Join Ian Barkin for an in-depth discussion in this video The seven benefit types, part of Introducing Robotic Process Automation.
- So, we've touched on the major cashable benefit quantified in the hours a business can save through automation, but I also mentioned that there's a far richer list of benefit types that must be considered. Everyone has their own breakdown here. I'll run you through the one I've most often used. One of the most straightforward benefits is an increase in speed. With RPA, process turnaround times are often significantly reduced because tasks can be completed much more efficiently when digitized.
The impacts vary widely depending on process complexity, but I've seen processes that once took two weeks be completed in less than two hours thanks to RPA. The next benefit is better compliance. Since RPA acts according to programmed rules and conditions, it can faithfully complete tasks that meet regulatory standards and protocols. Remember, RPA is not dumb. It's just well-behaved. For example, internal audits and quality checks can be greatly simplified because RPA can have built-in compliance measures.
What's more, I've seen audit times shrink drastically because organizations can quickly and easily prove compliance. On the customer side, RPA can help improve overall quality of service. There is certainly no harm in reducing the number of service errors thanks to efficient automation. Unless of course you're a customer who enjoys battling companies over incorrect billing statements. Another key benefit is operational agility. If an organization needs to adapt to new process rules, the reduced overhead of automated processes makes it much easier to adjust and scale compared to traditional hiring and retraining.
And for industries that have high cyclicality, think Christmas for retail or open enrollment for healthcare. The ability to rapidly scale a digital labor force rather than hire temporary workers can save literally millions. This agility also extends to times of uncertainty. For instance, I saw a bank avoid tremendous operating costs when major flooding put demands on their home lending team that would have been solved with people if they had not already had RPA at work. Importantly, RPA provides better insight into automated processes.
For every action completed, there will be an audit trail of important timestamped data that can be used for interrogation and improvement. RPA literally gushes forth valuable information that can be modeled, mined, and interpreted for insights into customer behavior, operational performance and much, much more. And finally, one area I find truly exciting is the impact RPA can have on experience and the experience of a wide cast of characters.
Whether you're a customer, an employee, a patient, a citizen, a vendor, or a partner, it's clear that service that is better, faster, more accurate and more painless is cause for celebration. No matter the recipient of the service automated, quality of user experience is greatly impacted by RPA. I've seen this materialize as higher net promoter scores, lower customer churn, lower employee attrition and more. Like I said, the experience benefit is truly exciting.
So note, while some of the benefits may have very clear cost savings or cashable benefits, others are softer or what we call non-cashable benefits. Interestingly, while the cashable benefits are often the ones that feature heavily in a business plan, it's often the non-cashable benefits that have the greater impact in the long run. When building your own business cases, it's important you keep in mind and consider both cashable and non-cashable benefits. Also, I urge you to consider other potential areas of benefit like cost avoidance for instance.
You'd be amazed at how much savings I have discovered in this often overlooked category. This can include reduction in fees paid by an airline, avoidance of penalties levied on a bank, reduced audit costs, reduced legal fees, reduced over payments and more. Now that we've covered the various benefits, next we can look at the recipients of the benefits or the benefactors.
- What is robotic process automation (RPA)?
- The RPA vendor landscape
- Differences between RPA and other tools
- Best practices at the process and enterprise levels
- Identifying opportunities for automation
- Prime opportunity areas for automation
- Key stakeholders in your RPA journey
- Tips for success from the front lines