Robotic Process Automation (RPA) offers benefits for each process, department and employee in your organization.
But… navigating a full-scale digital transformation is a significant undertaking (to say the least).
To help this, many companies choose to implement RPA in phases, focusing on the greatest opportunities for improvement. While reviewing existing systems and auditing processes is a must for implementing strategic improvements, understanding the benefits can help drive that decision forward.
Here are some of the most compelling benefits of RPA for businesses.
Improved customer service & experience
RPA provides the tools to create a stellar customer experience.
In recent years, there's been a paradigm shift away from the traditional reactive customer service model to a proactive customer service model. This shift is centralized around anticipating customer problems and solving them before they arise.
Enhancing digital customer service channels is a foundational aspect of proactive customer service. Implementing RPA creates omnichannel access for customers to communicate with the company on their terms. Additionally, automated processes can improve performance metrics like time in the queue and first contact resolutions.
Automation also helps identify bottlenecks in the customer service pipeline and determine where you need to improve customer satisfaction now and in the future.
Improved employee engagement
Employees are the face of a brand. Studies show that engaged employees lead to 21 percent greater profitability. Yet many employees feel disengaged and disempowered by repetitive tasks like data entry and order processing.
Diminished employee engagement leads to higher turnover rates and increased human error. Fortunately, RPA can offload or streamline repetitive tasks so employees can shift their focus to new duties that provide a challenge that suits their knowledge and skills.
RPA often gets a bad reputation for being a job replacer. As such, "automation" has become a dirty word in some circles. The goal is not to replace employees but to ensure every employee is doing high-value work.
Reduced operational costs
Implementing RPA helps optimize how employees spend their time. Consider monthly expense reports as an example.
Traditionally, employees would have to spend hours each month scouring through receipts and filling out spreadsheets for submission. These documents would be reviewed by accounting professionals and coded accordingly. If any errors were present, they'd go back and forth until they resolved it.
With RPA, employees can capture receipts with the click of a button and have them automatically summarized and categorized with a few manual edits.
Not only does this increase accuracy, but it saves hours of labor.
In perishable product businesses, automation can dramatically reduce waste costs. A case study about Good Foods, a ready-to-eat (RTE) meal manufacturer, showed a 30 percent increase in productivity and 1,000 hours in direct labor costs saved through RPA implementations on the packing floor. These implementations didn't replace human workers but corrected inefficiencies in the process to minimize delays and overtime.
Enhanced scalability & growth
There comes a time in every business when you hit capacity. It’s the tipping point at which taking on more customers without investing in additional resources would sacrifice integrity.
Many businesses get stuck in a cycle of needing more capital to expand to get more customers but requiring more customers to secure more capital.
Implementing RPA allows companies to expand without hiring new employees or incurring the associated costs. This consideration is paramount for seasonal businesses that scale up and down throughout the year.
Better data-driven decision-making
RPA provides more accuracy in analytics and reporting, providing real-time data for strategic decision-making. Manual and outdated processes offer limited insights into what's happening behind the scenes. Automation with AI processing solves the problem of not knowing what you don't know.
A Harvard-sponsored study showed that
"70 percent of organizations that had deployed automated analytics reported enhanced financial performance, improved productivity, diminished risks and quicker decision-making."
In essence, RPA helps businesses make smarter, more accurate decisions in less time.
Final thoughts: take advantage of RPA & its benefits
Implementing automation is no longer a question of whether a company can afford a digital transformation; modern businesses can't afford not to implement RPA. Audit your existing processes and challenges to determine the best place to start.