Every company wants to work as efficiently as possible. Therefore, automating business processes is a logical step. Your Finance Group is likely to have a number of areas that can benefit from automation. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) permits tasks, sub-processes and entire processes to move from manual to semi or even a fully automated state. But when does investing in RPA becomes profitable?
In our last blogpost we spoke already about how RPA is becoming a trend. The thing about trends is though, that often organizations feel compelled to hop on them, without really knowing whether they need to follow the trend or if it will be profitable; after all, fear of missing out is human nature and understandable. So, when clients call us with questions about investing in RPA, it is up to us to see if it is indeed an added value to the company.
To quantify the true value-add for RPA, we must first take a look at the current state of automation within the organization. Dynatos has an excellent and proven track record in Finance Process Automation (FPA) and over the years we have provided clients with automation solutions in the field of ‘Source to Pay’, ‘Order to Cash’, ‘Record to Report’ and ‘sales orders’.
Within these domains there are a lot of standardized processes that require significant manual intervention and involve high volumes of documents that are (semi-) structured and are thus considered difficult to “computerize”. Hence the first question: “do you have processes that are good candidates for automation”?
From Automation to Robotization
We don’t just look at automation possibilities, we look beyond this as well. Because we definitely see the potential of RPA. So, the second question is: are there processes that require a lot of manpower, which could also be done by RPA?
To fully exploit the opportunities presented by RPA, business leaders need to be sure that software bots not only are accurate, but also can take over the tasks run by employees without any loss of service, accuracy and cost. To ascertain that, six questions need to be answered:
- Is there a high degree of manual and repetitive processes?
- Does the work involve high volumes?
- Is the work ‘rule based’, in other words; are there already established standards for the processes, documents and workflows?
- Are the different (electronic) input types standardized and understood?
- Are the processes mature, consistent and stable?
- Are these processes generally characterized by a low “exception rate” ?
Particularly within Source to Pay (this is the purchase side of finance; the ‘Accounts Payable’) and Order to Cash (the sales side of it all; the ‘Accounts Receivable’ and outgoing invoices) we know that the above-mentioned questions often can be answered with ‘yes’. These applications can be characterized as “document-driven” processes which, with Intelligent Process Automation and machine learning, can be fully automated.
So, before you hop onto the RPA-trend, it is necessary to check if your investments will worthwhile. Although RPA is something we believe our clients can significantly benefit from, it’s also true to state that if it is not utilized properly, it won’t yield much value either. If we feel that other options can deliver more benefits, we will definitely present them to you as well. That is why these six questions are the basis for us to start from. If we can answer them wholeheartedly with ‘yes’, then we know for sure RPA will bring you organization a lot of value.