Robotic Process Automation: Processes Every Company Should Automate
In our previous post, we gave a little bit of a background on Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and a holistic view on what are ideal processes for RPA in any organization. In our post today, we will focus on specific business functions and the relevant processes that every company should automate to capitalize on the promise of RPA technology.
Automation opportunities lie everywhere in an organization; however, there are certain business areas that are an ideal candidate for RPA because of the nature of day to day processes.
Human Resources Processes: According to Gallup, a whopping 87% of employees worldwide are not engaged. The same report depicts that companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share. Generally, HR department comprises of a huge amount of repetitive processes that are often manual and don’t require any creativity or promise growth to employees. Processes such as filing and capturing data, updating and disseminating a large number of requests, and other administrative tasks bring monotony in job roles of HR employees thus, reduce employee engagement. Through RPA, organizations can uplift the nature of jobs of such employees. RPA helps to automate mundane and uncreative tasks allowing employees to focus on strategic initiatives. Here is a non-exhaustive list of some HR processes that can be automated using RPA:
- Data entry
- Time and attendance management
- Expenses reimbursement and reporting
- New hires, transfers and exits
Supply chain: The supply chain is the primary function of any organization irrespective of its size. Many supply chain related processes require human intervention only at the beginning of the process and in the later phases, it’s all rule-based with low or no exceptions or variations such as Procure to Pay. With RPA, organizations can attain agility, transparency, and efficiency along with improved employees’ and suppliers’ satisfaction level. There are several processes in the supply chain operations that can be automated through RPA such as:
- Procure to Pay
- Inventory management
- Supply and demand planning
- Work order management
- Returns processing
Finance and Accounting: Another business function that deals with a large number of manual and repetitive processes is Finance and Accounting (F&A). By the correct implementation of RPA in F&A processes, organizations can significantly reduce the cost of operations and improve efficiencies across the board. That is not a surprise that many CFOs across industries are struggling to find ways to bring the operational and cost efficiencies with better reporting and visibility in the F&A. Though the implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) brings a certain level of automation in the processes, nonetheless, there are several areas that are still not working as expected. And that is why more and more CFOs are moving towards RPA for ERP to optimize the processes like:
- Sales and order management
- Vendor management
- Procure to pay
- Account payables and receivables
With RPA implemented correctly, the benefits for organizations are real and the ROI is immediate. However, to kick-off the RPA journey, organizations must carefully chart a clear roadmap and the starting point of which is to identify the right processes with the right governance and steering committee. It’s important to foster discussions around the redeployment of the employees to keep them engaged and realize the true benefits of Robotic process automation.