The successful integration of RPA for long-term business growth

Thursday, 25. February 2021 | 0 Comments

Robotic Process Automation can be an advantage for numerous businesses, as well as a cost-saver and exponential growth machine if used correctly. The launch of the software in the business should be done comprehensively and thoroughly since it is not quite self-explanatory. Thus, the business can optimally profit from the RPA. The following article presents step-by-step instructions to successfully implement the software.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA for short) opens up the possibility of automating a large number of common processes in companies and thus performing them faster and more smoothly. We have also discovered this method at GetMyInvoices and count RPA among our core competencies. Human labor is saved, which is why employees are relieved and have the opportunity to devote themselves to more complex tasks and realize their full potential.

1. The definition of the business case 

The first step is to examine and document all processes that have already been implemented in the company. The inventory of processes and tools should be as detailed as possible, as it forms the basis for subsequent automation. Automated process recognition tools can help here, which not only pick up on various processes but can also identify any deficits. In addition to that, they also record processes that are running covertly, which might otherwise be missed.

In addition to documenting processes, feedback from process participants and users plays a major role. This helps to optimize the usual processes and make them as customer-friendly as possible. It also helps to uncover processes that, while running without errors per se, are superfluous or could be used in a different, more satisfactory way.

The first step is to gain an overview of recurring processes and determine which of them can be automated in the future.

2. Testing and fine tuning

Anyone who wants to automate documented processes with the help of RPA is depriving their company of a large part of its potential. RPA can only help to reel off learned processes faster and without errors – but only in the way they were learned. This means that suboptimal processes are executed exclusively in this form. At this point, it makes sense to examine all processes for their efficiency, usefulness, and potential for improvement. Therefore, they should be run in different variants as test runs outside regular operating hours to uncover their optimization potential. Smaller and insignificant processes can be the starting point so that the responsible employees can get to grips with the review and quickly feel a sense of achievement. Ideal for this are processes that are not relevant to the actual business, but which can, for example, increase customer satisfaction. This is followed by more complex and critical processes, the optimization of which can take the company significantly further. Once the processes have been worked on to the satisfaction of the customer, they must now be tested under real conditions. Only then, when they also run successfully here, they are ready for automation.

3. The implementation of automated processes

In the next step, the optimized processes are integrated into the workflow, which is defining the process goal, as well as the conditions that have to be met for the execution of the process. The workflow also shows the exact sequence of processes with the respective responsible employees in a diagram. The goal of this step is to create an executable workflow that can be picked up and implemented by the RPA in this form.

4. The integration of employees

The company’s employees can benefit from the support by the RPA in the long term. Employees are relieved from some repetitive work and have more capacity, so they can use their time for something more valuable. This increases employee satisfaction and motivation, as they are no longer occupied with monotonous and underwhelming processes. Especially the employees form an important part in the integration of RPA. They should therefore be informed and consulted about the planned changes at an early stage. They can provide valuable information about which processes have the potential for improvement or are even superfluous. Even the upstream theoretical analysis can only reveal this to a limited extent; practical and repeated implementation is often required to discover further errors. After a comprehensive briefing, the responsible employees should therefore be encouraged to collect hints and feedback, which can be discussed and collected in joint meetings. A “feedback mailbox” is also a good idea here, into which everyone can post suggestions for improvement when the opportunity arises.

Joint meetings also serve to discuss and dispel any reservations and concerns so that the entire team can stand behind the planned change and look forward to it positively. Finally, a comprehensive understanding of RPA serves to accelerate implementation and increase benefits.

5. The observation of the processes and the measurement of the KPIs

Once the elaborated workflows have been learned by the RPA, the biggest part of work is done. However, the associated work does not end here: The execution by the bots must now be tracked and controlled. Furthermore, it must be evaluated whether this actually results in added value and how valuable it is for the company. After all, RPA is only capable of “mindlessly” executing the learned processes, but not of questioning them or even optimizing them independently. RPA execution must also be revised in the event of any changes in the company’s structure that make it necessary to adjust processes.

Automated processes can lead to unplanned side effects even if they are executed without errors. Furthermore, it must be questioned at regular intervals whether the added value achieved cannot be increased, regardless of whether this saves time, manpower or financial resources. This last step is never finished but is applied repeatedly. Otherwise, automated processes run the risk of becoming obsolete in a constantly evolving world and no longer bring relief.

Accordingly, an optimal implementation of RPA is a lengthy process that cannot be run through quickly and then checked off. Despite the work involved, the software is capable of improving a company’s success in the long term and ensuring generally increased satisfaction among employees.

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