RPA is too often an afterthought for businesses trying to improve processes. Why? Because most businesses aren’t looking to implement RPA – they just want the outcome. And, more often than not, those businesses that are looking for RPA are looking for solutions rather than thinking about the problems they’re trying to solve.
To know you need RPA you need to know what RPA is and understand exactly how your business processes work. If you’re reading this then you’re on the right path, so let us show you how to know you need RPA.
A Vested Interest
Like any technology new or old, it all begins with awareness. Whether that is at the top level of a business, within the IT team, or just someone in the business who has heard about something. Now if you’ve made it to this paragraph, congratulations, you have an awareness. This should be nurtured because it’s this curiosity which is going to lead to the improvements you want in your business.
Knowledge is Power
Now, you’ll need to pair that awareness with a tutor, guide, expert whatever you want to call them. That’s because RPA isn’t easy. Robots by their very nature are dumb. That’s not us being mean, it’s just a fact. Basic bots do as they’re told and no more. They have the ability to read documents, listen to calls, and detect customer moods. They can be brilliant. But they are only ever as good as the processes they’re built for and the people building them.
Luckily, as tech progresses, we see RPA’s buddies lend a helping hand. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). Robots are great at handling structured data at scale – i.e. when there are given parameters. Thinking about document recognition we can see IDP, Intelligent Document Processing, has taken a number of technologies and made something even better from. Now, handwritten documents can be read, converted to text, translated – you name it. This is a great example of what we don’t think about when we consider RPA’s capabilities. We seem preoccupied with what we should and shouldn’t do – but it’s an important distinction to highlight.
ROI is of course the primary factor in building RPA technologies. While there are other metrics like employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction at work, they ultimately all roll into ROI. For example, in post-Brexit Britain, logistics companies are having to review huge numbers of commercial invoices to check tariff codes are correct. Now this is RPA territory, at least for some of it. A bot can be built relatively cheaply and tackle say 80% of the invoice traffic. That last 20% is made up of errors or anomalies and so a human is required. Further investment into ML could help bring that 20% down a good way into the grasp of the bot.
Whenever we visit a customer or talk to businesses we don’t really talk about tech. First, and always, it is about what the business problems are. How can we understand them better, then, and only then, can we consider if RPA is up to the task. Our most important product is our expertise – not the tech. As they say. don’t believe the hype. We will use whatever technology is right for the job, not necessarily the one that is springing up in your news feeds.
Still not sure if you need RPA? Contact PAteam today, we’re here to help.