How to implement RPA: A Step-by-Step Process 
RPA implementation allows you to optimize the pool of business processes – identify archaic, suggest new, and use artificial intelligence to improve current. Let’s discover more in detail the challenges towards RPA, its pros, and cons as well as what steps need to be taken for successful software digitalization.
Before exploring the process of RPA implementation, we’ll consider the technology itself. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a relatively new, but actively developing type of automation based on the use of software robots. Unlike humans, software virtual assistants deal with routine information processing faster, perform more accurately, require a minimum of capital investment, and therefore provide an impressive ROI. In addition, robots work clearly according to a given scenario 24 hours a day and do not get tired, regardless of the volume of assigned tasks.
- RPA implementation challenges
- The path to RPA implementation success
- How to implement robotic process automation?
- The pros and cons of RPA
- FAQ: What is Robotic Process Automation?
RPA implementation challenges
While RPA implementation has its clear benefits to business processes, it is certainly not a simple task. Without proper planning, development, and testing, the RPA framework will be incomplete and may face several challenges. The major obstacles for RPA implementation process are:
The employees’ denial to accept the technology
The in-house team might not accept the implementation of RPA, having the fear of losing their jobs or becoming unnecessary for the employer. To allay their concerns, it is important to clearly state what role each employee will play in the process of robotic business automation. Also, management should educate employees that RPA is an assistant, not a competitor.
Lack of business awareness
Before the robotic process automation, you need in advance to study all the information about technology, dive deep into the details of the work, justify what benefits it will bring to your business and why it is a superb choice for a company.
Maintenance is a key to supporting robotic process automation and should be one of the major priorities. If your IT department is not qualified about technical support of RPA or you have not agreed with your IT vendor about further partnering, then you will face the obstacles of incorrect work or consequent low results.
The wrong choice of processes for RPA implementation
The first thing to do in order not to select wrong processes for RPA is to listen to your employees’ complaints. They can point out the frequent transferring of information from one system to another, consolidation of information from different IT sources, recognition and distribution of data from documents. Also, to overcome this obstacle, it would be productive to consult with an experienced IT vendor who can help in robotic process automation assessment and advise where to apply the technology.
Shortage of skilled engineers
From the above-mentioned challenges, we can outline the right IT partner as the must-have point for enduring high-quality implementation of robotic process automation. Yes, freelancers can make scripts that look like software robots, but they are not guaranteed fault tolerance and support. Only a competent and right contractor will be able to evaluate your processes, request, and offer the right solution that can recoup the investment and make a profit for the company.
The path to RPA implementation success
Before automating any process using RPA opportunities, you should think well and not get into the wave of hype just so that the business becomes involved in the popular digital movement. Thus, is it necessary to assess the following criteria:
|Evaluation of the effectiveness of RPA||Creating your implementation plan||The choice of RPA product||Identification of suitable IT vendor||Clear algorithm of work|
|What benefits will it bring to your business? (What pain points must it solve?)||What are the metrics to determine if the RPA will bring value to your business case or not?||Will the business manage the implementation, or will your IT department be responsible for programming the solutions?||Based on the research on RPA services and vendor capabilities, what conductors are the main to consider?||What stages will be for proceeding with the pilot?|
|How quickly will it pay off? (half a year is a good indicator)||How many and what employees will be involved in supporting the RPA process?||Based on the need for RPA implementation, what is the best operational model for your business?||What are the expertise and previous experience (projects) of the vendor?||How long will it take for the integrating?|
|Which business processes will be involved in a pilot project?||What are the complexity and volatility (variability) factors of the process?||Is the chosen RPA platform able to grow rapidly and support the current and future needs of your business? What are the functional features of the platform?||Which engagement model is the best for your cooperation with your partner?||How will you manage further technical support of RPA?|
|How much will it cost to implement and support, when and what will be the return?||What is the strategy for the pilot launch?||What are the functional features of the platform?||Who will be responsible for the technical support of RPA?||What outcomes are expected after implementation? (indicators you want to achieve thanks to robots)|
How to implement robotic process automation?
The further steps need to be taken for proceeding with correct RPA implementation:
1. Data collection and analysis
The business team and RPA vendor/strategist work together to define the business process for RPA development. The primary purpose of this analysis is to identify processes that are best for automation, saving manual effort, and bringing high ROI.
