How to make process automation work for your business!
How to determine if RPA Process Automation is right for your business
Every business will have a process that can be made better by automation. But before automating a process, consider the goals of that process. Often processes are added to compensate for a weakness in another part of the business. If the process needs to be rethought or redesigned, consider Value Stream Mapping (VSM) to help redefine the process. If the process is necessary, repetitive, and time consuming, then it is a candidate for RPA. A well-designed RPA can provide significant improvements to any business.
Flexware’s Enterprise Solutions group has extensive experience automating business processes. Here are a few things to look for in a process to automate:
Paper based system
Hard to manage remotely
Rules are clearly established
Critical thinking is not required
Quality and consistency is required
Identify the best use cases for Process Automation
RPA Process Automation offers the ability to automate business processes quickly and easily.
This paves the way for digital transformation. By placing automation tools at the user’s disposal.
There are many different areas where RPAs can assist an organization. Here is a short list:
Automatically create and distribute reports.
Reading and digitizing paper documents like Bill of Ladings.
Perform error checking and form validation to ensure compliance with procedures.
Process documents while catching and stopping errors from processing.
Send alerts to users when errors are found or when there is something to review.
Route documents for review or approvals. This can be a contract, purchase order requisition, capital approval, PTO request, travel report, business reimbursement, or any document or request that needs an approval.
Read your emails to determine which have PDF documents. Deciphering which are Purchase Orders and Invoices, scanning those documents for key information, route those documents for approvals, capture key data, enter into your business system, attach as a reference or copy to a shared file repository for archival.
Set clear expectations
Always have clear expectations of what the RPA is and is not! It does not replace a human, it enhances them! Humans can make critical and cognitive choices. RPA follows a clear set of instructions/steps. RPAs can learn, but they only learn from the process in which they were designed for.
Don’t forget the person!
When defining the role of the RPA, you also redefine the role of the person. This person can then be assigned to work on more value-added tasks. Analyzing the business, managing through problems/issues, while focusing and building on the business strategy.
Have a plan
Make sure you have a well defined plan for how to achieve the process automation goals and objectives. Here is an example of the phases that go into your plan for RPA Implementation.
Discover Phase – Brainstorm all possibilities but identify 1-2 cases for a pilot. These should be picked by best fit to the technology as opposed to biggest problem to solve. More can be added later.
Solution Design Phase – Establish the core foundation of the RPA setup and library. As you map the process, also discuss what the goal and objective is of the RPA. Always focus on the end goal. An RPA cannot fix a broken process.
Development Phase – Don’t over complicate or try to do too much. Companies that try to solve every problem with an RPA often fail. Some errors will occur. Automate what can be automated and setup error handled for those edge cases.
Testing Phase – Test the process for positive features and test for edge cases (test what should fail). This will ensure that the process works as designed and the necessary error handling is in place. Testing should be done with the people closest to the process to ensure it is well tested and ready. This also ensures all stakeholders understand what the RPA is doing or not doing. Make improvements as necessary.
Deployment\Execution Phase – Once the RPA is tested and ready, plan a time when they can be placed into production. Closely monitor the results to ensure all is working correctly. Once that is confirmed, let the RPAs do their work.
Maintenance and Support – Occasionally RPAs will need to be updated, turned off, or replaced. Continue to grow your RPA library, but also make sure your RPA resources are working efficiently.
Are you still not sure how to proceed? Have questions? Or do you just need an advisory to help guide you?
Flexware Innovation’s Enterprise Solutions Group can help with all or part of your project. Reach out using the form below to learn more about how Flexware can help you!
Director of Marketing I’m drawn to better and smarter ways of working and communicating. Many times that involves technology. Sometimes it doesn’t. Either way, work can and should be improved – continuously. I’m drawn to the mission of Flexware Innovation for these reasons. We’re committed to unleashing the potential of technology, freeing up leaders to focus on what’s next.