Articulate, thoughtful business people avoid clichés because they are trite. Since they are trite, they preempt original ideas. Still, not all stereotypes deserve to be shunned. Some like “Time is money” embody wisdom. It’s a colloquial way of referring to the economic principle of opportunity cost.
Since time is a scarce resource because it’s fleeting and finite, most business management books advise businesses to get things done as quickly as possible.
Using robotic process automation, or RPA, in your business to improve important but tedious business processes is a revolutionary way to put this timeless principle into practice.
Eliminate Productivity Killers
RPA, an emerging technology to automate business processes, is only robotic in a metaphorical sense. It’s not an artificial intelligent worker like a production-line robot in a factory, but a software robot.
Despite this imaginative name, it’s still a formidable piece of technology, perhaps one as impressive as a physical robot for eliminating productivity killers.
Software robots not only work faster than a person, but they can also run error-free 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They can do in 10 seconds a task that takes a person three minutes.
A bot can do the same work a human does. For instance, it can respond to queries, manually scan barcodes, make calculations, or record transactions. However, it does it better, faster, and cheaper. Freeing humans from drudge work allows them to do more creative tasks to grow the business.
Use Multi-App Tools to Keep from Switching Apps so Often
Besides working diligently on tedious work that needs to get done, you can “retrain” your bot to do other tasks once it’s done a batch of high-volume work. Deploying it for different jobs is as simple as changing its initial preset rules, i.e., modifying its script.
Your business can also use robotic process automation to avoid switching apps so often. It costs a business time, money, and effort when an IT worker switches apps for complex processes. However, with RPA, you can deploy bots to make the changes. All you have to do is change a few lines of code to change gears in a business process.
Use Business Process Automation Software
Should you use robotic process automation in your business?
Here are three good reasons you may want to consider delegating some work to a bot rather than a person:
- An employee can work for about eight hours. By comparison, a bot is like a super-employee. It can work around the clock. It does not take fifteen-minute breaks during a shift, does not take an hour off for lunch, or does not go home in the evenings. It also does not ask for wages or overtime pay.
- The longer a person works, the more productivity falls. Fatigue also compounds errors. Within an eight-hour shift, a person has about a 30 percent rate. Some mistakes can cause significant problems, from accidents to financial blunders. By comparison, a bot can work all day and night with no errors.
- Humans don’t handle multitasking well. Rapid task switching speeds up fatigue, reduces attention span, and creates confusion and mistakes. By comparison, a bot can handle many jobs with no problems.
You can also use business process automation for doing a wide number of things:
- To open an invoice email from your supplier and then print it out for your records.
- To check to see if a customer’s address is correct.
- To key in your invoices with data and amounts, and it can also calculate tax.
- To verify if your numbers on a financial document match.
- To flag an item for exception handling.
If you do want to introduce robot processing automation into your business, decide what type of tool to select based on the data, type of task, interoperability, and AI.
Here are some questions to ask:
Questions about data: Is my data easy to read and write into multiple systems? Some information is easy to interpret; others require more interpretation. Bots work well with simple data.
Questions about tasks: Are my tasks easy to configure based on rules? Some tasks are based on rules; others require knowledge. Bots are rule-based machines.
Questions about interoperability: Does my business need a tool that works across many applications? Bots operate well across multiple apps.
Questions about AI: Do I want my bot to mimic a human user? If you do, then you need a bot with built-in AI support.