regulations, which require organizations to have a clear understanding of the state of their data and ensure that it is always handled safely.
5. Reduced Errors
Errors can be expensive—they cost businesses over $62.4 million every year—but using RPA robots greatly reduces the risk of human error in your processes because a bot performs tasks the same way every time as programmed. Additionally, since data is automatically ported, there is no chance of typos or other attention span-based mistakes.
Fewer errors also relieve some of the burden on your workforce by allowing your staff to spend less time dealing with the fallout. This saves the business money by not having to dedicate time to reworking, not to mention avoiding costly fines or even network downtime.
RPA also reduces errors on a larger scale through data gathering and report building that can give a company a better idea of their processes’ weak points and how to improve efficiency across departments.
6. Customer Satisfaction
One of the most exciting robotic process automation benefits is the positive effect it can have on your customers, their experience with your business, and the way that you serve them.
With RPA, you can respond to customer queries faster and more efficiently, respecting your customer’s time and handling their questions and requests successfully at the exact moment they need answers.
What used to take hours or even days now only takes minutes. This, of course, can be applied to any number of customer interactions, including order processing.
Process automation like this will improve your company’s reputation among your audience through positive word-of-mouth, stronger online reviews, and increasing repeat customers.
7. Increasing Employee Satisfaction and Retention
Nothing tires an employee more than boring work. Luckily, RPA specializes at removing that kind of repetitive, time-consuming work and allowing those workers to focus on things that challenge them to think creatively and critically.
This increases efficiency, raises morale, and even boosts productivity in a workforce when it is successfully implemented.
One challenge many businesses face when looking to implement RPA is getting buy-in from the same people whose lives will be easier once the bots are deployed as they get nervous that the automation will replace their jobs entirely.
However, when it is clearly communicated that implementing RPA won’t leave them searching for work, they know what the changes to their day-to-day tasks will look like, and understand that the advantages of automation include making their job easier and more exciting, they often end up being the software’s biggest advocate at the company.
8. Eliminate Paper-Based Processes
Using RPA is a very environmentally-friendly option because it lets you take processes that usually eat up paper and other resources and digitize them so they don’t require consumables at all.
Beyond digitization, a digital document workflow incorporates automation into processes involving files. It routes each document to any human that needs to see and sign off on it, and then stores it in an easily-findable and searchable shared folder.
By establishing these digital document workflows, you can effectively eliminate all paper use within your organization, making you greener and saving you money and time.
9. Standardization and Cleaner Data
As we’ve discussed, one of the advantages of automating processes is that the way information is handled is standardized, so there’s no need to go back and clean up any data your company may have.
A key element of growing your organization is having measurable goals, and then tracking defined key performance indicators (KPIs) to determine whether or not your plan to meet them is working. However, when information is handled entirely by humans, it can be riddled with errors, making it impossible to trust your KPIs or measure the effectiveness of your strategy.
With this reliable, standardized data, it’s much easier to analyze what you have for patterns, see how your long-term plans are working, diagnose pain points, make informed decisions for the future, and implement a business intelligence strategy to grow even more.
10. Scalable Processes
An automated, robotic workforce has the ability to be whatever size you need it to be depending on your business.
If you grow, it’s easy to grow your RPA alongside you for minimal extra cost. This is a massive benefit of automation that allows your business to be as agile as possible by quickly and efficiently scaling up or down depending on the time of year or because of consistent growth.
It also means that you’ll never outgrow your automation solution, nor will you ever be forced to pay for software that is much higher capacity than what your business needs at the time. RPA meets exactly what your needs are exactly when you need it.
The Importance of Automation
The importance of automation becomes clear as businesses evolve and customers demand faster processing of goods and services. Therefore, process automation can not only improve your business, but also protect its continuity.
The budget decreases driven by process automation can be used to scale a company, hire needed talent, or invest in innovation initiatives.
Because of the rise of telehealth, the use of patient portals and healthcare apps, automation technology can make billing and payment a painless process. This industry example gives insight into the importance of automation.
As more industries begin to invest in process automation, business leaders should consider an automation strategy that will not only help them to transform their business, but also allow them to remain competitive.
There are plenty of benefits that come with the implementation of RPA in your business, from freeing up your human workforce to streamlining processes. Together they make automation a big win for any organization.
The benefits of RPA are not only external but can also positively affect a company’s workforce and improve company culture.
Process automation can reduce processing time and costs, improve employee morale, and help a company’s sustainability and continuity.
RPA is changing the way small businesses operate in today’s constantly evolving landscape. To learn more about how you can modernize your organization, check out our eBook,Fast-Tracking Your Digital Transformation.