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4 reasons RPA implementations fail and how to avoid them.

A surprising 30 to 50% of RPA projects initially fail. Business owners are often left wondering what went wrong. To help you avoid common pitfalls, we created a list of 4 reasons RPA efforts fail and how to avoid them.

“57 percent of organizations surveyed look to increase process quality through innovation.” ―Deloitte

#1: Not selecting the right processes to automate.

If you’re a first-time RPA implementer, you’re likely excited to improve your workflow. And that’s great. You just need to make sure that you’re automating processes that will have the greatest impact on productivity.

Focus on automating simple tasks that employees do on a daily basis or that take a long time to complete. Things like data entry, social media posts, and payroll are great places to start. Automating these tedious tasks frees up your team’s time. That way they can focus on tackling more critical projects.

“Implementation challenges can be serious, but proactive planning up front can reduce or eliminate them.” ―Deloitte

#2: Attempting deployment too fast.

It’s easy to get hyper-focused on using RPA to increase ROI. Sure, you want to increase your profitability. But you also have think about your current resources and capabilities. Can your IT department take on a project right now? Is your network equipped to handle an implementation? How will you measure an RPA project’s success?

Rushing into deployment is a risky move. One that will likely lead to frustration and wasted resources. Creating an implementation plan will help you achieve success. Get your business strategy team and IT department involved in its creation. And be sure to maintain an open line of communication throughout the entire project.

#3: Neglecting your RPA software after deployment.

Even after an RPA implementation, there’s still work to do. RPA software requires ongoing maintenance so that it continues to run smoothly.

Robots never deviate from their configured algorithms. But software interfaces, data formats, and company processes change. To make sure your RPA software continues to work in your environment, you need to make sure your business strategy team maintains it.

#4: Relying only on RPA.

While RPA is a helpful tool, it’s not the only tool. There are lots of productivity-enhancing solutions on the market. You should use RPA software as a part of your overall process optimization strategy. Not the entirety of it.

Take the time to analyze your business processes and determine where automation will make the most impact. You can also enlist the help of a provider skilled in RPA implementations. They’ll be able to provide guidance how to maximize your ROI using RPA software.

“It’s important to recognize and mitigate these [common issues] in order to facilitate the success of the organization’s RPA program.” —Ernst & Young

Deploying RPA in your business.

You need to consider every aspect of an RPA implementation before you undertake one. Evaluate the risks, rewards, and what resources you’ll need to maintain your RPA software. And remember, if at first you don’t succeed in your implementations, try again. There’s always a lesson to learn and apply to your future digital transformation efforts.

Related Blog: 3 areas of business that robotic process automation is optimizing.

 

3 areas of business that robotic process automation is optimizing.

By 2035, artificial intelligence is expected to boost average business profitability by 38% and lead to an economic increase of $14 trillion dollars.

One component of artificial intelligence taking the business world by storm is robotic process automation (RPA).

Robotic process automation is a type of software meant to mimic human actions in performing smaller tasks within larger processes. RPA systems learn actions by watching an end user execute a task within a software application’s graphical user interface.

The goal of RPA is to perform repetitive tasks quickly and accurately using a robot. This lets employees focus on more important aspects of the business like customer interaction and strategy.

“RPA takes the robot out of the human.” — McKinsey

In the business world, there are 3 areas where robotic process automation is making a dramatic impact.

#1: Business process management.

Business process management (BPM) is a systematic approach to streamlining processes, identifying areas that need improvement, and implementing best practices across all areas of an organization. It’s achieved through consultation with business strategists specializing in BPM.

One aspect of BPM is automation. That’s where RPA is changing the game.

RPA is the natural evolution of traditional automation. It’s easier to install onto existing software systems and extremely scalable. RPA software automates processes without changing, replacing, compromising, or adding maintenance expenses to existing applications. Thus, business consultants are increasingly using RPA in their optimization strategies.

Organizations can choose to incorporate RPA as a part of a complete business process management overhaul. Or they can simply automate individual tasks within their existing processes, achieving significant results with less time and investment.

“RPA projects save money, recoup the investment in just six to nine months, and don’t require major IT architecture changes or deep integration with underlying systems.” — Everest Group

#2: Data capture and transfer.

Instead of manually entering data into multiple databases, RPA is able to pull data from one application and push it into another according to the business needs. This is beneficial for form-driven and data-heavy processes like onboarding new accounts, fulfilling purchase orders or processing invoices.

Combined with machine learning capabilities, RPA learns from its mistakes and enters data more accurately over time, eventually eliminating the need for human supervision and error checking.

Related Blog: Harnessing Machine Learning’s Role in Data Capture

#3: Customer service.

Call centers use a variety of different systems and vendors to satisfy customer needs. When a customer calls in, a call center employee needs to pull up the appropriate account information, determine the reason for their call, switch between different systems and applications to retrieve the right details, and relay the best response back to the customer.

The longer this process takes, the more a customer’s frustration grows.

Using RPA, information can be captured, analyzed, cross-referenced, and shared across platforms. Thus, when a customer calls in, a tab with all of the right account details can automatically be opened on a representative’s desktop.

Robotic process automation also allows customer service representatives to avoid spending time entering the same data into different systems. Once a representative inputs data into one vendor system, the other systems automatically populate with that same information.

Each automation allows call center employees to successfully help more customers in less time with better results.

Harnessing the power of robotic process automation.

There are plenty of additional ways that RPA can have a dramatic impact on your business. A great place to start is looking at all of the processes within your company and identifying steps within them that can be automated. If you need help, be sure to reach out to an IT provider skilled in implementing artificial intelligence-based solutions.

Related Blog: Digital Transformation Trends to Watch in 2018