An analysis of the current and impending impact of the Coronavirus on the world’s Enterprises suggests that:
- The way that organisations function has changed and some of the changes will remain, even after the crisis has ended
- In particular, services-led organisations have continued to deliver projects, even with teams dispersed, due to remote working
- Organisations have become much more conscious of costs, processes and structures
Justifications that employees and stakeholders had previously given for not wanting to automate repetitive processes include:
- “We won’t introduce robotic process automation because we wont change processes that have always been executed in the same way,” or,
- “That’s the way it’s always been done.”
With the majority of organisations’ workforces being confined to their homes, sticking to “the old ways” of doing things has become untenable for even the most conservative of organisations. Companies are scrambling to remain in the black, hence the Coronavirus has forced them to look at costs, the allocation of team members and the ways in which processes are executed. Yes, the “old ways” may have worked before, but with the growing uncertainty of when and how employees will return to the office, an alternative solution is unavoidable, not least because competitors will be looking closely at Intelligent Automation, with Digital Workers collaborating with Human Colleagues, in order to stay ahead. As a consequence, not using the Coronavirus crisis to introduce, test, innovate and move towards Intelligent Automation, or, Hyper Automation means being left behind by competitors.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Intelligent Automation implemented by an organisation’s finance, operations, sales, marketing, logistics, or any other department working in collaboration with a team of experienced RPA specialists, such as Venturiq’s certified RPA and Process Discovery specialists is the enabler for organisations introducing changes for long term competitive advantage. The Use Cases where RPA can have a transformative impact span across functional areas of businesses. RPA can be used to mimic human workers and execute the repetitive business processes that follow pre-outlined rules-based steps, replacing the need for a Full Time Employee to complete the task. Processes that are repetitive and particularly labour intensive are even more difficult and potentially time consuming when employees are working from home, but RPA uses Digital Workers (software robots) to automate such tasks. Such an alternative is a quick and effective way of increasing productivity, whilst also saving employees’ valuable time, so that they can focus on more value adding tasks instead.
Some individuals and organisations may assume that implementing Digital Workers in their organisations will be a time consuming and costly process. However, given Venturiq’s demonstrable experience in implementing a broad range of RPA projects, it is our opinion that the most effective way to introduce automation into organisations is not as part of broad Transformation programmes, rather, through incremental changes introduced to address individual repetitive processes within departments and then broaden the scope. The potential to scale return on investment from this approach is significant given the fact that a Digital Worker is able to work 24 hours a day, seven days per week, meaning that as new processes are introduced to automation frameworks, the time for execution of individual task automations can be scheduled, so that time critical tasks are completed on time, whereas low priority processes can be completed when human colleagues are offline.
Quick-Wins in Automation
Let me outline a few business crucial processes that are easily “automatable” and implementation of automation is relatively quick:
- Email Monitoring, Automated Reading, Replying, Forwarding and Attaching Relevant Files. This is useful for group/generic email ID’s, for example, and also email enquiries. Such emails may be harder to monitor when all employees are at home. However, this process can be quickly automated, with a software robot able to “keep an eye” on mailboxes, with the messages read and forwarded on to the respective departments/individuals, in case human inputs are required. Potential saving is hours of human work, that can be allocated to more strategic tasks instead.
- Connecting Existing and Disparate Software Platforms and Applications. Digital Workers cut out the need for APIs which provides employees with easy access to essential business data across enterprises. This low code and cheaper alternative to APIs provides employees with a quick solution to a problem that will only be more evident when working outside of the office. Furthermore, because the Digital Workers attend to task execution using existing systems and frameworks, the cost of implementation, training and software licenses is far less than buying APIs / Connectors, or new systems altogether.
- Team Organisation and Management. Digital Workers can arrange an employee’s work schedule for the day. They can also send automated reminders prompting employees to follow the correct procedure, thereby ensuring compliance. Digital Workers are also able to virtually track an employee’s progress, log working hours and keep the team leader up to date on everyone’s schedule/performance to help ensure the whole organisation is maintaining its course through these turbulent times.
These are only a few short examples of the business essential processes in the remote work environment that are easy targets for fast and effective automation. But there are hundreds of ways that RPA can help your organisation, even after the Coronavirus is beaten and everything returns to normal.
Please contact a Venturiq team member today; we are on hand to discuss your organisation’s challenges and processes, in order that we can help you to remain competitive, both during the Coronavirus crisis and in the long term.