What can RPA do for you?
Repetitive processes, time-consuming tasks or wasted talent of your employees due to bureaucracy? Do you recognize these problems? Software robots can help you improve this situation. Almost all activities that occur frequently and have a repetitive character, lend themselves to improvement by means of Robotic Process Automation (RPA). A software robot is faster per action, makes fewer mistakes, is cheaper and learns from its own work. The initial costs for programming such a robot, which used to be very high, have continued to decrease while the functional possibilities have expanded. This makes RPA applicable in more and more processes and the investment is worth it!
When properly programmed, it can have great benefits and work many times faster and better than humans can. Our own research has shown that many organizations are little or not at all familiar with RPA and therefore do not know where to start. At the same time, they face various challenges, such as:
- Manually retyping medical records or ID cards;
- Handling claims in the insurance world;
- Processing permit applications by a municipality;
- Manually checking the stock of products;
- Writing standard reports.
What added value can RPA have for your organization?
RPA offers organizations the opportunity to allow employees to perform more meaningful thinking tasks. Relieving them of repetitive, often administrative tasks, creates the space to organize the work in a more meaningful and challenging way. Consider, for example, more focus on customer contact and relationship management. This increases the effectiveness of the employees. In addition, operational speed is increased and errors reduced by automating repetitive tasks. Because the robots are available 24/7 to perform tasks, certain activities can also continue outside office hours. This increases the overall efficiency of the processes.
Challenges of Implementing RPA
RPA also has a number of challenges. After all, it concerns the integration of new technology in the current business architecture and a renewed cooperation between people and technology. There are different types of challenges and common misunderstandings that need to be addressed if you want to successfully implement RPA. In particular, we see the following challenges in RPA implementations:
- RPA is usually a short-term/interim solution.
Of course, RPA can offer an immediate solution and benefit, but in the long run, RPA also requires more complex platforms and frequent evaluation and optimization of working methods.
- RPA automates a clearly defined process.
This can be a challenge for organizations that have not defined clear processes. It often happens that organizations start to automate, but either automate the wrong things or do not have a clear objective of the process.
- High fixed costs, low variable costs.
It is a fact that automated processes are expensive to implement, with revenues only accruing over time. It requires specific and practiced skills to successfully implement the automated processes. It therefore needs volume to make it worthwhile, either at the organization itself or at a hired supplier. The financial threshold is, however, becoming increasingly lower because software and implementation experience are becoming more widely available.
- RPA maintenance.
During the execution of the processes, RPA solutions require some maintenance. A RPA software robot is sensitive to changes in the user interface, therefore it is necessary to maintain the RPA robots. When a software robot has multiple tasks, it can become complex and difficult to maintain.
- Employee resistance.
Resistance, or to put it mildly, is one of the biggest challenges in RPA pathways due to the fact that people are not naturally fond of change. Any change associated with the implementation of new technology can be stressful for employees because they experience a change in their responsibilities. In addition, when implementing RPA, there is often a fear that jobs will disappear as tasks are automated.
How can Supply Value help to overcome these challenges?
We can help you overcome the RPA challenges and lead a successful implementation. We support you throughout the entire process from preparation to assurance of the automated processes and the associated benefits.
1. Business case creation
We start by drawing up the business case and the architecture. RPA often turns out to be particularly useful for organisations that want to modernise their systems supported by legacy applications. Think of ERP systems that have been in use for decades. It can be quite a challenge to replace these kinds of implementations, because a company's unique features and data are literally 'in' the systems. The software robots can provide support when switching to a modern system. They then perform multiple tasks and steps. Think of logging into the old system to extract files from it, then logging into the newer application and entering the file data. The RPA robots can then perform assigned tasks in the new system.
In the business case we calculate the automation complexity and potential of the processes. We then map out the benefits and prioritize the processes. In this way we make a well-founded choice as to whether or not to automate processes and in what order this is done.
2. Package selection and business analysis
We help you with package selection and carry out the business analysis. We first focus on optimizing your processes before we start automating. Together with the process owner, we map out the current process and all relevant data. We then design the desired process together with the process owner, RPA developer and system manager. We identify what can be improved or redesigned in advance to prevent possible RPA errors. Moreover, we involve your employees in this process to think about the next steps. Naturally, we document this carefully so that the RPA developer can start building the solution immediately after analysis and selection.Template: Process Design Document
3. Building and testing the RPA solution
In the implementation phase we take care of the project management for you. We manage risks and changes that arise during the construction of the RPA solution. In addition, we ensure that all tests are carried out and documented. All issues that arise during the test cases are recorded in an issue log and dealt with piece by piece.Template: Test case
4. Input and continuous improvement
When the RPA solution is ready to go live, it is important that employees are trained in good time and work instructions are drawn up or adapted for the new situation. Thorough change management is essential for a successful implementation. We help you to properly set up the communication to all stakeholders in the organization, so that all stakeholders are fully and timely informed. We can also guide you through the entire change process. For example, we can help you set up and implement a suitable change strategy, create support among employees and achieve your objectives.
After implementation and in the operational phase of the automated processes, we can carry out performance assessments and manage change requests.Template: Request Change Initiative
RPA solution in practice
- Keeping medical records transparent
- Processing claims
- Achieving optimal staffing levels
RPA can offer a solution by:
- Using software robots to accurately maintain and synchronize medical records between service providers, laboratories, pharmacies.
- Initiate an RPA task that collects all necessary data and transfers it securely to the claim management system.
- Automate data exchanges between different applications. The synchronized and up-to-date applications ensure that personnel can work in the right place and efficiently.
- A up-to-date delivery status
- A solution in case of late or incorrect deliveries
- Faster payment of open invoices
RPA can offer a solution by:
- Automate the system processing of a delivery status. This ensures greater efficiency and reduces the risk of erroneous data.
- Have software robots compare delivery documents with an order and report and correct incorrect product deliveries.
- Automate the uploading of documents and matching with the corresponding sales orders with RPA software robots.
- Data security and reliability
- Increasing costs and complexity
- Responsive customer service
RPA can offer a solution by:
- Create the possibility to view executed process steps back. RPA holds an audit trial in which all the actions carried out are registered.
- Automate all repetitive administrative tasks. This enables departments to easily make adjustments within the process and thus reduce costs and complexity.
- Automating systems and thus reducing the lead time of services. This ensures a higher quality of service and customer satisfaction.