Automation 101

Getting Started With Robotic Process Automation

In this day and age, businesses are being forced to adopt an innovative mindset to stay relevant and efficient. Integrating process automation into your business plays an important role in this shift. If your business is getting started with automation, here are the basic principals you need to understand.

Robotic Process Automation 101

Contrary to popular belief, automation is essentially nothing new. Throughout the years, various manual processes have been automated to help businesses keep up with demand, mitigate human error, and ensure time is efficiently used. The printing press, sewing machine, and mechanical car assembly line are a few examples of how some forms of automation have made lasting impacts in business today.

However, automation is far from reaching its pinnacle. With new technology like Robotic Process Automation (RPA), or as it’s evolved lately to Intelligent Automation or Digital Process Automation (DPA), mundane technological tasks can now be streamlined using internal digital bots. The future of automation is growing rapidly, and evolving in various areas of the business. Understanding the basic fundamentals of digital automation is the first step in building out and executing an innovative workforce.

Smartbridge Partners with Leading Automation Software, UiPath & Microsoft Power Automate.

Getting Started with Robotic Process Automation with Power Automate
Getting Started with Robotic Process Automation with UiPath

Establish a Foundation for Innovation

By now, many businesses have hear the term robotic process automation (RPA), but understanding how to get started with RPA is a different story. RPA is a form of technology, governed by a series of inputs, that serves the sole purpose of automating various forms of business processes. “Bots” harness and manipulate data, trigger desired responses, and communicate the process with other configured bots in the network.

Specific business functionalities previously stimulated by humans are now manually controlled by an internal robotic entity. RPA creates tremendous opportunities to grow revenue while also reducing operational costs. Through assisted bots, humans can work alongside their “digital partners” in tandem, all while being freed from repetitive, rule-based tasks that require hours of time.

It’s also crucial to remember that RPA is not a “one size fits all” solution for a company’s process execution problems. Avoiding applying RPA to wrong processes (i.e to fix bad practices or to skip modernizing your applications) is just as important as applying a healthy mindset to this implementation. This is why a thorough assessment is necessary to identify the proper candidates for automation within your organization’s processes.

Just starting your automation journey? Our Practical RPA Checklist provides everything you need to introduce, implement, and govern RPA in your business.

How to Get Started with RPA – Practical Steps

1. Create an Enterprise Automation Strategy Roadmap

Establish a business-focused enterprise automation strategy and roadmap (EASR) that lays the groundwork for successful adoption and business-value creation for your organization. This strategy should highlight the opportunities for automation across the organization. This involves the processes, people (skills and sourcing options), and technologies required for establishing a sustained, high-performing RPA program to respond to business needs with agility.

How to Get Started with RPA

2. Educate, Set Goals, and Fail Fast

Educate and set realistic expectations with executives and leaders to gain trust and sponsorship for successful outcomes. Often, organizations are timid about implementing RPA for a variety of reasons. They may be afraid to place processes in the hands of an untrained bot, or fear may be present that this “robot” will render them useless. Both could not be further from the truth.

Automating standard business processes opens up innovative avenues of your workforce by way of time saved. Members of your team that were once consumed with a mundane, step-by-step workload are now free to provide avenues of creativity and innovation to other processes.

3. Identify Automation Opportunities in Your Processes

During an initial automation assessment, companies will often find several manual activities being performed by hundreds of office workers that can be automated. Within these activities are hours of wasted energy and time that could be designated to digital software bots. Some common use cases that are ripe for automation are:

NOTE: Having trouble identifying the right automation candidates? A partnership with Smartbridge can help! See step 5 for more details.

4. Implement an Internal Governance Model

An RPA implementation needs to be seen and treated as a corporate-wide initiative, rather than a series of stand-alone objectives. Likewise, the implementation must align with the goals and standards of the business. The governance body, or more accurately the Center of Excellence, should be the key champions, owners, and SMEs responsible for overseeing RPA’s involvement in the organization while also redistributing knowledge among team members and partners.

5. Choose a Technology Partner

To ensure your organization obtains a desired ROI, don’t make the mistake of going at an RPA implementation alone. Choosing the right partner (and thus the right technology) is one of the final steps before the implementation begins. Here’s what to look for:

  • Breadth of RPA project/implementation expertise

  • Well-rounded (IT and business savvy) consultants

  • Functional and industry-specific experts

  • Experienced across a variety of tech. solutions

  • Partners with leading RPA technology providers

  • Flexible/agile team of innovative critical thinkers

Smartbridge can be the partner you’re looking for. Our RPA specialists will lead you through your automation journey to create a future-state automation start to finish strategy/road map. Through proper education, assessments and even education, we carefully place you on a journey that creates market differentiation relative to your competition.

VIDEO: Automation 101 – Getting Started with RPA

In this video, we establish a foundation of automation principals, and explains what businesses can expect from this technological wave in the coming years.

Having trouble viewing this video? Watch on YouTube!

Video Topics:

  • The historical impact of automation.

    How has automation left its footprint through the years? Though digital automation is a fairly new phenomenon, innovative mechanisms like the printing press, factory robot, and sewing machine have established a new foundation of efficiency.

  • What does the future hold?

    It is predicted that automation will leave an economic impact of $5-7 trillion dollars by the year 2025, touching more than 230 million knowledge based workers.

  • What will automation impact?

    Though automation will have a more heavy impact on process related tasks, like manufacturing and food service, some positions will not be effected so significantly.

  • Industrial and software automation.

    Explore the difference between industrial and software automation, what the goals of each are, and the significance of each in the coming future of business.

  • Robotic process automation.

    In this new era of digital transformation and innovation, robotic process automation (RPA) is one form of technology that is believed to substantially impact businesses in various industries. Check out our RPA deployment checklist for more information today.

Start Your Robotic Process Automation Journey

Our specialists will lead you through your RPA or DPA journey to create a future-state automation strategy and road map. Through our partnership with UiPath, we integrate the following tools into your companies strategy:

  • Education

  • Workshops

  • Interviews

  • Technical Assessments

Leave the mundane tasks to the bots. Don’t wait to automate your standard business practices.

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