If you run your own business, you may be looking at ways to improve and save money without cutting corners. You might even have heard of ‘robotic process automation,’ but what is it, and how can it benefit your business?
Like software, but better
Robotic process automation (RPA) is a great way to get the most out of technology. With the ability to interpret existing applications, process transactions, and manage data and communications across numerous systems, RPA can benefit your business in several ways.
Whether seeking to emulate the achievements of entrepreneurs such as John Cestar, who has maximized the use of technology to attain success in China and the Asia-Pacific region, or trying to ramp up your business operations in your part of the world, then read on.
Eliminating human error
Even the most reliable individuals are prone to making mistakes from time to time. Sometimes these are picked up and corrected with little or no extra cost and time incurred. However, if left unchecked, errors can cause more significant problems and end up costing your business a lot of money and wasted time.
While creative thinking is harder for technology to replicate, repetitive processes are better managed by RPA. Unlike people, who can become distracted by repetition and sometimes go into autopilot, not realizing they’ve made a mistake at all, RPA will perform automatic processes involving data and following the pre-programmed rules. It can produce statistics, simple business decisions, and so much more.
Without the distractions that people can succumb to, and with the ability to operate much faster than even the most dexterous workforce, RPA can perform many of the required functions in a fraction of the time. For example, if you’re trying to work out the statistics of your customers or potential customers, you will see results quicker. That will enable you to adapt your sales model earlier to reach your target audience, while any competitors not using RPA will be left behind.
Having RPA to efficiently complete the more repetitive and time-consuming processes of your business, will free up your workforce to spend more time on the more personal side of business operations, such as brainstorming, providing customer service on a more personal level and networking, etc.
While there will always be the risk of job losses as a direct result of relying more on this technology, that isn’t necessarily the case. Sometimes existing employees will be better suited to a different role within your company, where most, if not all of your customer base will often prefer to deal with a real-life person. Using this technology simply makes your business more efficient, freeing up your workforce to be utilized elsewhere in the company. Also, there will always be a need for employees to oversee the RPA functions and make regular checks for accuracy and efficiency.
A happier workforce
While employment is difficult to gain and keep in today’s current economic climate, for those who are re-assigned to a different role, they will probably be pleased not to have to spend long periods on repetitive tasks. Instead, they can focus on more fulfilling responsibilities.
RPA dealing with a lot of the tedious and previously time-consuming work removes the need to hire agency and other temporary staff for data entry tasks. That allows you to invest in your business and current employees, rather than on the recruitment process and to have to pay extra staff.
With RPA, you can stick with whatever process brings the best results, then adapt it if and when your business needs change. You won’t have to worry about retaining or rehiring as you would if an individual completed the processes, and that person left the company.
Another advantage is having all the information you need, where it’s easy to find. It can provide you with all the information you need whenever you need a quick answer to a client’s question, or it can make auditing a more straightforward and less stressful experience.
Other benefits of RPA
With many processes using technology, paperwork is decreased and therefore helps you to maintain a greener and more environmentally friendly business.
Because your employees will have more time for your customers and clients, they will feel more valued and therefore be less likely to switch to your competitors. Another advantage is that customers may recommend your business to others.
You can reduce the risk of fraud within your company. While most employees are trustworthy, and you will have conducted checks before employing them, fraud can happen on occasion. However, with much of the most sensitive information being dealt with by RPA, it removes the risk.
Whether you want to save money, improve the efficiency of your business, or give your employees something more stimulating to do, the chances are that robotic process automation could be the solution.