5 questions you should consider before automation or digital transformation

If you are reading this article, chances are you are looking to apply automation into your business.  Considering RPA’s advantages of expanding capacity, time-saving opportunities, reallocating production efforts, and increasing productivity, more and more companies are implementing automation into their process. Although automation might seem like the right choice for your business, there are a number of things to consider before making the ultimate decision. Here are 5 questions you should ask before starting digital transformation with RPA.

1. What is the current state of your business?

Step back and take a look at your business as a whole. Start with cash flow, financial health, production outputs, and underperforming areas. If there is one or more areas in the business that needs more manpower to be allocated, automation in certain aspects can be considered to free up resources. Digital transformation can help the business grow as it allows employees to have more time performing essential tasks and also makes their job easier.

Source: The Enterprisers Project

2. What are the processes that need digital transformation? 

RPA is a great tool for automation to increase efficiency in the organization. However, it will not reach its full potential if applied to the wrong process. In order to implement RPA to the right procedure, organizations should consider the following points to make sure the process is the suitable candidate. The process should (be):

  • More rule-based, requiring minimal judgment-based decisions.
  • Repetitive  and more susceptible to human errors.
  • Follows a transparent set of instructions.
  • If the process has input of data, it is digitized.

Following the checklist can ensure a seamless digital transformation for the process, as RPA’s main function is to accurately and quickly perform repetitive tasks. The clearer the rules of the process, the better it is for RPA to execute these tasks more accurately. 

Once you have identified the fitted tasks, a follow-up question that needs to be answered is: “Is this process I am about to automate designed as efficiently as possible?” 

A bad business process chosen to be automated will simply be a bad business process that is made faster. If a task is causing trouble for the organization, try to imagine if automation can solve this. Take a step back to get a clearer picture and think if the problem is other than a slow process or taking up more resources. Can you make this process more efficient first without automation? Afterward, figure out a way to transform the task digitally.

Source: Freepik

3. How will the process change after automation? 

After implementing automation, you can expect the process to be faster and more efficient. However, having detailed numbers and reports regarding the current and expected production outcomes of the company can make the decision more factual and accurate. Forecast the total output the company can produce if the processes were automated. The number can be roughly estimated by the number of hours saved on the tasks over a given period of time.  Compare these numbers to the actual output of your companies in the past one to five years. 

Source: Freepik

4. What is the cost of implementation and training?

Automation transformation is not free, but this can be a needed investment for your company to achieve exponential growth. Analyzing the Return on Investment (ROI) will help you have a quantifiable case for the decision. Training cost and strategy are also aspects that should be considered. When a new software gets implemented, it is assumed that every employee needs to be trained through extensive classes and workshops, which could take days to weeks. However, many software solutions now have a user-friendly interface with little to no learning curve that can help employees adapt quickly. Taking into account the implementation and training costs can assist you in using the tools strategically to achieve maximum benefits.

Source: Freepik

5. What are possible critical issues that could arise after using automation?

It is important to think about maintaining and regularly improving the automation process. Many automation services can adapt when client-focused alterations are made. Automation should always be viewed as supplemental to human works, hence tasks performed by machines should be double-checked by employees. Identifying issues early can prevent a large amount of work from being wasted. Consistent problems that can or cannot be fixed in-house should be reported to providers for timely fixes and updates. 


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