9 Benefits of RPA
(Robotic Process Automation)
You have probably heard many of your industry peers talk about Robotic Process Automation (RPA) by now. The technology has been gaining grounds over the past few years. In 2021, the global RPA market will reach $1.89 billion globally—a 19.5% jump from 2020—and is expected to continue growing at double-digit rate through to 2024. What is fuelling this demand? Let’s go through 9 benefits of RPA to understand why companies are rushing to adopt this revolutionary technology.
But first, for the uninitiated—What is RPA? RPA refers to the use of software "robots" that mimic tasks usually performed by humans. These robots are especially helpful for automating rule-based processes that require interaction with multiple, disparate IT systems. Much of clerical work falls into this category.
Business Benefits of RPA
The infographic below gives a quick summary of the 9 benefits of RPA. You can also scroll down past the infographic to understand each benefit in more detail.
#1 - Lower manpower costs
With a one-time acquisition fee of between $5,000 and $15,000, companies implementing RPA will benefit from the reduction in costs. According to KPMG, RPA can cut costs for financial services by up to 75%.
It’s easy to see how this works out, considering how much a full-time employee costs. The average base salary for administrative clerks in Singapore is $27,000—not counting bonuses. Besides, robots don’t need benefits like annual leave, medical coverage, or allowances.
Instead of hiring more junior level staff to perform tasks like data entry, you could use RPA bots for mundane tasks and retrain your existing staff for higher-value work such as analysis, relationship-building, strategic planning, and more.
#2 - Get work done instantly
Do you know that it only takes 4 minutes for a robot to complete 1 hour of work?
Why is this important? Speed is increasingly important In this volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous (VUCA) world. Market conditions like customer preferences, demand, and supply chain can change more quickly than ever and you need agility to cope with that.
Waiting for days for your transaction data to be reflected in the system just doesn’t cut it anymore. Entering and analysing data almost instantly will give you timely insights that can help you make better decisions. RPA benefits you in more ways than just lowering costs.
#3 - Eliminate human error
There are bound to be human errors when tasks are done manually. Statistics have shown that there are likely 10 errors made by a human out of every 100 steps—typo errors, jumbling up numbers, looking at the wrong row, and many more. Humans are also susceptible to fatigue, so mistakes get worse as your workers get more tired.
Errors result in unnecessary time and energy spent to investigate and rectify them. These result in unnecessary costs to your business, and can even incur losses in the form of non-compliance costs, shipment delays, etc. The situation worsens when the errors are cumulative.
In our experience, eliminating human error is one of the most significant benefits of RPA for our customers.
#4 - Improve productivity
A software bot works 24/7 and does not take any lunch breaks, toilet breaks, or vacation leave. You can operate it anywhere and anytime.
Depending on your needs, you can even use unattended bots that can be scheduled to run jobs on its own. For example, it can be scheduled to enter data from the previous day after office hours, so the data is ready when the next workday starts. For high-volume applications, the RPA bot can run continuously, skyrocketing your productivity.
#5 - Improve employee satisfaction
Improving employee satisfaction is one of the more overlooked benefits of RPA, but it doesn’t mean it’s less important. It’s not something you should overlook—because according to Gallup’s study, companies with the most engaged workers are 22% more profitable.
With RPA, your employees no longer have to spend their time copying data from one system to another all day. They can use their time doing more valuable things that motivate them—engaging work that require creativity and the human touch. Such appreciation of one’s work is one of the strongest drivers for employee satisfaction.
#6 - Scale up and down easily
When business is thriving and you have more data and transactions to process, you can easily add more robots to do the work. You don’t have to go through the costly, lengthy, and uncertain process of recruiting a new headcount. Similarly, when there is a need to scale down and cut back, you can do so without being bound by labour law.
The flexibility to scale up or down your robotic workforce is an advantage in today’s climate where business cycles are shorter and more unpredictable.
#7 - Do better with less
With RPA, automated processes with higher efficiency are likely to lead to more accurate data with much less time lag. Companies can gain more timely, accurate insights that can help them spot trends better and intervene in time to capture opportunities or prevent losses.
Tasks performed by RPA bots are also more consistent and error-free, resulting in less rework, lower non-compliance costs, and better quality of output.
Overall, companies are likely to benefit from producing better results with the adoption of RPA.
#8 - Be digitally ready
With the pandemic accelerating the adoption of digital solutions globally, digital transformation is no longer just an option. Increasingly, a large portion of all activities an individual engages in will involve at least one of the top-seven digital giants.
Brick-and-mortar retailers have little choice but to expand into e-commerce. Bills and statements are mostly sent over email. Pen-and-paper records no longer cut it.
Businesses should be ready for the digital world NOW—and RPA benefits your business by working across disparate systems, helping bring quick wins in your digitalisation journey.
#9 - Be future-proof
The future is all about collaboration with robots. In the Fourth Industrial Revolution, clerical work will be automated the way industrial robotics automated production in the shop floor.
Your competitors are adopting automation—53% of respondents in Deloitte’s Global RPA Survey have already started their RPA journey.
If your organisation has not started looking into automation, there will come a time when your competitors become so efficient, agile, and productive that it will be hard to keep up. There’s no better time to start automating than now.
Reap the Benefits of RPA
The benefits of RPA are many, but you can only enjoy them if your automation solutions are implemented well. Sadly, 30-50% of initial RPA projects fail. To ensure the success of your automation initiative, it is important to engage experienced automation professionals to take care of your RPA project implementation, as well as subsequent support and maintenance of your RPA bots.
What’s next? If you would like to see how RPA can deliver ROI for your organisation, get in touch for a free consultation. Our experts are always happy to help companies benefit from RPA.