2. Approval of the work plan (roadmap) for all stages of the project
All stakeholders and IT partner agreed on the detailed description of robotic processes, solution architecture, needed resources, and timing. This stage includes the formation and distribution of documents in relation to the work plan, as well as the assigning of tasks for responsible executors.
3. The development process
The stage includes configuring robots for each of the processes, testing the performance, developing user instructions, and employee training.
4. Deployment and maintenance
After adjustments to the settings and testing are completed, the RPA solution is ready for deployment. Post-launch technical support and user consultation are a must-further step so that the stakeholders should take care of it in advance.
The pros and cons of RPA
Let’s describe how robotic process automation will help the business (its major advantages):
- Increasing the speed of performing routine tasks
The RPA tool can reduce time-consuming tasks by 80% (by Automation Anywhere). Once you establish an RPA scenario, the business process can be run multiple times without the need for employee intervention and be available 24 hours a day.
- Saving costs
RPA reduces enterprise cost spending up to 20%-60% and investment recovery in as short as 6 months (according to Everest Group). What’s more, if you consider the offshore vendor, the rates for its services will vary depending on the chosen country. Read more about it in our latest article.
- Improving productivity
The processes that a person performs in 4-6 hours, the robot will complete in 30-60 minutes. This means that a larger number of documents will be processed, and the employees can engage in core business activities.
- Providing high flexibility
RPA based solutions can work with any software product and application. A robot can perform several assigned functions and quickly switch between them, unlike the person.
- Great for scalability
Any company strives for growth. And with the use of robots this will definitely happen since due to flexible customization, the RPA can expand its functionality together with the company’s needs.
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Before implementing the RPA process, also take into consideration its drawbacks:
- Deployment and maintenance costs
Running an RPA requires not only the initial investment for deployment but also the further maintenance of it. Especially it concerns if the associated systems and applications are regularly updated.
- The need for third-party vendor
According to the Deloitte RPA Global Survey, for most organizations (63%), implementation will involve working with a dedicated third-party partner due to a lack of specialized skills. On one hand, it requires additional costs. On the other hand, a skilled outsourcing team guaranteed you to have professional RPA implementation and work to be done.
- Changing the mindset of employees
RPA is still a relatively new field of activity and can be viewed as a negative factor by employees. Thus, deploying RPA requires internal employees to have a deep understanding of automated business processes.
From the above we can assume, robotic process automation has more advantages than disadvantages, besides, the latter can be attributed to relative and easily eliminated ones. With a well-planned process for RPA implementation, your company can optimize personnel work (switching from routine to analytical tasks), improve the quality of provided services and reach cost minimization of the enterprise in several months.
In this sense, specialized outsourcing vendors are a clue for a successful RPA case. Since innovative technologies are the chief business for them, they put a lot of effort and investment in the expertise of their talents. Thus, they will always be several steps ahead of freelancers or the company’s in-house team.
Partnering with FreySoft
We, the FreySoft team, provide first-class software development services in Europe. Our experience proves to deliver leading-edge digital solutions for both startups and already existing businesses (find more about our latest project). Whether you need a single specialist, extend your inner project management, or outsource an entire project – we make it on time and within your budget.
FreySoft expertise includes:
- Web App Development
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- Integration & Automatization
- Support & Maintenance of the Product
- Legacy Application Transformation
- UI/ UX Product Design
- Artificial Intelligence programming
- Machine learning solutions
We welcome you to contact us and let us take over your IT support to grow your business!
FAQ: What is Robotic Process Automation?
When identifying the processes for RPA, it is worth paying attention to:
– rule-based processes;
– processes with a large amount of data that require processing;
– stable processes that involve regular manual work;
– processes initiated by events, time, data.
Note, the more often the labor work is spent on the performing of the regular processes, the greater the potential of its RPA.
The core practices for RPA implementation include:
– Correct identification of priorities and diagnostics of business processes.
– Development of a financial model of robotization based on the previous analysis and the cost of the selected RPA platform.
– Human Resources Management strategy (employees of the company must be informed about their prospects in connection with introducing robotization).
– Setting up an RPA robot based on the collected requirements.
– Testing the solution.
– Using analytics tools, including dashboards, to understand the actual picture of information processing by robots.
– Creation of instructions and documentation; training users to work with RPA technology.
Businesses take advantage of using RPA in finance and accounting, for operational tasks, procurement, and customer service. In these terms, the good candidates to robotic document flow, preparation of reports, collection and processing of information, data migration between systems, and other processes with the high frequency of occurrence.