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The robots are here – meet your digital workforce
Robotic Process Automation
This 2016 Deloitte report examines Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and its role in shared services. Our recent online survey finds there has now been a sharp increase in the number of organisations that have investigated RPA and that a significant number of organisations have already implemented or piloted RPA. The increase we have observed in companies investigating and implementing RPA seems set to continue; with feedback on the speed with which RPA can be implemented and the payback positive.
Our expert says…
‘South African companies are under pressure on all fronts to reduce costs and improve efficiencies, even as the business landscape undergoes seismic change and companies race to meet consumer demands for ever-increasing availability and convenience. Robotic process automation, known as RPA, allows companies to save costs, realise efficiencies, and reduce error rates, while freeing up workers for more stimulating tasks.’ Ajit Paul, Associate Director: RPA
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2016 survey highlights
Here are some of the key lessons learnt from the survey and Deloitte’s direct client experience:
- Invest in comprehensive stakeholder management
Stakeholders need to be engaged from the outset to ensure effective buy in, collaboration and adoption of changes. Senior management and IT stakeholders groups are critical.
- Select the right process or activity
Ensure that the process is well defined and documented. Check that the part of the process which is chosen can be emulated by a robot by applying key tests, such as: can the rules be defined? Is the task based on digital data?
- Do not automate broken processes
Broken processes should be fixed before automation. Consider whether you will take the opportunity to optimise or enhance processes while you automate.
- Invest heavily in exceptions management
Process design should clearly identify all exceptions and how the robot will manage them.
- Conduct robust testing
Conduct business process testing across a large data set.
- Monitor the quality of the outputs
Where possible, introduce the robots gradually into production, monitoring quality and building user confidence, before ramping up their throughput.
- Agree up front approach to measuring and tracking benefits
Define benefits clearly and then agree a detailed approach to measuring them.
- Ensure adequate education and user adoption
Keep the human side in mind – education and a focused approach to user adoption will be critical to success.
- Ensure vendor and implementation partner business vision alignment
Choose a software vendor and implementation partners that are aligned with your long-term process automation vision.