RPA for Startups: The What, When, and How
For a startup, there are lots of challenges in the path to success. Challenges come not only in terms of cost but also in terms of technology, management, operations, etc. In order to grow with the ever-changing market, they have to manage their resources carefully and also need to monitor the progress at every single step.
Considering the era of intelligent technology, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is running all over the market. RPA is nothing but automation using robots. It can be used to automate repetitive and rule-based business processes that steal most of the employee’s time. For a startup, the following challenges are faced during RPA implementation.
- What kind of processes to automate using RPA?
- When to start implementing RPA?
- How feasible is RPA?
In order to get a clear understanding of the above questions, let us go through each one of them. This will help us find out the most relevant factors that can help an organization identify if a business process is suitable for automation using RPA and how it will benefit from RPA.
What Kind Of Processes Should Be Automated Using RPA?
For any organization, it is not always possible to automate all the processes completely. So, it becomes more important and challenging to find out the right processes for automation. For startups, many factors can be considered when choosing the processes to automate using robotic process automation technology.
- Operational processes which are time-consuming, demand more transactions and are dependent on employee attention can be considered as suitable candidates for automation. Such operational processes include claim processing, filling up data of customers in the database, data migration, etc. Automation of these manual activities means speedy execution, less supervision, and fewer errors. At the same time, employees who used to dedicate a large amount of time in making sure that these activities are properly executed can be set free and can focus on some other innovative task.
- RPA is capable of automating simple as well as complex processes. Simple processes involve fewer steps and less human intervention while complex processes involve more human intervention and a huge number of steps to execute the task. Complex processes have a greater impact on the business operations of the company. So, startups should initially start with automating simple processes and after its success, they should slowly move to automate complex processes.
- The HR department is one of the most common departments for automation as they have to keep track of data of all employees across the company. Using robotic process automation tools, HR activities like resume screening, candidate shortlisting, storing documents, keeping track of all employee data, etc. can be automated.
- Many organizations do not have a defined set of opening hours which leads to a high volume of orders, requests, and complaints received, regardless of weekends or holidays. When a company is entirely dependent on human employees, this workload can only be addressed when employees are available in the office. For such high volume tasks, RPA is the most efficient and productive tool because the robots are able to work 24*7. RPA robots are able to handle activities quickly and accurately even when employees are not available in the office.
When To Start Automating Tasks Using RPA?
For any organization, whether it is a startup or a well-established organization, there is no thumb rule as to when it should start automating. As per the advancements in technology, automation should be started as soon as the organization has established what processes they need to automate.
For startups, identifying the number of repetitive tasks is one of the determining factors. If the startup has accumulated a chunk of repetitive tasks, then with the right skill sets the company can start automating their processes. Also, if startups are using automation to reduce costs like FTE savings, then switching to robotic process automation solutions can be a good choice. Other benefits include accuracy, lower operational risk, more output, and less supervision. So they must start automation as soon as they determine which processes to automate.
How Feasible is RPA for Startups?
It depends on factors like the nature of your business, cost, time consumption and clarity of flow.
- Nature of your Business:
Some businesses can be easily automated. For example, if your business includes processes such as web scraping, web crawling, web automation, invoice processing, etc. then automation using RPA is definitely a good option.
- Cost and Time Consumption:
It is the ultimate deciding factor for selecting automation. You need to calculate the cost that you are currently bearing for the non-automated tasks and the amount of time consumed by them. They also calculate how much cost and time could be saved if opted for RPA software. If the benefits are more for your business, then opt for automation. By automating tasks, you can achieve cost savings of nearly 30%. Software robots cost less than a human employee.
- Clarity of Flow:
To automate any task, getting clarity of flow is an important factor. If you know the flow of your business clearly, then the business can be automated partially or fully depending upon its usage.
- Standardization and Stability:
RPA is best suitable for automating tasks that are highly standardized and occur in the same way every time. Such activities can be rule-based, consistent, and data-driven. On the other hand, RPA is not suitable for automating tasks that are constantly changing and are non-standardized. For startups to implement RPA, they need to identify the tasks that are standard and are also stable.
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