The core of any automation project is the process itself. Implementing automation into a process can have huge cost savings, but automation technologies are more nuanced than they may first appear, and, in some cases, automation may not be worthwhile at all. Selecting the right processes and the correct automation technologies is vital to improve operations and make cost savings.
Pick the low hanging fruits… that are profitable!
Experts often discuss how automation projects should start by picking the low hanging fruit. The low hanging fruits they are referring to are usually repetitive tasks that can easily be automated, but this will not always result in hard financial results. It is important to ensure that these processes are valuable to the business and clearly identify how an automation project will provide a good ROI.
Just because it can be automated does not mean it should be…
With around 40% of RPA projects failing to deliver on their goals it is not enough to just plug in some RPA and save a few minutes. Understanding the value goals for the automation project and how to make it financially successful will make all the difference when it comes to project delivery.
Select processes that can save money or drive revenue into the business. Historically automation project selection has been severely limited by what is technologically possible. But advances in intelligent automation technologies are making end-to-end process automation increasingly achievable. There will always be limitations but you might be surprised by what can be achieved with current capabilities.
Consider the scalability of your project
Choosing a scalable solution with capabilities beyond RPA and introducing it in an incremental way will significantly increase the potential ROI. RPA can only go so far, and the next steps from here can include a whole host of tools including OCR, Decisioning Software and AI. Combining these technologies can help you save time and money while also offering better customer experiences and increasing market share. Planning beyond RPA from the start means you can consider further options for value creation at the process selection stage.
Generating Revenue: Processes with direct outcomes for customers can increase sales or customer conversion and drive more revenue into the business. For example, using chat-bots or offering 24/7 service that is handled by automation often increases sales. Tools with decisioning capabilities can improve service further by achieving first-touchpoint resolutions, improving customer experiences and allowing employees to spend their time focusing on helping customers or generating more business.
Creating Savings: Focusing on introducing intelligent automation to take some of the load from ‘knowledge workers’ as well as routine tasks makes it possible to reduce processes from hours to minutes. This will greatly reduce overhead costs and create value. Manual processes with high numbers of employees are optimal for automation. They free up staff, reducing operating costs and saving the company time and money. Scaling these projects up to include AI capabilities will automate the more complex processes, giving time back to the business and further reducing operating costs.
Picking the low-hanging fruit is a good way to begin introducing automation into the business. But this does not mean that any process should be automated. It is still important to plan and carefully select the processes that will be automated. Ensuring processes have direct outcomes for customers to drive a profit or assist in reducing emoluments, outsourcing or overtime to create savings means you will get real financial value back.
Selecting the right process will not only provide some soft successes, saving your employees time and making operations more efficient. It will also allow for real financial results increasing revenue and cutting operational costs.
Read our white paper written by independent expert Kieran Gilmurray for more strategies to achieve ROI from an automation project: