If you decide to go for robotization on your own, most often with a help of external specialist who assist in rolling out RPA project, than significant up-front investment need to be done. Apart from the actual cost of hiring external company (and these costs may exceed hundreds of thousands Euro), internal robotization is associated with following costs:
Largest organizations can opt for fully fledged robotization setup. That means that recruitment of full RPA Center of Excellence is needed. On the top of that a team of RPA developers, IT infrastructure and licenses need to be acquired. This approach is recommended for organizations which have a potential for robotizing hundreds of FTEs jobs.
In our view – definitely an opportunity.
We have a very consistent observation: in our experience way to many people worldwide do the tasks which are not made for humans and fit perfectly well for robots. We mean tedious, repetitive and error prone activities that very often yield decrease in motivation in teams. Every single management we have talked to can think about hundreds of better and more creative things people could be doing should they not be forced to spend so much time on tasks that robots like so much.
In one of my previous articles I discussed main reasons to go for robotization. Now I want tackle a more challenging topic – an analysis of main obstacles companies have to overcome to succeed with robotization.
In all companies known to us one thing is taken for granted: IT resources are scarce and choices made in terms of what will be developed by technical team and what needs to wait for ‘unknown future’ are always difficult. Moreover, IT development is generally expensive what leads to very careful decision making with heavy emphasis on business case the investment is to generate.
Is it possible to deal with large-scale robotization (more than a few robots) without automating the processes of creating, installing and monitoring robots?
We believe it isn’t. Robots used in RPA is a piece of software which sometimes needs to be changed. They work on applications which may also change from time to time what can cause even more complications. When starting robotization journey you should be always prepared for both of these factors and have tools to manage them in easy and safe way.
As you can easily imagine, the decision to introduce robots that perform tasks handled by people can be a controversial topic for human employees. Our experience shows that even mere delivery of such news can stir the emotions and open up argumentative discussions. Both surprise and fear of the change itself and a potential loss of daily tasks can turn out to be a daunting blocker if not addressed in time.
Organizations we know and have seen are facing a challenge of having to few people for the amount of work they have to do. People available for work in back-office operations are scarce so it is a challenge to maintain the right team to keep the operations up and running. On top of this, many tasks that people are doing should have been automated long ago Their repetitive, tedious and error prone character means that these tasks should not be done by people any more and are perfect for robots.
Most of our robots strictly follow the procedure that is programmed up-front. This procedure sometimes can by very complex, because of the nature of the underlying business process. This allows the robot to work with 100% accuracy at all times. Robots can always explain why they made specific decisions and why they chose specific path based on specific situation. This makes them absolutely deterministic and perfectly fit for operations where the result has to be exactly, as provided by the procedure.
Robot works best while doing tedious, boring, repetitive tasks, requiring a lot of care for details and error-prone for humans. Processes that have characteristics described below are perfect fit for robotization. However, in real life they rarely satisfy all of them. Most processes must have at least some of those to be good candidates for robotization: