Robotic Process Automation, or RPA, isn’t just a process efficiency tool for organizations. It also provides real value in helping businesses manage their workforce during challenging times for talent acquisition and retention.
The basic idea behind RPA is deploying a software “bot” to perform a repetitive task in as close to the same manner as a human being as possible. The automation of these functions not only improves accuracy and efficiency, but also boosts job satisfaction by eliminating mundane daily tasks.
This generates not only speed, accuracy and efficiency, but also can generate a workforce management benefit by improving job satisfaction among the workers who’d previously been responsible for a repetitive, mechanical task. Without automation, these sorts of repetitive and mind-numbing job responsibilities are frequently a source of employee dissatisfaction and poor performance, which can in turn lead to more errors and increased inefficiency.
These kinds of tasks are especially valuable to automate when they’re taking time from employees who can be generating significant value in other activities. If you have highly-skilled and well-compensated employees doing things like filling out compliance forms, reconciling bank statements, sending shipping notifications or managing network user credentials, the real cost to your organization isn’t the time they’re spending on those tasks.
Rather, it’s the value to the organization of what they could be doing with that time – “opportunity cost,” in the language of economics. The true cost of an underutilized workforce isn’t what they’re paid for the time they spend on administrative tasks. Rather, it’s the difference between that cost and those workers would have created in performing their highest-value role during that time. Liberating a high-value workforce from administrative drudgery through RPA in order to free them to be truly productive can pay for itself very quickly when the difference in value between how they had been spending their time and what they were able to do afterward is accounted for.
Obviously, there are times where robotically automating a process through RPA is not the right choice, and a more comprehensive process reinvention is necessary. As Microsoft’s Bill Gates famously noted, “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”
Therefore, businesses considering RPA need to find a partner that offers comprehensive automation solutions. Beyond RPA, process automation and reinvention capabilities need to be considered to ensure inefficiencies are eliminated.That’s why it’s important for a business considering RPA to work with a partner that offers a comprehensive set of automation solutions, including not just RPA but other process automation and reinvention capabilities, so that the end result is the most appropriate solution for their needs.
If you’re interested in finding out what RPA – or other automation tools – could do to help your business get the most out of your workforce, contact us to learn more.