According to Ofra Strauss, the only way to maintain profitability is to meet the needs of customers. While this is an undeniable truth, the ways in which you go about doing this are complex. Your customers may not care how you go about meeting their needs – the multiple processes that are involved – but they care about the outcome. Recent developments have allowed robotics and automation to take on a behind-the-scenes role that can deliver exactly that kind of customer service and experience.
Desktop automation or Robotic Process Automation (RPA) isn’t as complex as it sounds. What it can do is record, mimic, and then automate any manual desktop activity an individual may perform when carrying out any tasks within a process. In day-to-day business operations, this could include high-volume, repetitive tasks related to customer service, finance (such as invoicing), IT, or even HR. As this automation can occur seamlessly between any application or system, and requires no heavy back-end integration, it is non-disruptive and quick to implement and scale.
With this in mind, here are three brief reasons why it’s becoming the norm for businesses to automate manual desktop tasks to increase profitability and efficiency:
One bot can effectively do the work of three human employees, around the clock. Instead of being inundated with tedious manual processes that take longer and cost more, automation can yield enormous increases in efficiency and productivity – resulting in a potential ROI of between 30 – 200% in the first year. On a purely functional level, desktop automation decreases manual processing time, improves accuracy, and also reduces the cost of performing everyday business processes.
Releasing the humans
It’s said that Robotic Process Automation “takes the robot out of the human”, so it removes those dull, repetitive tasks such as copying and pasting values between applications away from human employees, freeing up those employees to do more complex tasks that require uniquely human attributes: creativity, insights, empathy, reasoning etc. Since those employees won’t be bogged down performing endless, mundane tasks, they’ll be available to be trained in other areas of the company, expanding their roles, doing more interesting work with greater levels of satisfaction, and ultimately be more motivated to take your company to greater heights. Automation does not equal job losses, it merely replaces boring parts of jobs.
Rapid, consistent service delivery
The customer will be able to get what they want, faster and with more consistency when businesses speed up processes via automation. There’s less margin for error, and the humans working to deliver the customer service will have greater opportunities to offer a more personalised interaction. Processes that can slow down an interaction (such as having to update information) can be automated so that there won’t be folders sitting on someone’s desk waiting to be processed. Greater operational efficiency and productivity will be achieved, improving service levels and the customer experience. Automation doesn’t just benefit businesses, but customers too.
Ultimately, desktop process automation provides a fantastic opportunity to operate a streamlined, seamless office environment that can have a direct impact on your bottom line, ensuring that you’re doing what you set out to achieve – meeting the needs of your customers.
By Wynand Smit, CEO of INOVO