It is already indisputable that the present and future trend is to automate the most repetitive processes in companies. The question may arise when considering which processes to automate.
Sometimes a human is better. Other times, a robot.
In any business there are a multitude of tasks that are normally performed by the people who work in it. Tasks that require concentration, external variables, decision making, personal assessments… These types of processes are indelibly human.
However, as we have discussed on other occasions, there are other processes whose execution is a simple repetition of small steps. Steps that extend over time and do not require unique or special skills. These are the repetitive processes.
These types of tasks, which are always performed in the same way, under a series of well-established, clear and concrete parameters, are those that a robot can ideally perform. And it will most likely do it faster. And it will most likely make fewer mistakes (since a robot doesn’t get fatigued performing the same task over and over again).
This release of the human workload has a direct impact on the human being, who can devote his or her time to the other types of processes mentioned at the beginning. But which processes to automate?
In any business you can select which process to automate.
How to choose which processes to automate with robots
Deciding to incorporate software robots into the workforce is a decision that involves initiating an analysis of what is being done in the company. This analytics should identify all the processes that are carried out in the company’s day-to-day operations. In this way it will be relatively easy to identify the tasks that are carried out by repetitive cycles.
To dissect this list to extract which processes to automate, an internal audit can be performed. For best results, however, this work can be delegated to a specialized external company that can easily identify what can be automated.
Once the processes have been selected, the development of the solutions is started, they are applied in the company and a scorecard is generated. It is in this table that users will be able to see how much the process iteration has improved thanks to the robots. The reduction in execution time and error rate are usually the most relevant indicators. However, we cannot ignore the fact that this time saved has a direct impact on productivity gains in other processes to which workers can now devote their time.
Everything is better with examples
At this point, where we already know in a generic way the type of processes that can be robotized, it is time to specify.
The industry that first massively embraced process automation was the banking and finance industry. In this sector it is easy to identify processes that are constantly repeated since the options are very limited. Opening and closing accounts, money transfers, account management…
Very close to the banking sector, the insurance industry has also been benefiting for some time from the application of robots in its processes. In this case, quoting policies, handling complaints or processing damages through automation saves thousands of man-hours. This translates into considerable productivity gains and improvements in operational efficiency.
The retail sector is another that is enjoying the blessings of software robotics. After selecting which processes to automate, retail has improved its sales analytics, promotions, fraud reduction or pricing processes.
For manufacturing industries, the difference has come through increased efficiency in materials management. But also in supply chain information or claims handling.
In the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry, the improvement has come with the processing of patient data. Also in terms of product labeling or even in the adaptation of the different regulations. This is a particularly sensitive area because of the sensitivity of the data and the danger of making mistakes. Nothing a robot can’t deal with.
And to conclude this list of examples, we come to logistics and services. The improvement and optimization of supply chains and data processing are the spearheads with which robots have improved processes. This creates new opportunities to improve and become more competitive.
So, as we have seen, there are a multitude of options when it comes to choosing which processes to automate. Whatever the nature of the business, software robots can effectively, efficiently and safely manage the most tedious and resource-intensive tasks. A growing alternative that is gaining followers and improving every day with results that leave no one indifferent.