Here’s exactly how much time RPA helps companies save

Insurance brokers, health technology companies, and financial services companies benefit from RPA. Source: Shutterstock

AUTOMATION is of vital importance for companies nowadays, especially at a time when digital transformation is at the forefront of the board of directors.

The easiest way to automate for most organizations is through robotic process automation (RPA). In functions such as HR, finance, marketing and operations.

RPA is easy to implement, affordable even for the smallest SMB, and has a high priority in employee adoption compared to more aggressive technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) -driven data platforms.

Despite these benefits, it’s hard to imagine the results RPA can produce.

For example, let’s take a small team of 6 accountants from the finance department. RPA can automate the digitization of incoming invoices by adding entries to the company’s accounting package. However, does it really increase productivity?

According to case studies of companies that have actually implemented RPA solutions, there is actually strong evidence that companies are benefiting a lot from the technology:

# 1 | The healthcare technology company saved 423,500 man-hours with RPA

A global health technology company with a presence in almost 100 countries has set itself the goal of automating 300 processes and saving 900,000 working hours in financial accounting (reporting records, paying for orders in cash and procurement).

The team expects to automate another 80 processes in the financial planning and analysis workflow (reporting and consolidation activities) to save a total of 30,000 man-hours.

Over the course of a year, in collaboration with an RPA technology provider, the company was able to automate 140 processes with around 200 bots that run around the clock. As a result, the team helped the financial accounting team save 400,000 man-hours and the financial planning and analysis team saved an average of 23,500 man-hours.

# 2 | The insurance giant is aiming for $ 1 billion in savings through RPA

Zurich, a global insurance company with 54,000 employees in 210 countries and territories, caters to individuals, SMBs and large corporations for a variety of purposes.

Automation, especially RPA, can definitely help such a company quickly improve their operations to overcome the digital maturity curve and provide better service to customers across multiple levels.

Through the project, the insurer also wanted to achieve cost improvements of $ 1 billion.

In cooperation with an international consulting giant, Zurich was able to achieve cost savings and service improvements in countless processes, while at the same time freeing up to 25 percent of the operational team’s capacity to staff a new robot competence center.

Critical to their efforts and long-term success is creating a robotics center of excellence that will ensure their RPA projects continue to deliver better results.

# 3 | One bank has managed to reduce the error rate to (almost) zero

ICICI Bank in India has deployed around 750 RPA bots that process nearly 2 million transactions per day. While no cost or time savings have been reported yet, it is interesting to see that human error has decreased significantly.

“These robots are used in a variety of business areas and LoBs, including private, wholesale, foreign exchange, treasury, agricultural and international operations. Most of the robots used were developed in-house, ”Anita Pai, Senior GM and Head of Operations at ICICI Bank India, told the media.

For ICICI Bank, the benefits of switching to RPA have been significant.

“Process error rates are very close to zero, productivity has improved, and it has allowed us to become independent of scale,” said Pai.

What is Really Important in Evaluating RPA Efficiency?

Organizations evaluating RPA solutions should document three things before and during the process to ensure they are getting the most out of their investment:

# 1 | Time savings through RPA

RPA helps companies save a lot of time. There is no debate about this fact.

When evaluating an RPA solution, organizations need to identify tasks in workflows that are most repetitive and ensure that they focus on linking them to RPA immediately.

However, when evaluating the time saved by RPA, the most important thing to do is to ensure that organizations understand how much of that time saved their employees are spending on productive endeavors.

This is where the real push for the business comes from, and that’s key to delivering RPA – to make executives more productive.

# 2 | Savings from reduced human error

Human error is a major problem in many business processes that involve repetitive manual tasks.

Confusing a comma with a period on a printed dot-matrix printer invoice and an additional character in the name of a company from a drop-down menu are mistakes that are often made – no matter how careful the operator is.

However, using RPA ensures that such human errors are eliminated immediately.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that RPAs are typically not powered by AI. They are simple software robots that don’t learn on their own. Governance is therefore the key to keeping RPA solutions efficient.

# 3 | Extra time for RPA governance

When organizations think about RPA savings and efficiency, they need to consider the additional costs and hours they will have to spend on RPA governance.

Without governance, bots can be very difficult to manage and discrepancies go unnoticed and can result in the company subsequently spending more hours fixing problems in the future than benefiting from automation.

Some business leaders may think that governance can be addressed later in the implementation process, but experts argue that adopting the governance part early will help identify and mitigate common challenges and will continue to benefit the company in the long run.

Soumik Roy
| @ Soumikroy

Soumik Roy is a business and technology specialist. It helps small and medium-sized businesses understand what is most important to the growth and success of their business.

April 5, 2021