Why RPA is The Future of Shared Services


Robotic Process Automation is creating ripples across industries due to its runaway success in various sectors. Among the next generation technologies like machine learning, artificial intelligence and Robotic Process Automation, RPA is the one that organizations are heavily shifting towards because of its promised benefits such has high RoI, short payback period and improved overall performance while reducing the cost.

The benefits that RPA have brought to businesses that have chosen to adopt it has made heads turn and top managements of many other businesses have been forced to take notice. It has been becoming quite apparent for a while now that businesses have two clear choices: to adopt RPA and march ahead of their rivals or be rigid and fall behind their competitors. There is a lot at stake which requires careful planning and decision making.

Especially for service businesses, this is all the more relevant. Among these come shared service centers that spread risks and protect organizations from economic uncertainty. Currently, they are expected to be the saviors again by bringing about cost savings. Robotic Process Automation is that lifeline which when injected into shared services will help them bring about a digital transformation.

Shared service centers are slowly realizing how important it is for them to move away from labor arbitrage and exploit the benefits granted by Robotic Process Automation. RPA is a boon for them as it enables shift of mundane repetitive work from man to machine thereby allowing important activities to be better attended to.

Numerous shared service centers have the technical capability and operational acumen to bring about a digital transformation. RPA can help them in bridging the gap from where they are to where they wish to move to. It can drive down costs, improve efficiency and make life easier by homogenizing disparate systems.

Building the case for Automation

As cost of living and inflation rise in low cost locations, the advantages of labor arbitrage have started diminishing. Shared service centers must then be on the lookout for new ways to achieve more efficiency. This makes a solid case for the adoption of RPA in shared service centers.

When businesses look to invest in newer technologies they calculate the investment layout and the return on investment and most of the time, the repayment period works out to be in a few years. However with the adoption of RPA, the repayment period is in a span of few months. Another plus for RPA over other technologies is that RPA is flexible and can be applied across multiple systems and platforms.

As per a survey conducted by SSON analytics, of the shared service centers that have not implemented RPA, only 3% of the respondents view RPA as having the ability to robotize a majority of transactions.

They believe that RPA will reduce the number of fulltime employees. 61 percent of the respondents feel that implementation of RPA takes very long sometimes spanning over 12 weeks. Respondents believe that accounts and purchase to pay departments will benefit the most from RPA implementation.

The numbers differ when it comes to shared service centers that have adopted RPA. Interestingly, 35 percent of the respondents here believe that Robotic Process Automation has the capability to robotize 60 percent of the transactions. Most of them believe that increased efficiency, lower costs and improved accuracy are the main benefits that Robotic Process Automation will bring to the table.

However, in half of the shared service centers that had implemented RPA, 20 percent respondents report that implementation took no longer than four to eight weeks while 13 percent have stated it took less than four weeks. Besides suggestions that accounts and purchase to pay departments were the only beneficiaries from RPA, it was discovered that order to cash was another area that reaped benefits.

Below are a few of the benefits that RPA would bring to shared service centres:

  1. Cutting Costs

Robotic Process Automation allows shifting the dull, repetitive tasks from people to machines. This leads to a reduction in headcount. Floor space required for operations would reduce the facility cost as much as by thirty seven percent. When new full time employees are hired, there are associated costs such as individual desktops, laptops or personal productivity software. These costs are eliminated and have been estimated to be around thirty three to thirty seven percent. Training costs and support will no longer be required meaning that costs are reduced to the tune of 30 to 35 percent.

  1. Scalability

When multiple time zones are involved, Robots can work around the clock and deal with fluctuation in work volume more efficiently than human beings.

  1. Error Reduction and Accuracy

When robots take over the tasks, there is minimum human intervention which reduces the chances of human error, thereby improving accuracy.

  1. Improved Efficiency

Robots do not get fatigued or bored of doing repetitive tasks. They can work for long hours at a stretch and this improves the productivity and efficiency.

[bctt tweet=”Robots do not get fatigued or bored of doing repetitive tasks.” username=”@UInsights”]

  1. Better Adaptability

Over time, certain methods and processes can change due to requirements or technological shifts. Robots are better suited to new processes than humans and can adapt to change better. This is advantageous to organizations which need to get on with work with minimum setbacks.

  1. Better security and compliance

RPA allows for better security of data that is collected from a variety of sources and helps in regulatory compliance.

  1. Insight and Analytics

RPA allows for processing the data stored in various databases and come up with meaningful insights. Based on the insights provided, important decisions can be taken. Analytics helps businesses draw out information from raw data.

With the increase in adoption, Robotic Process Automation companies are moving towards the lights off approach to shared service tasks. Along with the new developments in the fields of machine learning and artificial intelligence, automation is bringing about self supporting operations that can change as per the requirements of the business.

[bctt tweet=”With the increase in adoption, Robotic Process Automation companies are moving towards the lights off approach to shared service tasks. ” username=”@UInsights”]

The benefits that Robotic Process Automation brings are much more than time and cost savings. Many activities will be delegated to the machines which will work on their own and this will help Human Resource Departments, Finance and Operations personnel to focus their attention on pressing tasks. It will also lead to an improvement in overall business strategy.

The focus on RPA in Shared Services comes at a time when organizations are shifting to cloud. As technology becomes advanced and affordable, it will play a pivotal part in shaping organizational transformation strategy.

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