The recession seems to be inescapable. But while stocks continue to plunge, specific industries remain insulated. One of the industries that are prepared for transformations is Robotic Process Automation (RPA).
As the Covid-19 pandemic triggers dramatic shifts in the economy, many are wondering if inclining to technology, such as RPA, is the ultimate move to survive a recession.
In this article, we will discuss RPA and how its helping organisations through this current crisis.
RPA is a software that automates the repetitive tasks humans do with their computers, such as filing forms, reading databases, creating calculations, opening emails, collecting social media data, and extracting data from files. It can manage a whole process or parts of it. RPA can accomplish a large volume of tasks in minutes, which would typically take hours for humans.
In 2018, it generated $52.3 million in total revenue, which is a 48% percent increase from the prior year. Although the Australian market is still considered small, it is growing fast.
Automation is highly essential for struggling organisations that can’t afford a large on-site and offshore team. Therefore, there is an expected substantial boost in RPA adoption in a time of recession. Data shows that global spending is expected to reach $1.58 billion by the end of 2020.
High Efficiency: Can operate 24/7 for 365 days and can complete processes a lot faster than a human being. More affordable than hiring an offshore staff who can handle different time zones.
High Accuracy: Only follows a structure, resulting in high consistency and compliance levels
Rapid Application: Does not require training and systems integration
Low Risk: Changes, patches, and licensing can be managed effectively by an experienced IT staff
RPA is suitable for the customer service setting by allowing you to focus on more valuable interactions through human creativity and lateral thinking.
Due to economic uncertainty, the RPA industry is placed in a fluid position right now. While businesses realise the importance of accuracy, efficiency, and speed offered by this software, recession forces us to maximise human intellect for continued growth and survival.
It is important to note that efficiency isn’t the only advantage of RPA. It can also be used to improve customer services, which is critical in maintaining revenues. For this reason, RPA may increasingly migrate from the “back office” to the “front office”.
Back office tasks refer to tasks that run the organisation behind doors. These include inventory, accounting, quality control, and order processing. All other functions with a sales or customer support nature are classified as front office task. Even if these processes can’t be fully automated, RPA can speed them up.
When front office processes are automated, it can result in faster transactions and faster communications with significantly minimal error margins.
For example: Instead of hiring people to read and sort thousands of customer emails manually. RPA can automatically forward the emails to the right departments so that you can focus more on high-value correspondence. This is incredibly helpful in today’s market, where promptness tends to attract more customers.
Its biggest adopters are telcos, banking institutions, insurance companies, and utility providers. Experts predict that RPA is set to have a 29.30% from 2019 to 2026.
While RPA is relatively new, its applications continuously evolve.
Shane Perry, a startup investment expert at Max Funding, believes that it is high time to adopt technologies, “Just like any other form of technology, RPA isn’t the solution for everything. It definitely has disadvantages, such as scaling difficulties and pricey licensing. For this software to be implemented successfully, the strong internal focus is needed.”
Some experts think that RPA may only deliver short-term results. To avoid this, your organisation should use a comprehensive strategy.
During an economic slump, the rate of organisations turning to technologies with a wide range of applications surges. While RPA has superior efficiency, it’s not the solution to all processes. This is where business process management, AI, and other integrated solutions enter the picture.
Once you’ve fully integrated these solutions into your organisation, you can build a workforce that may exceed what humans can delivery. However, the human factor is still crucial for RPA implementation. So, you need highly-skilled technicians to implement and monitor RPA bots to address any hiccups promptly.
Because RPA functions for tasks with distinct inputs and outputs, rule-based, or only repeatable, it cannot make complex decisions. RPA’s major limitation is its inability to understand and interpret context or anything out of the structure, such as images.
High technologies are helping societies cope with the challenges of Covid-19 pandemic, and experts believe these will also be useful once this current situation is over. The aftermath is also filled with challenges as we all try to resume regular routines. Every industry may experience an avalanche of bookings, orders, refunds, requests, complaints, reschedules, etc.
RPA bots will be incredibly helpful in this situation. They can be programmed fast and, once installed, they can handle a vast amount of dull, redundant, time consuming but relatively essential tasks. They can prevent your employees and systems from getting overwhelmed.
RPA turbocharges efficiency, minimises costs, improves flexibility and resilience, and maximises results. This technology addresses the challenges of the current crisis, allowing organisations to, not only survive, but come out stronger.
It could protect an organisation during recessions. But only if it is implemented and supervised correctly. You have to work with specialists in determining the best solutions for your business.
Jason is the Marketing Manager at a local advertising company in Australia. He moved to Australia 10 years back for his passion for advertising. Jason recently joined BFA as a volunteer writer and contributes by sharing his valuable experience and knowledge.