The Benefits of Back Office Process Automation
Every business must continually look for avenues to decrease costs and improve the efficiency of their back office operations to stay profitable and competitive. This is a real challenge for many firms because the cost of human labor and associated overhead has been steadily increasing over the last few decades. These rising costs spawned the business process outsourcing industry and many firms have taken the plunge into offshoring, often with mixed results. While outsourcing work to offshore centers sounds very sexy, it can be a complicated endeavor that is loaded with political, cultural, and security pitfalls.
Back Office Process Automation Provides Continuous Improvement Results
For departments or business that have a need to continually improve process to contain costs they have two choices; move work to lower cost environments or automate some or all of their highly repetitive tasks. While automating highly repetitive tasks seems like a logical conclusion to the issue, most IT organizations have neither the time nor the budget to address all the operational needs of the business. When the IT team cannot accommodate these requests business units often coble together manual workarounds using a variety of spreadsheets and databases in an attempt to solve their problem.
These “swivel seat” workarounds are highly error prone and can also be vulnerable in terms of security and reliability. Now, emerging technologies such as robotic process automation are changing this landscape by allowing business users to automate many or al of their rules based processing quickly and cheaply, with the governance of their IT organization.
The economics of automating business processes can be eye-opening, consider the metrics below.
|US based||Off-shore||Process Robot|
|Total per FTE||80K||48K||15K|
There are also other very tangible benefits to adopting process automation that make these figures even more compelling.
- On average, one software robot can replace two, and in some cases 3 or more employees
- Robots are available to work 7 days per week, 365 days per year
- Robots never call in sick (or complain for that matter!)
- Robots are 100% accurate and never make mistakes
- Cost reductions of $30-$50K per employee or greater are very achievable
Getting started on the robotic process automation front is pretty easy; the first step is to determine which of your processes are candidates for automation. Likely automation candidates will be processes that are rules driven, highly repetitive, and require little or no human subjective judgment or sophisticated exception handling.
Robotic automation can be used to automate any rules-based process. Examples include data entry, HR onboarding, AP, order processing, issuing PO’s or any other rote process that can be defined by rules. Robotic process automation links to all applications without need for adaptation and runs on any platform. It is faster, cheaper and more reliable than using people and can be rapidly scaled up or down. It is very simple, very effective, takes just weeks to implement, and pays back within months.
If all this sounds worth investigating we are happy to help. Our firm, Virtual Operations U.S. is uniquely qualified to help you determine which of your processes will yield the highest ROI and can also recommend the best robotic automation software for your specific situation. If you are considering outsourcing, robotic automation is a must consider technology before you make your final choice.
Drop us a note we are happy to help or answer questions.