Many organizations get excited about process automation with the hype that follows it but quickly realize that it might not be their cup of tea. Even though RPA delivers a lot of value, the ROI diminishes quickly if not implemented properly. I have shared few examples in my previous articles on how and where RPA will make sense to the organizations.
I will repeat myself: “Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is best suited for organizations wherein a lot of resources spend time on mundane repetitive tasks”. I might as well have a bot write me the above sentence every time, I write an article!! 😉.
Let me list some of the examples (using both assisted bots and unassisted bots) where RPA delivers a lot of value
- Data Entry Processes – This includes manual data entries, digital entries through scanning documents via Optical Character Recognition (OCR) tools etc.,
- Reports Management
- Customer and Technical Support
- Software Testing
- Financial processes such as order processing, P&L management, Invoice management etc.,
- HR processes
The list goes on and on…
This week let us understand some of the steps that one can follow to successfully implement RPA in an organization. In layman terms, I would put the following simple process to implement RPA
This step involves a lot of research. You can read a ton of material available online or talk to an expert like Marlabs to understand where RPA can fit in to your organization (we offer in-person demos and free POCs as well, make use of that as long as it lasts). Some of the simple questions that you need to ask yourself include (not necessarily all)
- Is RPA suited for your organization?
- What is the impact on the business?
- How are other organizations benefiting from RPA?
- Adaptability among users (both business and technical)
- What is the value that you want (ROI, savings on resources, increase in output, efficiency, effectiveness, increased customer satisfaction, etc,)
Once you have done your research and convinced your management on the Value that RPA can bring to your organizations, its time to jump into next step
This is a two-step process, one internal and one external. Internally, you must do a due diligence on what processes would make more sense to automate. In my earlier blog, I specified that the automation can be either human assisted (for more complex processes) or completely bot dependant (simple ones). Start with simpler processes and move on to complex one’s.
Externally you need to identify the available tools. There are a bunch of them available to suit your budget and needs. Some of them can be used by Business Users wherein few may need technical people to help deploy the solution.
During this phase, you may need a Vendor like Marlabs to support you with selecting the right tool and doing a Proof of Concept to familiarize you to the system. This phase is very critical as you are showing the value to your Top Management as well as taking your business users in confidence.
Depending upon which tool, business process that you have selected, this may take a bit while to set-up. Have a lot of patience to run and re-run test trials to ensure that the bot is giving out desired results. Test it with your previous data to ensure that the value that was promised is getting delivered. Once the results are satisfactory, go live with the pilot.
Develop, Test & Deploy
Congratulations if you have reached this phase. You are in the middle of your automation journey and have started realizing the value that RPA brings in. Take it step by step and automate all the identified processes one by one. Test them thoroughly before moving on with the next process. Take some time before each deployment to ensure that bots are delivering desired results.
Please ensure that you have a back-up plan after each deployment. Just in case, there is a failure due to unforeseen circumstances. As they say, “better safe than sorry”. Prepare a backup plan and contingencies in place.
Like any other successful software deployment, RPA need’s maintenance. Ensure that the team supporting your RPA installations are maintaining the bots to ensure its smooth operability.
Finally, sit back and enjoy as the bots help you achieve the goals that you had envisioned for the RPA implementation at your organization.
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