As humans progress in what can be referred to as The Fourth Industrial Revolution, the conversation around the cutting edge of innovative technology continuously circles back to Robotic Process Automation (RPA). By automating repetitive work tasks, companies can save both time and money while simultaneously reducing the risk for human error. Given the proven benefits of such a product, why is there still fear?
Well, to accurately grasp the value of RPA, we must identify and correct misguided information regarding how RPA functions, its impact on stakeholders, and how this technology will be implemented in the foreseeable future. Listed are 5 myths about RPA, along with their debunked truths.
Myth #1 – Robots will Take Human Jobs
Yes, if a job task resides in an electronic space and is described as repetitive or mundane by humans, then it can be automated using RPA. Given this, RPA is fit for tasks such as completing employee payroll functions, but unfit for tasks that require independent thinking, such as deciding which supplier is the most cost-effective to buy from. Humans aren’t being replaced with no job function to perform.
EPSoft exists for the purpose of elevating human potential, using bots to relieve employees from work tasks that lack diverse thinking, such as HR onboarding processes, and enable work that prioritizes consumer engagement. With this, employers can save time and money while reducing the risk for human error, employees are able to engage in higher quality work, and consumers benefit from the resulting increase in production. RPA’s purpose isn’t to replace human jobs, but to redefine the approach toward certain job functions in order to prioritize that which drives growth.
Myth #2 – Robots Are Physical Technology
When thinking about the term, “robot,” it is common to envision a metal figure with a monotone voice that performs physical actions as commanded. Now, although RPA does stand for robotic process automation, it is strictly referring to software robots. Each individual bot is made up of algorithms, allowing it to act as a virtual worker that performs routine processes.
For example, if a business decides they would like to automate their employee onboarding process, RPA can be implemented into the system in order to consolidate and organize all necessary information about an employee. Furthermore, RPA can make efforts toward integrating the new employee into the company by organizing processes such as initial meetings and training.
Myth #3 – RPA Isn’t Worth the Cost
Although RPA does have an initial implementation fee, it is commonly paired with an exceptional ROI. However, this ROI isn’t limited to reducing costs. It is obvious that one of the primary benefits of RPA is cost reduction, but it dives much deeper than that. RPA implementation improves the entire process of a company. For example, efficiency improves through faster processing, a reduction in the risk for human error, and relieving employees from repetitive tasks so that they can focus on that which drives more production. Following, customer satisfaction is improved as it builds upon previously stated benefits. Ultimately, RPA is ironically enabling businesses to improve on all areas of production while reducing costs.
Another example of this is in a recent engagement with a solar manufacturing client, EZBot® was implemented in tandem with other EPSoft™ services. Within the first year, the client was able to experience 7x greater efficiency and 10x fewer errors, with only 2 to 4 weeks on average needed for ramp-up. The ability to recognize areas prime for optimization equips EPSoft™ customers with valuable insights to not only analyze current levels of efficiency, but identify potential areas of growth, to support impactful business decisions.
Myth #4 – RPA Never Fails
A common misconception is that since RPA is considered a robot, it has such a high processing power that failure is almost impossible. Similar to people, RPA does indeed make mistakes. If there is a bad task put in place, then that bad task will be automated. In fact, the tool even lacks the ability to recognize such mistakes because it operates on code without common sense. For this reason, the work being produced by bots should be monitored.
Fortunately, there are tools such as process mining that can easily be used to provide instant monitoring and alerts pertaining to the outcomes of certain tasks in order to fix and prevent mistakes sooner. This frees people from constantly needing to look over each output manually.
Myth #5 – Anything Can Be Automated
RPA is applicable amongst a long list of varied job functions, but only certain criteria are a good fit for the product. This involves processes that contain a well-defined set of rule-based instructions. In other words, RPA does best in areas that revolve around logic.
For example, the accounting industry is associated with a good amount of manual tasks, which include creating aging reports, sending emails to customers, and placing invoices or statements. Although RPA is a great fit at performing these repetitive functions, it isn’t great at tasks involving creative thinking and brainstorming.
The RPA Perspective
As displayed, the misconceptions around RPA can be complicated in that it frequently confuses businesses when making decisions of whether to implement the product or not. However, with the correct information, businesses are empowered to accurately make an effective buying decision once recognizing the corresponding ROI.
For more information contact one of our RPA experts at: email@example.com