RPA implementation can be done through workforce consulting, and a combination of technology and change management. Over the last few months, PureSoftware has incorporated RPA into multiple processes including, accounts receivable, new-employee onboarding, claims processing, bank reconciliation, order prioritization/management and many more. Highlighted here various challenges/hurdles that you may face & “Top 5 Tips” for successful RPA implementation.
- STUDY THE COMPLEXITY OF THE PROCESSES IN ADVANCE
In automation, rules-based processes are the prime candidates. When complexity is not completely documented or understood, then the processes can cause complications for RPA software implementations. Although decisions can be made by learning patterns, still RPA software has difficulty imitating this human ability. Just one ambiguous decision in a rule-based process can prohibit RPA implementation from being getting effective. When the data format differs, the data entry processes become increasingly complex to automate. RPA software can result in becoming more costly and tedious while configuring than using a human to perform the same task if there is an increase in process complexity.
- CONDUCT FUNCTIONAL AND TECHNICAL DESIGN MEETING TO ENSURE BUSINESS & TECHNOLOGY USERS ARE SYNCED
It is necessary to hold “design sessions” before acquiring RPA into the workflows. This session includes gathering the information and requirements from end users, mapping out business processes, analyzing the exceptions, collecting the information and documenting process outputs. Unnecessary re-work and delay in the timeline can be due to failing to hold technical design sessions. The design session should hold the following:
- Establishing user access to the test environment
- Consulting with end users to confirm the type of robot being developed
- Securing application availability for robot development
- CHANGE MANAGEMENT BEFORE GO-LIVE
Re-engineering is always recommended for increasing the ease of implementation when processes are evaluated to automate with RPA. Several factors such as standardizing pre-existing data, the requirement of data input, flexibility in tasks sequencing, number of system touches result in influencing the amount of upfront work needed. Establishing the communication schedule helps in managing the expectations of the project team that outlines the actions required by the team. To ensure that the employees are fully prepared to acquire new tasks that come with upcoming robot deployment and process re-design, change management is necessary throughout the lifecycle of the RPA project.
- RE-TEST THE BOT TO ENSURE IT HANDLES EXCEPTIONS PROPERLY
After your robot starts automating the process successfully, it is necessary to ensure that the robots handle the exceptions in the testing phase. Sometimes, an exception occurs that after one week of successfully deploying your first robot, the robot fails when triggered on X’s computer because of the difference in the screen resolution from Y’s computer. Using activities in the workflow configuration can help in ensuring “robot sustainability” that guide the robot what to do in case of errors. Before handing the process to the end user, kindly check, double check, and triple check to ensure that it runs in all scenarios types.
- RE-CONSIDER THE GROWTH OR CHANGE IN THE BUSINESS WHILE CONFIGURING THE BOT
Processes start to evolve as soon as the companies grow and change. Consider an example: A company processes all invoices out of the corporate headquarters that has centralized accounts department in New York. While configuring a robot, the RPA team orders the robot to type “New York” into the address line of the invoice which is to be sent to the customer. A few years later, after when the company expands, it decides to divide the accounts into East Coast and West Coast departments, followed by the unique invoicing procedures. Now the company needs to go back to the workflow and re-configure the value typed in the address line of the invoice to reflect the change.
Although it is a minor example, there are several scenarios which result in headaches when the change occurs in designing a robot to automate a given task.
ACHIEVING A RETURN ON YOUR RPA INVESTMENT
After implementation, RPA can create tremendous value across your organization. This includes:
- BETTER EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT: The employee hours can be reduced by using the automated processes. This results in reassigning the existing employees to more challenging work. Employees need to then interpret data, enable intelligent decision-making across the organization.
- RETAINING EMPLOYEES: RPA implementation help in the mitigation of the risk of turnover and labor shortage.
- EFFICIENT PRODUCTIVITY AND BETTER CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE: Increase in customer demand results in higher touch and more responsive services.
- SIGNIFICANT REDUCTION IN HUMAN ERRORS: RPA automated tasks reduces human errors.
- REGULATORY COMPLIANCE: Compliance and audit failure are the result of data entry errors. To ensure compliance, RPA offers additional checks in industries like banking.
- BUILDING A FOUNDATION FOR THE FUTURE: Today, Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning are being embedded in technology. Deploying RPA can lay the foundation to capitalize on artificial intelligence developments.