Whenever we consider an investment for our business, we must always ask ourselves about its profitability. Therefore, it is logical to doubt whether it is profitable to invest in RPA. Will I get so many benefits as to justify it? Will it be something that provides added value? Let’s clear up some doubts.
A robot is not an employee
The first point to clarify is that investing in RPA does not mean exchanging people for robots. The underlying idea of robotic process automation is to collaborate with the people already working in the company. In this way, what we achieve is to generate new workflows that result in a continuous improvement in business processes.
In other words: having a software robot on staff is equivalent to having a digital assistant. An assistant that complements the work of the people who already carry out their activity in the company. A way to improve production processes and make tasks more efficient. But how does it do it?
Selecting where to place the robot
Not all processes can be automated. But almost every business has some process that can be. To think of automation is to think of those periodic routines that are performed in a systematic, repetitive way.
The target process of automation is one that is generated continuously. Always following the same steps. And which, moreover, is executed in such a quantity that the consumption of human resources and time can be considered a waste.
The most common examples are the generation of data sheets, payment notification management, reimbursement management, automatic document classification, fraud detection… The range is almost infinite and depends on the idiosyncrasies of the company. Therefore, knowing whether it is profitable to invest in RPA is reduced in a first step to trying to locate those processes that are likely to become automated.
Analyzing processes well is essential to determine whether it is profitable to invest in RPA. | Photo: Fauxels.
The technologies that determine whether it is profitable to invest in RPA
All the magic behind the implementation of a software robot is composed of the latest technologies. Thus, it is very easy to understand how advanced and useful it can be to incorporate a robot into the daily tasks of any business.
Artificial intelligence may stand out from the rest, due to the importance it is acquiring lately. Thanks to it, software can learn, find complex patterns in millions of data, extract information from unstructured texts… But it is not the only technology we can enjoy thanks to RPA.
Character recognition technology, machine learning, natural language processing, image and video analysis… All these technologies have an impact on improving the processing of processes that manage invoices, classify and extract data from PDF documents, manage contracts, deeds, articles…
It is clear, therefore, that incorporating robotization technology into the daily processes of your business is a commitment to modernize and advance in its digital transformation. A complete integration of the most modern technologies that, by themselves, can determine whether it is profitable to invest in RPA.
But in case what we have seen so far has not been entirely convincing, there is one last issue to consider: the tangible benefits.
We have seen how a robot can coexist with workers. How it is capable of performing complex tasks. The technologies that they bring with them and that can help improve productivity in the company. But there are elements that we can consider as or more important and that can end up tipping the balance on the profitability of investing in RPA.
Probably the most obvious is the increase in productivity. Relieving employees of work means that they can devote themselves to other, more creative tasks, which, in the end, eliminates the performance of non-value-added activities. In addition, we can control the execution of processes through monitoring utilities, so everything is always under control. Eliminating errors by ensuring compliance with standards ensures regularizations and service commitments. Finally, it improves and extends the life of existing information systems by eliminating operational and functional gaps. Not to mention the fact that a robot can operate uninterruptedly 24 hours a day.
In short, automation creates efficient jobs that improve the utilization of human capacity.
Fear of change
Adopting a new technology is always scary. Incorporating changes in processes that are already established in companies causes initial rejection and fear of the unknown. However, one of the strengths of RPA is that it is not an invasive technology.
Everything in the company will continue to run the same way. Robots are able to adapt to existing environments and systems. They coexist with them like another user, only virtual. And their development can be completed in a few weeks (or even days) depending on the complexity of the processes to be automated. In this way, the benefits are perceived quickly, almost instantaneously, and the amortization occurs in a few months.
So, with all that we have seen, it is clear that it is indeed profitable to invest in RPA. For convenience, for optimization, for introducing companies to the path of digital transformation. A commitment to the future that is already present and that many companies around the world have already adopted.