RPA (Robotic Process Automation) offers cutting-edge technology, laden with benefits and its fair share of challenges. The KPMG Global Sourcing Advisory Pulse Survey penned a study titled Robotic Revolution. This all-encompassing body of work provides in-depth insights into the value-added services offered by robotic process automation as well as many of the adoption challenges faced by companies using this new technology. Whenever a new technology is implemented in a business, cost/benefit analysis needs to be conducted. 

This represents what is known in business parlance as the value proposition. While implementation is certainly challenging, the long-term benefits of adopting RPA technology can have an outsized impact on productivity. In determining the benefits and challenges, companies have to conduct meticulous analysis of their own processes, systems, and frameworks and how the implementation of new technology can streamline operations, increase productivity, and ultimately raise ROI.

The KPMG Global Sourcing Advisory Pulse Survey was published in 2016, yet despite its age remains relevant to this day. On a positive note, RPA technology is associated with many benefits, including enhanced management capabilities, seamless integration and implementation with existing systems, for compliance and data integration, and an enhanced customer experience. The rationale behind implementing RPA technology is simple: automate monotonous and repetitive tasks with programs and machines capable of performing these tasks 24/7/365. 

RPA technology like Kryon ensures that everyday business functions such as invoicing, customer service, email sorting, data collation and management is easily done. If left to human employees, these tasks, duties, and responsibilities often run the risk of human error. Companies appreciate that their human resources are put to better use in other areas. RPA ensures quick responses to stock questions, queries, and comments, personalized responses based on AI-style learning algorithms that self-populate based on user feedback, and rapid scalability across the board.

It is self-evident that RPA systems and processes offer myriad benefits to companies. Once the initial ‘shock’ of implementing autonomous systems within an existing framework has subsided, the true benefit of RPA can be appreciated. One of the most glaring benefits of RPA is that it is 100% error free, when operating according to an accurate framework. RPA is non-invasive in the sense that it can be implemented on top of its existing systems to enhance them, not to take over. RPA systems can also be implemented remotely through robots. Other important business functions such as analytics and auditing are also possible, with complete control and management over data sources.

One particular area where RPA shines is the fact that employees can be freed up to perform other valuable, high-level services to customers. Particularly difficult areas such as dealing with problematic situations or sensitive issues with customers are best handled by employees, not RPA systems. It must be borne in mind that human programmers are responsible for configuring these RPA robots and systems such that they can perform various tasks, functions, and duties. 

These include manipulating data, triggering responses, communicating with other IoT devices, and processing transactions. Provided the human elements have been compiled accurately, the RPA system should work according to script. Overall, the reasons for implementing automation of business processes are clear: improved efficiency, improved customer service, reduced complexity in human resource functionality, reduction of costs, and improve productivity. Now let’s turn our attention to the challenges faced by RPA implementation.

Challenges Facing RPA Implementation In Companies

No system is without challenges. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has the capacity to cause unemployment in the economy. Many people who rely on low-skill, repetitive jobs for their well-being are at risk of being replaced by RPA technology. Simple examples abound: racking, stacking, and packing. Machines are for more efficient, cost-effective, and accurate at performing monotonous, repetitive tasks on a daily basis. In fact, machines do not need to take time off, and they can work 24/7. Employees are genuinely concerned that their positions will be eliminated through RPA. 

The labor market as a whole could face mass layoffs and this could impact families the world over. Resistance to RPA implementation is a major concern, and this can be addressed by detailing the merits of RPA technology, and how the change can be good for the company by opening up new opportunities for employees.

Another bugbear in the RPA paradigm is the complexity involved in implementing this type of technology. Since it is still a relatively new technology on the market, there is no blanket strategy to how it should be adopted across the board. Each production environment has its own set of challenges that needs to be addressed. 

A large percentage of RPA projects that have been implemented initially fail, raising costs and skepticism of this new technology. Then, there are RPA projects that have been implemented, with less than stellar outcomes reported. The greatest challenge therefore is the correct selection of RPA processes for automating tasks and duties. The wrong RPA can have adverse effects on productivity, and this typically occurs when companies are trying to cut corners on costs.

When all is said and done, the company’s decision to invest in RPA technology must be carefully mapped out to ensure that it causes the least amount of disruption to everyday processes. By maximizing stakeholder satisfaction, minimising costs and employee discontent, it is possible to move with the times with top-tier technology.