All businesses can benefit from automation, from streamlining operations to enhancing the customer experience. The implementation process, however, doesn’tfeel so cut and dry, preventing many businesses from getting started. We think that’s a shame because any organization can achieve automation success and improve financial outcomes with the right strategy and partner.
The power of automation
Automation to optimize processes, reduce human error, intelligently process documents and create an efficient robotic workforce continues growing at unprecedented rates.
Robotic Process Automation(RPA) remains the crown jewel of the market. RPA handles repetitive tasks and processes, freeing humans to focus on more detail-oriented, creative work. Notably, RPA technology is straight forward to integrate into current systems, manage and scale.
Building on RPA is Business Process Automation, where computer “bots” mimic human actions and streamline their workload. BPA automates complete business processes from start to finish. It encompasses an entire workflow design that, in turn, monitors RPA tasks and processes.
Areas where RPA and BPA deliver great results
- Repetitive work: RPA easily handles routine work that doesn’t require special knowledge, skills, or human interaction but is highly prone to error. Example: submitting forms and copying and pasting between systems.
- Administrative work: Supports core business operations that typically involve getting information from one place to the next. Example: forwarding calls to the correct person or managing payroll.
- Departmental work: Ensures departments run smoothly without influencing the core business product. Example: expense tracking and approval.
- Cross-enterprise work: Streamlines cross-departmental work and simplifies the customer experience. Example: processing insurance claims or loan approval.
- Expert work: Keeps track of essential details, providing deeper insights and recommended actions. Example: personalized consultations.
Checklist for automation success in any industry
Not every business can automate the same way. However, every business should consider this checklist before implementation.
1. Designate automation as a strategic priority
According to a McKinsey survey, organizations that strategically prioritize automation and scale the technology enterprise-wide are five times more likely to report success. Conversely, companies that pursue automation programs for immediate cost savings or to keep up with competitors don’t see the same benefit.
2. Enhance digital transformation with automation
Business process automation is one of the dominating digital transformation trends in 2022 and beyond. According to Gartner’s CFO survey, 80% of finance directors agree that their organizations must pay attention to finance technology optimization. With digital technologies such as RPA and AI making businesses more efficient and productive, organizations can undergo digital transformation twice as fast.
3. Develop an operating model that enables scaling
A recent study cited that 79% of enterprises are “hitting a wall” using existing cloud tools and platforms. Constantly investing in infrastructure to support new technologies is not cost-effective, so companies must avoid having “islands” of automation where different teams use different tools. Instead, businesses must focus on an automation process that can start in one unit and scale to others once tested and vetted. Automate once, then repeat.
4. Pursue people-focused initiatives
Yes, automation is about robots and machines. But it’s also about using human-centric technology to make work easier for people, not replacing them altogether. The focus should not be on a headcount reduction. Most organizations that report success with implementing automation adopt “human-in-the-loop” solutions that redeploy employees to higher-value and more meaningful tasks. These companies see improved customer experience, revenue growth, and risk mitigation results.
Business Ecosystem Automation: A network of partners
Implementing a successful automation plan means thinking about an entire business ecosystem: the customers, suppliers, vendors, and financial institutions that make up a digital supply chain. To best achieve their goals, businesses should build relationships with automation service providers to help them meet their goals and align all stakeholders.
Automation partnerships exist in two primary forms–business partners and technology partners.
- Business partners focus on services and solutions to help customers develop automation operating plans, such as implementation steps, like coding, training, communications, and designing an automation model that delivers rapid benefits.
- Technology partners provide technologies that integrate with the business and their vendors’ technology to make adopting automation processes more seamless.
Where to Start: Tips for successful automation adoption
1. Don’t wait —just do it.
The more processes a business reimagines without factoring in automation, the harder it will be to implement later. So instead of waiting, companies should consider first automating a process that isn’t mission-critical but will demonstrate value when completed. For example, they might initially automate a small subset of a larger process, making incremental changes once they gain confidence in the technology. Small steps like this can have a significant return on investment.
2. Align automation to business outcomes.
Businesses must keep automation in mind when designing and improving processes. The first automation project doesn’t have to be big, but it should be important to the desired outcome or experience the business wants to achieve.
3. Get all stakeholders involved.
Businesses should include every stakeholder in all stages of the automation process. If required, they should also help employees transition their skills. For example, someone who previously managed a department that now consists of bots can re-purpose their skills to overseeing design, development, and analytics teams.
4. Never stop measuring value.
Businesses shouldn’t stall after the first automation project is complete. The most effective strategy is to keep looking for innovative ways to optimize processes. Companies should seek inspiration from industry automation leaders to understand what’s possible.
A Shift in Vision: Putting automation into practice
Businesses will uncover hidden revenue streams and unexpected benefits when they start automating across their entire ecosystem. Organizations will also create a more engaged, bottom-line-driven workforce by eliminating manual work. Any business can tap into automation’s many benefits and improve its bottom line by partnering with an automation partner to create an effective implementation strategy.
At qBotica, we create automation roadmaps using our intelligent process discovery tool to identify bottlenecks and customize automation to fit the needs of any business. Schedule a discovery call today.