How Robotic Process Automation can reduce labor costs and boost productivity

Mateusz Tajak
How Robotic Process Automation can reduce labor costs and boost productivity

It’s a truism in the modern business world that labor costs are increasing, yet worker productivity remains largely the same. It’s also true that our traditional models of work are in serious need of an overhaul.

Trying to unlock the future growth potential of companies using outdated systems is fraught with difficulties. Employee burnout and inefficient processes are hampering many a company’s desires to scale. But what if there was a way to address these issues and simultaneously solve the two-fold problem of growing labor costs and productivity plateaus? Such a solution exists. It's called robotic process automation. increase in labour costs in 2021

What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?

Put simply, RPA is software that automatically performs highly repetitive tasks that would otherwise need to be completed by employees. RPA software tools, known as “bots”, are great for processing the tedious, mundane tasks your human staff would normally do. That’s because they can complete work in a fraction of the time it would normally take a team of workers. RPA bots never get sick or need a coffee break. Plus, when you implement robotic process automation within your company, you essentially free up your in-house talent to work on higher-level tasks that require more problem-solving and interpretation. That way, your whole enterprise can be geared toward growth hacking your company’s future success.

How Robotic Process Automation benefits your business

Robotic Process Automation benefits

Obviously, one of the biggest benefits of implementing RPA within your organization is saving on the cost of labor. When you invest in an RPA system, you are investing in the future of your company. A future where you will not need to devote countless hours of employee hours to manually completing repetitive tasks.

You may be thinking that an investment in RPA is too costly, and it is better to simply hire new employees to undertake the ever-growing administration tasks of your business. However, 2022 already looks like a year where labor shortages are going to impact world economies severely. The case for investing in RPA technologies now has never been clearer.

Robotic process automation technology has existed for quite a few years, and in this time has become optimized. What this means is that it doesn’t require a large budget to configure and implement. The upshot is that RPA is significantly cheaper than hiring employees to do the same tasks.

People working at firms that have implemented RPA are happier. In fact, the results of the recent Office Worker Survey conducted by UiPath might surprise you:

  • 30% of US workers want to learn more about robotic process automation
  • 68% believe RPA increases productivity
  • 68% believe RPA saves time
  • 52% believe RPA ensures a better work/life balance
  • 43% believe RPA empowers workers to focus on more important work

survey results labour costs example

Constantly having to complete repetitive tasks is a significant cause of burnout and stress within your workforce. And we know that employee burnout is a major mental health issue. One that costs the economy millions. Rather than overworking employees with tasks that can be more easily and efficiently completed by bots, it makes sense for companies to invest in RPA systems. That way they can reduce the costs associated with employee burnout, such as extended sick leave, low productivity levels and high error rates.

Labor cost-saving benefits of RPA

RPA offers the ability to realize significantly reduced labor costs year after year. Not only does it mitigate the need to hire new employees to perform the most labor-intensive, repetitive work within your business, it also improves the speed and accuracy with which work is carried out. RPA’s ability to gather, record, analyze and input vast amounts of data is second to none. The bottom line is that business leaders are tasked with making critical decisions to return significant ROI for their companies. And several studies show how beneficial investing in RPA can be for a company’s bottom line:

  • A recent study conducted by Gartner found that RPA has the potential to save over 25,000 hours in avoidable rework in financing departments.
  • Deloitte showed that robotic process automation could generate savings of 40% to 75% in labor hours within MedTech companies.
  • Nasscom insights revealed that a typical RPA license does the work of approximately 3 FTEs.

Statistically speaking, a robotic process automation solution works at approximately one-third the cost of a company’s offshore workforce and around a tenth of its onshore personnel. Obviously, the greater the time a task takes, the higher the ROI you’ll get from robotic process automation.

The ROI for implementing RPA can be as high as 300%. However, it all depends on what methodology you use at the very beginning. Should you optimize stand-alone worker operations or roll out company-wide, inter-departmental automation? Depending on the approach taken, the ROI for RPA can vary between 30% to as high as 200% in year one of RPA implementation.

However, RPA provides companies with more than just financial gains from labor savings. It is such a powerful way of delivering multiple business benefits right across an organization.

Productivity boosting benefits of RPA

As discussed, RPA puts powerful software tools to work for your business. It modernizes processes and streamlines workflows to free up employee hours. RPA can also significantly boost your company’s productivity to unprecedented levels.

Let’s look at the various ways RPA enhances an organization’s overall productivity:

benefits of RPA reducing labour costs

  • Improved Morale

RPA takes care of the mundane, tedious and time-sapping administration work of running a company. This allows human workers to offload manual tasks, like filling out forms, data entry and researching information, to the bots. These bots will never complain and never grow tired. The flow-on effect is improved employee morale and initiative, which are two core components of helping a business grow. Employees will feel happier in the work they are doing. Rather than being tied to completing repetitive work manually, they are now more likely to be stretched creatively. Rather than being bogged down by mundane, relatively mindless jobs that RPA could carry out, they can use their initiative and problem-solving skills to drive innovation in your business. Obviously, this newly unleashed brainpower is more likely to yield positive business results. Business leaders can now direct their human teams to undertake more creative and strategic challenges. Not only does RPA have a direct and positive impact on the morale of existing employees, it is also a major drawcard for attracting the top talent to your organization. The very best people will want to come to work in a corporation that gives its employees exciting challenges and opportunities for growth. Furthermore, because happier, more productive employees will be retained, issues related to high employee turnover are reduced significantly.

