Automation is one of the hot trends on everyone’s lips. For example, CEDA has predicted that more than five million jobs will be gone in 10 to 15 years as a result of automation.
This statistic is a little misleading in that it doesn’t account for the fact that there will be a growth in demand for other jobs, and the creation of new roles that don’t currently exist, but while the human impact won’t be as significant as it is often hyped up to be, it is nonetheless true that there are some profound shifts in workplaces going on at the moment.
Introducing Robotic Process Automation
Robotic Process Automation, or RPA, is central to a lot of automation. Perhaps the most obvious application of RPA, and the one that is easiest to visualize, is in the manufacturing sector.
Where once factory lines were staffed by people, increasingly robots are taking over the work. This doesn’t mean that manufacturers no longer need staff, but those employees are moved up the strategic chain to maintain the machine, or act in other higher-value roles than the menial tasks previously restricted them to.
Robotic Process Automation Benefits
There are many benefits of Robotic Process Automation to both businesses and individuals:
- For individuals: Robots are increasingly able to take over the dangerous tasks within any operation. Even beyond manufacturing, robots are finding applications where there is an increased risk to a human professional, which is ideal from a corporate responsibility and OH&S perspective.
Additionally, robots lead to higher morale within the organization. No one likes repetitive, menial tasks, and these tasks can be both stressful and exhausting over time. These are the tasks that RPA is ideal for, allowing the employee to undertake more varied and interesting work.
- For businesses: Robots are much more precise in tasks, which helps to facilitate a high standard of quality and consistency. Additionally, robots are less expensive – after the up-front cost they don’t require a salary, and maintenance costs are a fraction of award wage. Finally, robots are able to work longer and harder without needing to account for exhaustion or breaks.
RPA For Software
What many people don’t realise is that RPA applies to software too, and it’s possible to have all kinds of software “robots” undertaking all kinds of menial tasks.
Just some of the examples of where software automation can help boost an organization’s efficiency include:
- Moving files and folders and maintaining data
- Scraping information from websites
- Automated webinars to help you
- Extracting data from documents, including PDFs and emails
- Providing first responses to customer inquiries (chatbots)
Much like with physical robots, the benefits of automation are widespread and significant. Businesses have more efficient processes, and employees aren’t draining hours of their days away dealing with technology and processes. Instead, they can focus on getting in front of customers and adding value back to the business.
Getting Strategic About Automation
One additional opportunity that software automation offers is that it can be offered as a service model or RPAaaS. What this means is that a partner organisation will come in, audit the environment, and then work with the business to develop a roadmap towards automating as many business processes and software applications as desired. Then the partner organisation will provide those services for a monthly retainer.
For many enterprises, RPAaaS is the holy grail. Not only will they have the benefits of fully automated environments and processes, but the management of it will be outsourced too, allowing the organisation to fully streamline their operation and focus the staff on value-adding activities.
This service also introduces better price transparency into the operation, with a monthly bill providing predictable reliability around expenses – more important now with cash flows being as tight as they are than ever.
Finally, RPAaaS is a highly scalable solution, so as the organisation grows and looks to automate more of its operation, the foundation is there and the partner is able to simply increase the scope of work and what is being managed.
For some tips on other business automation and digital strategies check out these recent Marketing.com.au articles:
- What Is Conversational Commerce and Why Should Brands Invest in Chatbots
- 8 Powerful Social Media Marketing Strategies for Your Small Business
- How Automation Is Changing in 2018 and What Marketers Can Learn from It
- Tools to Streamline Marketing Automation
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