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Why RPA is Right for The SMB



Like all companies, the small and midsize business (SMB) encounters unique operational challenges in realizing its full potential. According to a recent report published by Tech Aisle, some of the top ten business issues for SMBs in 2016 include managing uncertainty, reducing operational costs, increasing business growth, increasing profitability, attracting and retaining new customers, improving workforce productivity, and improving quality of products and processes.

Leveraged by large global corporations to increase efficiency, enhance accuracy, and improve scalability of business activities ranging from a simple data migration task to claims processing, robotic process automation (RPA) helps companies streamline practices and enhance efficiencies. While commonly deployed by larger organizations, RPA’s capabilities beg the question: Can SMBs implement RPA to address their own pain points and realize the same RPA benefits that larger enterprises do?

In order to better understand the benefits SMBs can experience from RPA implementation, let’s consider how RPA can help smaller companies improve levels of productivity, what resources are necessary along the way, and how RPA can help the SMB compete with global corporations.

The Right Tools

Resourcing RPA implementation can be a challenge for any business. The implementation process takes time, requires a monetary investment, and demands organizational support from both executives and employees. This can especially be the case for an SMB, which may already be faced with less annual revenue and fewer employees than its enterprise counterparts. Compare, for example, a $5M company with 20 employees to a $200M company with 500 employees: the latter will likely have more available resources than the former to dedicate to RPA implementation.

Let’s now consider some of the different roles that are needed to help support the implementation process in a SMB:

Is Smaller Better?

Developing these roles can seem like an initial challenge for an SMB that might not have the same level of capital or the same number of employees as much larger enterprise. Though they might face these unique obstacles, SMBs are still able to successfully implement RPA. Small businesses, despite their size, are able to situate themselves to take advantage of the benefits of RPA for many reasons:

When compared to enterprises, it’s possible SMBs will not face the same internal resistance to RPA nor the need to divide automation responsibilities across various departments. This means many SMBs will be able to quickly realize the benefits of automation. RPA can allow SMBs to achieve, for example, increased efficiency and productivity, quick scalability based on customer and transactional demand, and improved employee utilization — all benefits small businesses can leverage to tackle their unique business challenges.

Impact of RPA for SMBs?

Even though they are smaller than enterprises, SMBs are well-positioned to take advantage of the various benefits of RPA and can achieve the same benefits of RPA implementation as a company twice or ten times the size. With RPA implementation, small businesses will quickly see productive and streamlined business activities, improved customer service, and great scalability opportunities. The SMB will also be able to reduce costs, better address customer needs, and efficiently respond to changing market demands. In the end, this means small businesses will be able to reach a more level playing field with global enterprises and will be able significantly reduce the competition gap between themselves and their competitors.

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