1. How Shared Servicescan enjoy Benefits of RPA? Lately,there is a significant surge in interest of companies looking for ways to drivecost simplification across the entire organization. Although many of the shared servicesprofessionals are yet to explore what RPA can do for them, it is a hot topicamong them. A quick overviewof the survey findings conducted by the Capgemini Consulting and CapgeminiBusiness Services (2016) shows how massive of potential that RPA offers. Beloware snapshot of statements that participants (Over 150 executives fromcompanies of different sizes) responded on RPA:· 86%of participants said that RPA can significantly reduce costs· 86%of participants felt that RPA can help reduce risk and increase compliance· 86%believed that RPA improves process effectiveness and efficiency · 89%of participants believed that RPA can improve the quality of work produced· 91%said that RPA can save companies time on repetitive tasks RPA is being implemented asthe next iteration of transformational tools.
Shared offices which comprised ofboth back-office and front-office process owners have long deployed processautomation components, such as ERP suites, low-level automation tools, andself-service portals. However, many of these implementations have businessprocesses that are less than optimal and applications that are not wellintegrated. This results in increased costs, redundant processes, data errors,and inconsistencies. The pressure of loweringcosts in addition to other performance requirements, such as serviceexcellence, security, and compliance, make it difficult to close the gapbetween expected and actual benefits.
RPA closes that gap in several ways assummarized below by Brad DeMent, TreyRobinson and Jonathan Harb of ScottMadden Consultants (2016): Efficiency RPA saves time byautomating high-volume repetitive tasks. RPA can run 24/7 and only malfunctiondue to an instruction error from a human. In thelong term, RPA reduces process time by 20% – 70% and increase accuracy by 99%,which gives cost reduction at higher satisfaction. Using digital channelsenables RPA that drives accuracy, speed and a much better customersatisfaction. RPAfurther empowers business advisors, knowledge workers and judgement-based rolestaffs by removing the mundane and allowing them to spend their time working on critical, creative and strategic functions whichinvolve important decision-making that can only be completed by humans. Even the RPA implementationprocess is non-intrusive so large IT support structures are not necessary inorder to achieve a seamless transition into using this new software. Prof. Mary Lacity andProf.
Leslie Willcocks (2016) talked about ‘Swivel Chair’ problem in SharedServices. In their research, they found that RPA was best suited to replacehumans for so called “swivel chair” processes. Shared services are common withsuch “swivel chair” processes because they receive inputs from multiplebusiness units, various suppliers, and multitudes of external customers. Scalability On top of efficiency gains,a process outsourced to robots is much easier to manage than one performed bypeople.
RPA provides scalability and flexibility. The number of robots handlinga given process can be increased or decreased relatively easily withoutrecruiting, hiring, or training. Lastly, robots can be quickly reassigned whenother more important processes arise, and they are already trained tosuccessfully complete all automated processes. Cost Effectiveness The value ofrobotics process automation usually begins with the cost and productivitysavings from automating repetitive and rules-based processes Furthermore, the reusablecomponents of a software robot are likely to cost less than an onshore staffmember or even an offshore staff member.
Deloitte’s Gina Schaefer mentioned “Because robots arescalable, additional robotic workers can be applied to a task to address peaksin demand and work 24×7 – all at a ninth of the cost of a full-time, onshoreemployee.” Wageinflation, turnover, labor disputes, and other challenges are avoided byimplementing RPA. Contradict tothis, Manoj Kumar, a director ofPittiglio Rabin Todd & McGrath (PRTM, Mountain View, CA) explains”Outsourcing moves the high cost of manufacturing operations off thebalance sheet,” Kumar believes outsourcing is usually a better alternativethan investing in automation, because it gives companies the opportunity to usea variable cost model that leads to improved margins and better economies ofscale 5. Misconceptions about RoboticProcess Automation (RPA) Aswith any other technology, there are misconceptions over what RPA is and isn’tand what it can and can’t do. Healthy skepticism about robotics is evident.According to Deloitte’s Peter Moller, “either finance functions have looked atthis and thought, for whatever reason, have decided that it doesn’t work for usor they just don’t know enough about it, or it hasn’t been on the top of theiragenda, or they just haven’t looked at it.” Deloitte’sGina Schaefer summarized the below when it comes to the misconceptions byorganizations and these are what hindering them from utilizing this greatautomation innovation. Source:Interview with Gina Schaefer of Deloitte Consulting Fiction FACT 1 RPA is a new concept Automation is not a new concept.
It has been around for decades in GBS and shared services. However, cloud computing and other technology advancements have enabled the expansion of RPA. While there is value to be had, beware of the hype.