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Intelligent automation is not only about efficiency in terms of saved time and money. It is also about enabling employees to focus on more value-adding tasks, making their workdays more dynamic and the overall development and results of the company even stronger. Below are 5 tasks that we believe employees should no longer manage manually:
This process often involves extracting data from multiple systems, like an ERP, CRM, banks or vendors. Not all systems provide an easy integration which creates the demand for manual resources to fill the gap – RPA can help to fill the gap instead.
2. Customer onboarding
Customer onboarding processes are often critical to create a good customer experience. This process is a perfect match for RPA, together with an OCR solution and cognitive automation the process can often be automated end-to-end, significantly improving the customer experience.
3. Data updates and validation
Data is often dynamic, which requires a company to constantly manage and update the data. Departments for which automation could be relevant are customer service, HR, sales and marketing, who all need to constantly update customer and personnel data.
The data also needs to be validated, and if this is not done at a database stage it often requires manual efforts to check data across different systems and publications – that data validation is well suited for RPA.
4. Managing payroll systems
The payroll process requires repetitive work that can easily be automated. Modern payroll systems can automate much of the process, but that can also be related with a lot of obstacles as many companies rely too much on legacy systems. RPA is a better alternative in order to automate the payroll process.
5. KYC – “Know your customer” process
Know your customer, or KYC, regulations create requirements for manual efforts to fulfil all the obligations for the company. RPA can help your company automate parts of the KYC process. In the specific cases where you still need the manual effort and decision making, the case can be forwarded for human intervention.
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As with any kind of transformation or significant development within a company, there is a lot to gain on being prepared and informed. To avoid obstacles or disruptions in your automation journey, we have listed a few common pitfalls to have in mind and avoid:
The RPA bot is not informed about changes (process pitfall)
To choose the right process for automation is sometimes harder than it first seams. Many companies start with the wrong process. A classic pitfall is when the process changes, and the RPA bot is not informed about it. To overcome this, you need to choose the right process from the start. When you’ve done that, you need to predefine the actions that need to be performed in case of changes in the process.
The process is more dynamic than expected (process pitfall)
It can be difficult to define exactly what the bot should do in different situations, and hard for the process experts to answer those questions accurately. The decision making might turn out to be more complex than first expected. To avoid this, you need to know which processes to choose for RPA and what obstacles you might face. When considering how to define the actions in the process you need to have a good understanding about the level of details that is needed, to know if the process is a good choice for RPA or not.
Your company is lacking a clear automation strategy (organizational pitfall)
To be able to capitalize the potential benefits with RPA, your company need to have an idea about how the technology should be deployed and maintained. The first thing to do is to set the objectives and vision for automation in your company. The second step is to define how to get there. Finding the right model and way forward for your company is key.
Unclear roles and responsibilities (organizational pitfall)
This is another classic pitfall. To avoid it you need a clear idea about which roles and responsibilities are necessary. A role within the RPA area doesn’t have to be full-time, but it is crucial to have someone responsible for every important function. After that you need to find the right person for every defined role and responsibility.
Missing the scalability focus from the start (project pitfall)
Scalability is well known as a major issue for many companies looking to scale their RPA initiatives. However, this doesn’t have to be a pitfall. If you know what to do and how to do it, the scaling of the RPA engagement will run smoother. The sooner you start to plan for scaling the better. The scalability needs to be considered from many angles, both from a technical standpoint and from an organizational point of view. Working with an experienced partner can give your company valuable support in this complex question.
Initiating intelligent automation is often described as the first step of the automation journey, freeing up time and money for future investments. In recent years, intelligent automation has often been a grass root movement, which has grown organically in multiple parts within an organization. A common story is that employees who want to automate their business processes can do so, often under the governance of a Center of Excellence. Decisions have often been made by middle management and it’s been very rare with C-level executives pushing to drive enterprise-wide automation. Until last year.
There has lately been a clear shift in how C-level executives view intelligent automation , and it is today more often viewed as a strategic asset that can make the organization focus on value adding tasks and become more customer-centric. In light of the current global COVID-19 crisis, the possibilities with automation will be even more relevant, as businesses need to build resilience for future disruptions. With more automated tasks, many organizations will automatically be less vulnerable.
We are often approached by executives asking us to provide a broad assessment of the automation potential across several business units and geographical locations, to illustrate the potential monetary savings in a business case. When looking at automation from an enterprise-wide perspective, the business case is often convincing and concrete, which is why C-level executives are now changing their way of working with automation. From lengthy Proof of Concepts to an enterprise-wide automation program that can scale fast and provide visible return on investment in short time.
Get more inspiration on how to kick-start intelligent automation in your business with our seminar series.
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"The top two ranked problems amongst 2000 CIO's is digitalization and automation."
-KPMG CIO survey 2018
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