1. many of these implementations have business processes

1.      How Shared Services
can enjoy Benefits of RPA?

 

Lately,
there is a significant surge in interest of companies looking for ways to drive
cost simplification across the entire organization.

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Although many of the shared services
professionals are yet to explore what RPA can do for them, it is a hot topic
among them. A quick overview
of the survey findings conducted by the Capgemini Consulting and Capgemini
Business Services (2016) shows how massive of potential that RPA offers. Below
are snapshot of statements that participants (Over 150 executives from
companies 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 as
the next iteration of transformational tools. Shared offices which comprised of
both back-office and front-office process owners have long deployed process
automation components, such as ERP suites, low-level automation tools, and
self-service portals. However, many of these implementations have business
processes that are less than optimal and applications that are not well
integrated. This results in increased costs, redundant processes, data errors,
and inconsistencies.

 

The pressure of lowering
costs in addition to other performance requirements, such as service
excellence, security, and compliance, make it difficult to close the gap
between expected and actual benefits. RPA closes that gap in several ways as
summarized below by Brad DeMent, Trey
Robinson and Jonathan Harb of ScottMadden Consultants (2016):

 

Efficiency

RPA saves time by
automating high-volume repetitive tasks. RPA can run 24/7 and only malfunction
due to an instruction error from a human. In the
long term, RPA reduces process time by 20% – 70% and increase accuracy by 99%,
which gives cost reduction at higher satisfaction. Using digital channels
enables RPA that drives accuracy, speed and a much better customer
satisfaction.

 

RPA
further empowers business advisors, knowledge workers and judgement-based role
staffs by removing the mundane and allowing them to spend their time working on critical, creative and strategic functions which
involve important decision-making that can only be completed by humans.

 

Even the RPA implementation
process is non-intrusive so large IT support structures are not necessary in
order to achieve a seamless transition into using this new software.

 

Prof. Mary Lacity and
Prof. Leslie Willcocks (2016) talked about ‘Swivel Chair’ problem in Shared
Services. In their research, they found that RPA was best suited to replace
humans for so called “swivel chair” processes. Shared services are common with
such “swivel chair” processes because they receive inputs from multiple
business 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 by
people. RPA provides scalability and flexibility. The number of robots handling
a given process can be increased or decreased relatively easily without
recruiting, hiring, or training. Lastly, robots can be quickly reassigned when
other more important processes arise, and they are already trained to
successfully complete all automated processes.

 

Cost Effectiveness

The value of
robotics process automation usually begins with the cost and productivity
savings from automating repetitive and rules-based processes

 

Furthermore, the reusable
components of a software robot are likely to cost less than an onshore staff
member or even an offshore staff member. Deloitte’s Gina Schaefer mentioned “Because robots are
scalable, additional robotic workers can be applied to a task to address peaks
in demand and work 24×7 – all at a ninth of the cost of a full-time, onshore
employee.” Wage
inflation, turnover, labor disputes, and other challenges are avoided by
implementing RPA.

 

Contradict to
this, Manoj Kumar, a director of
Pittiglio Rabin Todd & McGrath (PRTM, Mountain View, CA) explains
“Outsourcing moves the high cost of manufacturing operations off the
balance sheet,” Kumar believes outsourcing is usually a better alternative
than investing in automation, because it gives companies the opportunity to use
a variable cost model that leads to improved margins and better economies of
scale

 

 

5. Misconceptions about Robotic
Process Automation (RPA)

 

As
with any other technology, there are misconceptions over what RPA is and isn’t
and what it can and can’t do.

 

Healthy skepticism about robotics is evident.
According to Deloitte’s Peter Moller, “either finance functions have looked at
this and thought, for whatever reason, have decided that it doesn’t work for us
or they just don’t know enough about it, or it hasn’t been on the top of their
agenda, or they just haven’t looked at it.”

 

Deloitte’s
Gina Schaefer summarized the below when it comes to the misconceptions by
organizations and these are what hindering them from utilizing this great
automation 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.

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