Healthy scepticism about robotics is evident.
According to Deloitte’s Peter Moller, “either finance functions have looked at
this and thought, for whatever reason, have decided that it doesn’t work for us
or they just don’t know enough about it, or it hasn’t been on the top of their
agenda, or they just haven’t looked at it.”
there is a significant surge in interest of companies looking for ways to drive
cost simplification across the entire organization.
Although many of the shared services
professionals are yet to explore what RPA can do for them, it is a hot topic
among them. A quick overview
of the survey findings conducted by the Capgemini Consulting and Capgemini
Business Services in 2016 shows how massive of potential that RPA offers. Below
are snapshot of statements that participants (Over 150 executives from
companies of different sizes) responded on RPA:
of participants said that RPA can significantly reduce costs
of participants felt that RPA can help reduce risk and increase compliance
believed that RPA improves process effectiveness and efficiency
of participants believed that RPA can improve the quality of work produced
said that RPA can save companies time on repetitive tasks
RPA is being implemented as
the next iteration of transformational tools. Back-office process owners have
long deployed process automation components, such as ERP suites, low-level
automation tools, and self-service portals. However, many of these
implementations have business processes that are less than optimal and
applications that are not well integrated. This results in increased costs,
redundant processes, data errors, and inconsistencies.
The pressure of lowering
costs in addition to other performance requirements, such as service
excellence, security, and compliance, make it difficult to close the gap
between expected and actual benefits. RPA closes that gap in several ways.
RPA saves time by
automating high-volume repetitive tasks. RPA can run 24/7 and only malfunction
due to an instruction error from a human. In the
long term, RPA reduces process time by 20%- 70%, increase accuracy by 99%,
which gives cost reduction at higher satisfaction. Using
digital channels enables RPA that drives accuracy, speed and a much better
further empowers business advisors, knowledge workers and judgement-based role
staffs by removing the mundane and allowing them to spend their time on
Even the RPA implementation
process is non-intrusive so large IT support structures are not necessary in
order to achieve a seamless transition into using this new software.
Prof. Mary Lacity and Prof.
Leslie Willcocks (2016) talked about ‘Swivel Chair’ problem in Shared Services.
In their research, they found that RPA was best suited to replace humans for so
called “swivel chair” processes. Shared services are common with such “swivel
chair” processes because they receive inputs from multiple business units,
various suppliers, and multitudes of external customers.
In addition to efficiency
gains, a process outsourced to robots is much easier to manage than one
performed by people. RPA provides scalability and flexibility. The number of
robots handling a given process can be increased or decreased relatively easily
without recruiting, hiring, or training. Lastly, robots can be quickly
reassigned when other more important processes arise, and they are already
trained to successfully complete all automated processes.
The value of
robotics process automation usually begins with the cost and productivity
savings from automating repetitive and rules-based processes
Furthermore, the reusable
components of a software robot are likely to cost less than an onshore staff
member or even an offshore staff member. Deloitte Gina Schaefer mentioned “Because robots are
scalable, additional robotic workers can be applied to a task to address peaks
in demand and work 24×7 – all at a ninth of the cost of a full-time, onshore
inflation, turnover, labor disputes, and other challenges are avoided by
implementing RPA. .
is a simpler product than an artificial intelligence driven
system or enterprise software that
seeks to bring all data inside the platform. This also makes it a relatively
cheaper product than AI or enterprise software. This simplicity and relative
cheapness can make RPA a more attractive solution for many companies,
particularly if the company has legacy systems and applications.
today’s digital world, helping businesses navigate toward financial confidence
requires a fundamental shift in how they apply key operational innovations and
how to continuously adapt in the changing-digital environment and address the
challenges that it presents.
RPA is relatively easy to adopt, but to gain
maximum applicability human beings have to fit it with IT architecture and
infrastructure. If programmed, Robotic Process Automation operates as at least
three full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) to high quality, without errors,
multitasking and switching to other processes quickly. It requires strong
internal capability to scale deployment and achieve continuous improvement.