  • Extreme Accuracy

RPA bots are extremely accurate. When carrying out repetitive, rules-based operations they consistently maintain much higher levels of precision then the human mind can sustain. Being much less prone to making mistakes than a human employee means you can use RPA to increase overall productivity and reduce waste within your organization to a significant degree. As an example, take the case of a large US bank that decided to turn to RPA to automate its billing system. This process, previously handled by employees, was fraught with errors and omissions. Indeed, mismatched rate cards and client invoices meant that the bank was leaking serious amounts of revenue. After implementing RPA, the bank went from a revenue leakage rate of 10% to only 3%.

  • Reliability and consistency

RPA bots operate tirelessly and autonomously 24/7. Usually, there is no need for your regular employees to intervene in, or even initiate, RPA processes. When a human does need to intervene, it is mostly for decision-making purposes. Robotic process automation is also incredibly consistent. Once programmed, the bots will perform their function the same way each and every time. A relevant example of the benefits of using more reliable and consistent processes is discernible in the following example. A leading global bank implemented RPA technology to automate the majority of payments it made in the foreign trade and finance sector. Obviously, because it is a highly regulated sector, consistently ensuring compliance is key. Traditionally, this process was conducted by human employees who relied upon largely unstructured data. Most of these transactions needed to be processed on the same day and employees had to use multiple systems to complete their work. This made the process messy and very lengthy. By implementing RPA processes paired with cognitive technologies, this banking firm was able to streamline its processes reliably and consistently. It reduced the number of full-time employees required in the department by over 40% and resulted in a halving of the salary budget needed for this team.

  • Compliance

RPA bots only execute the instructions they have been programmed with. This makes them perfectly suited to meeting strict standards of compliance. The capacity of robotic process automation to collect, compile, cleanse, and summarize large amounts of data without error means the organization can rely on the fact that they are always in compliance with regulatory protocols.

  • Integrates with legacy systems

RPA does not disrupt nor override your company’s legacy systems and technologies. RPA bots work in harmony with legacy systems and are an essential tool for integrating previously siloed processes and systems. CIOs the world over utilize robotic process automation technology to help them bridge legacy applications and gain enhanced functionality and value from existing technologies. Organizations that do not have access to the skilled workers necessary to develop deep levels of integration between existing legacy applications can benefit from the low-code and no-code configurations of RPA software. You don’t need to rely on expert programmers to create seamless, automated workflows within your organization. Non-technical staff can be easily trained to use the drag and drop process to program a bot to automatically complete rules-based processes.

Final thoughts

Well-designed RPA systems save time, reduce errors, save on labor costs, and boost employee morale. Reduction in employee hours equals reduced personnel requirements equals labor cost savings. When they are freed up from having to complete tedious and repetitive tasks, employees can instead dedicate more time to analysis and problem-solving, thereby optimizing the money an enterprise spends on its labor costs. In addition, the employees gain more time to innovate within the realm of improving processes, with or without RPA. Humans simply cannot automate their behaviour with the same efficacy as well-designed and optimised software. Employees frequently make mistakes in repetitive tasks without realising they’re making them. This leads to the problem of avoidable rework, and subsequently a loss of productivity, project delays, and a strained budget.

“Because evaluation and consistency are built into every single process an RPA bot carries out, high levels of accuracy are guaranteed. RPA checks to ensure each individual step is carried out correctly. And it is highly efficient in doing so.”

Rather than waiting on a team of employees to compile a much-needed report, you can set RPA to work to get the job finished sooner. Say, for instance, you need a report from the previous day delivered to your inbox to help you make decisions impacting the current day’s operations. Normally you would have to wait until 10 am to give your team a chance to compile all the data and generate the required report. However, in fact, it would be much more advantageous for the business if these reports were delivered by 8 am. With RPA you would set the bots to work the night before collecting, compiling, cleansing, and summarizing the large amounts of data you need to base your critical decisions on.

How we can help you implement RPA

Would you like to know more about unlocking the growth potential for your business? We can show you how implementing robotic process automation saves on labor costs and boosts productivity. At GGS IT, we work tirelessly to find the best RPA solution for your business. We can show you how to achieve powerful returns on your investment by implementing RPA across your organization. In the modern world of business where no single person nor team does the entirety of an organization’s work end-to-end, it makes little sense to continue having your departments siloed in their operations. Bring the way your teams work together by creating seamless, streamlined, and autonomous business processes.

GGS IT will not only design an RPA solution for your company, but we will also help you to integrate it with your existing systems and train your employees to keep it running. If you are thinking about implementing robotic process automation to help grow your business, make an appointment for a free consultation with us today.

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