4 Challenges Small Businesses Face When Employing RPA

Robotic Process Engineering (RPA) represents a change in the paradigm of how businesses operate. According to CIO, RPA aims to give businesses an advantage through automating their systems, relying on business logic and structured inputs to frame the process.

Small enterprises especially can see massive increases in their process efficiency from implementing RPA. As BizTech mentions, small and medium enterprises can successfully apply RPA to either individual repetitive processes, or even entire systems if they can work out the rules that they need to automate.

It’s not all roses when implementing RPA however. In this article, we’ll explore the most pressing challenges small businesses face when trying to put RPA into practice within their organizations.

1. No Clearly Defined RPA Strategy

Business processes usually require a properly-outlined strategy for bringing them to fruition. RPA is no exception to this rule, but many businesses embrace the idea without understanding the underlying need for a plan.

Enterprisers Project reports that an RPA strategy is a necessary consideration if you want timely implementation for your RPA project. A clearly defined strategy helps you to visualize what you need to do, and what processes are going to be automated. The more in-depth your strategy goes, the more you can determine which processes are worth automating and which are better left in human hands.

2. Determining Which Processes Are Worth Automating

Some processes are better candidates for automation than others. At its heart, RPA focuses on automating processes that are cumbersome and tedious for people. Forbes reports that the best candidates for automation are processes that remain static. Any process that requires human thought might not be a good fit for RPA.

In several cases, businesses have misunderstood the methodology behind RPA and have tried to automate processes that required in-depth decision-making by the controller. The inevitable result was that their RPA attempt failed. While bots are capable of basic decisions, as the thought processes become more complex, the bots also need to scale their complexity, leading to more places for errors to occur. Knowing the goal of RPA is as crucial as knowing which processes are best suited for automation.

3. Balancing Cost of Implementation

Automation has the potential to save a business a lot of money and make its operation more efficient. However, it comes back to whether the company has the money to invest in an RPA implementation. Ideally, the best way to overcome this challenge is to run a cost-benefit analysis on the implementation of RPA within the company. Tech Wire Asia mentions that implementing RPA can be broken down into the following:

  • Costs for development
  • Costs for change
  • Costs for management

Custom bots tend to cost more but are better tailored to the company’s RPA strategy. Generic bots are easier to use and cost less but require more knowhow to fit into the company’s strategy. Additionally, without determining the most efficient use of human resources that RPA frees up, the business can’t make full use of the benefits that automation can offer.

4. Underestimating the Complexity of the Solution

This challenge is tied to the previous one, since a business may pay less for a generic RPA bot, but may need to invest significant amounts of time and skill into customizing it.

For simple processes, generic bots can be edited to suit the business’s needs using standard software. However, as the processes a company intends to automate gets more complicated, generic bots don’t fit the company’s requirements anymore. The firm then has to choose between expensive custom-built bots or developing their own coding department to deal with its RPA project as an added expense.

While RPA software might be easy to use, it doesn’t make the underlying processes any easier. Businesses need to approach RPA with the mindset that the processes still need to be mapped out before implementing automation.

This step-by-step approach helps avoid problems later down and simplifies what needs to be done to automate the process. It’s also possible to spot sub-processes that could benefit from automation, leaving the more complex parts to human agents. It’s only by detailing the steps in each process can a business work out whether it’s too complicated to automate.

Contracting Your RPA Needs

For many companies, the most significant challenge is to implement RPA without losing sight of the goal. A scalable automation system that is intuitive to use is the ideal approach to this.

Arista Consulting proposes using Intellibot due to several critical elements inherent in this customizable bot:

  • A customizable dashboard that doesn’t have any other requirements to run.
  • An Orchestrator which offers RBAC compliance for enterprise management, cloud compatibility, and Multi-Tenancy.
  • A simple-to-use design studio that can be used to model RPA and RDA projects.

Intellibot is a sophisticated front-end that does most of the complex processing out of sight. Contact Arista Consulting today to find out more about how Intellibot can help your business implement RPA in an efficient yet uncomplicated manner.

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