Selecting the Right Process for Robotic Process Automation and Optimizing RoI

~ Rajesh Agarwal – Sr. VP & Head – Robotics Process Automation

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is being widely accepted by enterprises in their quest for technology solutions to increase productivity. Globally, RPA proliferation is growing exponentially. Further, it is expected to reach ~$2.9 billion by 2021 according to Forrester. Banking, Financial Institutions, and Manufacturing have been the early adopters of such new technologies, which help increase speed and accuracy in tedious process intensive environments. However, quite a few businesses are still in a quandary about investment in this Digital Workforce. Here it is important to note that the crux of a successful implementation lies in the decision-makers and influencers chalking out clearly defined goals and business expectations, with the key being selecting the right processes for automation.Selecting the Right Process for Robotic Process Automation and Optimizing RoI

Indicators for selecting the right process for RPA adoption:
Businesses can safely select processes, which involve any of the following criteria, for the business-transformation:

  • Rules-driven: Processes that are rules-based and consistent are good candidates.
  • Repetitive in Nature: Manual and repetitive tasks are the right processes.
  • Data Intensive: Tasks that involve systematic churning of voluminous data.
  • Electronic Trigger: Processes that commence on receiving electronic data files.
  • High error rates: Tasks that involve paper-based data entry or are interdependent.
  • Manual Calculations: Laborious tasks involving manual calculation of results, where one error leads to another.
  • Out-of-Hours jobs: Seasonal work overloads, round the clock tasks, which involve resolving complaints, orders, etc.
  • Electronic Start/End points: Processes involving digital inputs/outputs with intermittent manual steps.
  • High Compliance: Processes which require audit proofs for regulatory compliances.
  • Validations: Tasks involving multiple systems where validations are required at each synapse.
  • Huge number of resources: Tasks involving many resources and multi-step processes.

Optimizing RoI for RPA deployment:
Selecting the right process, which falls under the above defined criteria, automatically translates into quick RoI. The process could be small but the savings achieved at the end of the year are significant. Simple processes reach breakeven in 2 - 4 months, medium complexity processes in 6 months, while highly complex processes reap ROI anywhere between 6 - 24 months. It is interesting to note that enterprise roll-outs and centralization of operations using RPA bring in efficiencies of scale.

For a successful RPA implementation, shortlisting processes which optimize RoI is key. Here using pre-defined checklists to select processes and banking on a sound knowledge-base evolved from multiple RPA implementations is equally important.