Not Just Obligation, But Opportunity: Adopting RPA as a Mid-sized Company
Mid-range companies are the backbone of many industries and economies. They are often specialists in their field and have a comprehensive understanding of their customer base. Nonetheless, they are in constant competition with big international corporations that trump them in terms of resources: especially access to the talent that is necessary to grow your current product and service offerings, as well as the financial capabilities to invest in innovative, yet risky, ventures.
In particular, digitization is a new battleground for companies looking to gain a more competitive footing, and large enterprises are investing heavily in technologies like robotic process automation (RPA). For medium-sized business with less wiggle room, digitization might seem out of reach, even intimidating, and create pressure to copy others to become a more digital company.
However, fear of missing out should not be the reason that drives medium-sized to adopt RPA. Rather, RPA has real potential to make life easier for these companies and their employees by freeing them from the most pressing obstacles to their sustainable growth. Charting this new automation territory is, in fact, not as arduous as it may seem.
Stumbling blocks en route to maturity
Mid-market companies are often challenged, lacking the resources needed to compete with bigger players in their industries. In order to keep to their growth targets and stay relevant, such businesses have to utilize their limited resources in the best way possible. Because medium-sized companies often do not have a large workforce, increasingly complex operational responsibilities (such as customer service requests) end up being outsourced with a loss of quality or delegated to already overburdened employees.
Internally, a mid-sized company’s workforce often have to take on multiple roles (be it in F&A, HR, or customer service) in order to deal with the diverse operational efforts of day-to-day business. While these tasks often take up the majority of working hours, the same employees must also accommodate growth aspirations through strategic projects. In the heat of the moment, however, this second component often falls out of focus. This means that a company’s workforce is unable to spend the valuable time needed focusing on additional value creation.
How does RPA work to accelerate business?
Technology-related measures to alleviate these constraints are often costly, associated with risk, and require internal technical resources that many medium-sized companies do not have. “Given their special features, SMEs [small- and medium-sized enterprises] are inherently constrained in their innovative activities due to a lack of financing and a shortage of skilled labour,” suggests professional services firm Deloitte, “SMEs with a strong commitment to R&D confront an increased total risk, as their economic success depends significantly on the success of their R&D activity.”
Leveraging the benefits of automation
If you are a decision-maker in a medium-sized company, you’re probably familiar with the difficulties of achieving growth in a competitive marketplace shaped by digitization. You likely also want to avoid complex, expensive, and time-consuming implementations of automation technology that could disrupt your business critical daily operations. Luckily, RPA enables you to improve the operations and service offerings of your mid-range company while, at the same time, sparing you from excessive financial risk.
More efficient growth
To best foster sustainable growth, RPA’s software robots can take over entire workflows in the background via unattended automation or facilitate the work of human employees as “digital colleagues” (i.e. attended automation). Given the FTE hours & process quality that can be capitalized upon, RPA can be a major growth factor for your company: enabling expansion of existing markets or entrance into new markets, supporting the acquisition of new customers and better maintenance of existing customers, while managing a competitive cost structure.
Employee acquisition and empowerment
By automating repetitive, time-consuming, and mundane work, your company will enable employees to take on more meaningful responsibilities. Ultimately, this enables a greater focus on the strategic tasks and value-added activities that make your company unique. This also contributes to a more attractive workplace for existing and new employees, which is highly significant in times of “war for talent.”
Responsiveness and ease of integration
RPA offers a simple, agile, and user-friendly UI experience that can be easily used to visually establish complex automation in a matter of hours, instead of weeks. The implementation and deployment process relies on an open and extensible architecture, in addition to automation being achievable without IT restructuring or the need for employees to have any coding knowledge. Also being application- and process- agnostic, RPA can non-intrusively automate partial and entire workflows in any software environment through human-like interactions with the user interface.
Better cost management
RPA comes with implementation costs but, a software robot typically costs one-fifth of the expenses of an extra employee. Overall, RPA can also deliver significant cost savings in comparison to the implementation of other enterprise software (BPMS, ERP, CRM, and others). Rather than being a technology that only larger enterprises can afford, RPA is a non-prohibitive option for medium-sized companies to leverage a cost-effective workforce, grow at the right pace affordably, and quickly reach a robust ROI.
Considering RPA adoption?
While adopting RPA may seem like a daunting task, the automation technology can be the stepping stone for your medium-sized company to make tangible strides towards challenging big enterprises in terms of efficiency and strategic focus without having to make prohibitive financial investments. Feel free to check out some of our webinars to learn more about your options with RPA.