5 Big Costs of Not Committing to Automation

Like most technologies, robotic process automation (RPA) is typically discussed in terms of the benefits it brings: improved operational efficiencies, measurable cost savings, improved productivity, better quality assurance, and more. RPA also has its own technical advantages, including quick and easy implementation, which typically means lower costs and fast returns. While cost is a typical part of the conversation with any technology, there are other costs modern businesses should consider when it comes to RPA—the costs of not automating. Here are a few of the big ones.

Growing Inefficiencies

Inefficiencies in business aren’t simple inconveniences (though many may begin as such). They’re barriers to progress, and they’re costly. Disruptions to a workflow—and the subsequent delays, missed payments, outstanding invoices, and other collateral expenses—can cost upwards of millions of dollars in some cases. Not only that, but inefficiencies also have a way of multiplying, compounding existing complications across a myriad of operational challenges. This results in a company-wide decline in productivity that gets costlier by the day.

Limited Productivity and Increased Labor Costs

AI-ROI-2 One of the most glaring costs of not using automation is the labor involved. In many industries, skilled workers are in short supply. By continuing to use these valuable employees to complete repetitive, time-consuming tasks, they’re paying top dollar and slowing productivity on top of it. RPA bots can be programmed to do repetitive, menial tasks faster, better, and more effectively than people can. Humans should instead be in positions where their skills, judgment, and insight can drive value, and automation allows for just that. By opting to keep humans doing tasks that can easily be automated, businesses are spending double, sacrificing both time and financial expense, where automation can save on both.

Compliance and Security Challenges

Keeping up with changing compliance regulations is no small feat. And in a business climate rife with global change, the challenge is heightened. By forgoing automation, businesses not only miss out on the many benefits RPA provides—error-free data processing, detailed records for potential auditing, real-time monitoring, and more—they must also manually update any business process impacted by changing regulations. Because RPA technology is rules-based, however, it can easily be updated for compliance at any time.

Accuracy and Quality

We don’t like to think about it, but it’s a simple truth: We all make mistakes. In business, the effects of human error can range from minor delays to major safety breaches to literal disasters. This is especially true in cases where heavy manual labor is involved. By keeping people in roles that are known to be error-prone, businesses are shouldering these risks and limiting the level of accuracy and quality they can deliver. One of the biggest advantages of automation is that it provides error-free work, inherently boosting quality assurance across the organization.

 Decline in Customer Service and Employee Experience

People are good at many things, but the human brain has limits as to how many at once. According to one study, the average human can think about a maximum of four things at one time. But increase the complexity, and it can only handle two. Disregarding these built-in limits doesn’t work; try to anyway, and quality is sacrificed for quantity. This is also true of the workforce. Giving people more tasks than they can handle doesn’t improve anything, and in fact, it makes things worse. Mistakes are made and proficiency declines, creating an environment in which both the employee and customer experience suffer.

There are so many factors to consider before diving into RPA, but the technology is here to stay. Don’t let the fear of complexity or cost prevent you from getting started. A bigger factor to consider for RPA today is not what it will cost to implement it, but rather, what it will cost if you don’t.

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