The Role of Robotics in Business and The Impact On Your Bottom Line
Granted, automated robotic processes have been around for decades in industries such as manufacturing and others involving production lines. However, new technology has brought them into the 21st century in a big way. In fact, robots are transforming white-collar business processes – freeing up employees to focus on more stimulating and rewarding tasks, while increasing ROI for the companies who utilize them.
Misconceptions on Robotics Business Application
In fact, the new ways to utilize robots, and the benefits (including ROI) have made robotic process automation a hot topic across the board, in multiple industries.
RPA improves the overall experience for the customer, provides new and more stimulating opportunities for employees, while also giving the companies that implement RPA a significant amount of savings.
Now, the misconception of many is that these new, AI enabled robots are actual, physical robots, sitting and working alongside humans….
However, that is a misconception. RPA bots, at the most basic level, are teachable software programs. These bots can perform a variety of routine jobs that humans currently do.
This is appealing to both companies and their employees for several reasons. First, it allows companies to automate certain processes, which speeds up the tasks and eliminates the risk of error. At the same time, employees can focus less on routine tasks and take their jobs to the next level of thinking.
Robots Role in the Transformation of White-Collar Jobs
This is particularly the case with white collar jobs, where bots have become a popular solution for routine processes. AI enabled RPA bots are cost-effective to companies because they increase the volume or speed of the routine tasks and productivity of employees. It is a win-win situation. Let’s take a look at some of the industries that are already changing the white-collar job landscape:
High-End Workforce Augmentation
With high-end workforce augmentation, specific job tasks that normally require a high level of human skill and knowledge can be replaced using RPA. Take, for example, a hedge fund manager. This is a highly paid individual who spends most of his day reading reports and analyzing data and world events in order to make his calls on what to buy, sell and trade. This process typically takes up much of his day and while the information, commodities, and details can vary from day to day, the process that he goes through to make his calls is the same every day, almost robotic.
With AI enabled RPA, this process could be automated. Instead of spending the entire day combing through reports and data, what if he could sit down at his desk with a fully detailed automated report and recommendations based on his daily process? Having this information automatically generated each day, this hedge fund manager could then look deeper into the report, consider other variables and really free up time to take his job to the next, more advanced level. This is just one example of many.
Different Industries Turning to AI Enabled RPA
Industries across the board are turning to RPA to speed up processes, improve the customer experience and save money.
Examples of RPA industrial applications:
- Automotive industry: manufacturers are using RPA to develop electric and fuel-powered alternatives to combustion engines.
- Travel industry: companies are using RPA to analyze customer travel and ensure that they remain in compliance with travel rules and regulations in the event of an audit.
- Banking industry: financial Institutions are using RPA to deliver rules-based solutions in financial services, insurance, and capital markets.
How RPA Efficiency Benefits Customers
Ultimately, companies want to deliver the best service or product possible for their customers, while making a profit. So, how does RPA benefit the end-customer? Depending on the type of industry, or service, there are many ways that a company’s clients can benefit from RPA.
For example, take customer service representatives, from virtually any industry. While they spend time speaking with the customer, much of their conversation time via phone or online is spent looking at the screen and typing information. In most cases, it is difficult to pay attention to what the client is even saying. However, if these processes are automated and the screens and information anticipated through RPA, the customer service representative can really focus on the conversation with the client, even upselling them if there is an opportunity to.
While it may seem counterintuitive to see robotics as an opportunity for more human contact, in some ways it is. When employees no longer need to perform routine tasks day in and day out, they are free to dig deeper into more meaningful roles, create more innovative products, and even devote more time interacting with their customers.
The ROI of Automation for Companies
No matter how many benefits RPA provides for a company, at the end of the day, the bottom line is important. In fact, in many cases, it is the most important factor. Companies want to know – what is the return on investment?
While it can vary from business to business, here are some stats that you might find interesting:
- According to a recent study by Accenture, processes related to Finance and Risk in the banking industry that are using RPA have seen a 40 percent productivity boost and 80 percent reduction of processing costs, experiencing a payback on their investment in just three months’ time.
- A study by the Boston Consulting Group reports that RPA and AI can enhance the efficiency of shared-service organizations (SSOs) by reducing additional costs ranging from 20 to 80 percent.
- A recent case study conducted by the London School of Economics revealed the fact that 16 different companies currently using RPA, saw an ROI anywhere between 30 to 200 percent, in the very first year of utilizing RPA.
So, how do you know if RPA is right for your business, or what processes within your company are best to automate? Let’s look at a few considerations.
Metrics to CALCULATE YOUR RPA RETURN ON INVESTMENT
Overall, companies implementing RPA with AI can expect to see at least 20 to 25 percent cost savings for their companies. However, there are other factors that companies should also consider when calculating their overall return on investment including:
- QUALITY: Provided your RPA inputs are accurate, with the correct rules, governances and decisions, human error is gone. Therefore, the quality should be 100 percent accurate when you deploy RPA.
- PRODUCTIVITY: Measure the amount of time it takes for humans to work on the task versus robots. Are you saving time on production by implementing RPA? On an average, companies see a 70 percent reduction in manual work as a result of RPA deployment. And because RPA is highly scalable, this percentage increases even higher as the company grows.
- COMPLIANCE: Compliance should be 100 percent after RPA deployment. Companies can program robots to follow any rules, laws, or regulations that govern the processes. With built-in compliance rules, robots will prohibit anything to pass that doesn’t meet the compliance standards, eliminating human error.