Process automation enhances business development with a vast return on investment.
Deanna M. Murray
In automation’s 60-year history, business executives and workers often hesitated to implement new technology before they supported its benefits. Robotics process automation (RPA) is the use of software with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities to accomplish repeatable tasks, previously requiring human interaction. Though there are jobs in nearly every industry that in time will no longer require human interaction due to automation, keeping RPA at arm’s length is a rejection of progress for businesses that want to develop and cultivate a competitive edge.
Like any new technology or process, automation implementation does require upfront costs. But the use of automation can result in increased return-on-investment (ROI) because automation reduces labor costs, allowing employees to focus on more business-critical tasks instead of focusing on repeatable processes. According to Information Services Group, automation’s returns have garnered double-digit productivity improvements over outsourcing, and cost reductions between 14% and 28% have been realized.
Automation can also streamline regulatory compliance that imposes fines by virtually eliminating human error. With the correct automation solution, the cost savings reverberate throughout an organization and the ROI impacts multiple budget lines.
Automation can be complicated, but the beauty of this technology is its ability to easily scale from simple to complex. The key to understanding what type of automation can work for a particular application is to rediscover every aspect of each process then realistically think through what can be streamlined or eliminated in each action. Keep in mind that many current everyday processes exist because of automation—from simple automated stamp machines to complicated medical procedures. Automation can be applied to every business when the right automation experts critically looks at an organization’s practices.
Customer-facing businesses setting themselves apart with personal touches and big smiles should not shy away from automation as a business enhancement. In fact, the opposite is true. Automation implementation on the back-end processes can free up valuable time for employees to spend on more meaningful customer interactions—not less.
Business development, automation
Automation technology is ever-changing. But an update to automation technology only will need to change when processes or the business needs change. Unlike other business efficiency tools, it doesn’t require numerous software updates, renewals, or pricey upgrades. While there might be routine maintenance, automation expenses are controlled by the desire to expand the business and employ additional automation capabilities to realize greater benefits.
Automation is a sign of growth. It is a sign of efficiency and an investment that will pay off for years to come. Business owners frightened of RPA and what it stands for in regards to the future of the business should think of it as a natural step in expanding and keeping up with the needs of an ever-growing clientele.
While there are growing pains and staff realignments associated with many RPA implementations, current employees can use this opportunity to learn about automation and expand skillsets. Also, if an automation plan is inclusive, employees can contribute meaningful insights into the best ways for the automation to function and hence, support a more efficient RPA implementation.
If experts with a vast understanding of automation implementation and rethinking processes are put to use, automation can open the door to a new world in business development.
Copyright 2017 CFE Media LLC