The pitfalls of RPA

RPA, acronym for Robotic Process Automation, is a relatively recent technology that has aroused much interest in business circles. The idea that a piece of software has the ability to perform repetitive activities in operations performed on workstations, automatically, without any or very little human intervention, is really very attractive.

However, some aspects leave many doubts among technicians and managers, primarily because of the name itself. In general, this class of systems is very efficient for automating activities, such as filling out a collection form or feeding some poorly structured financial information to an ERP. However, in information flows, or business processes, some orchestration is needed, both human and automated, and in this case, we have more specific products for this purpose, such as BPMSs (Business Process Management Systems). Another important aspect is how to evaluate the ideal product for a company’s needs, since the range of features (and prices) varies greatly between products.

It was not enough to have to get the specification right and, therefore, the costs involved, one of the problems in the acquisition of this class of products is its applicability and effectiveness. The question that cannot remain silent is: do I really need this? Or, is the cost-benefit adequate? And the worst of them: won’t I just be automating a huge inefficiency?

The main pitfall is exactly this: be automating something that shouldn’t even be done. In other words, is there added value in an activity such that it simply shouldn’t exist? And no, it is not just an inference, but an accumulation of experiences that show the huge amount of activities carried out by companies that do not add value to the business to the point that they should simply be eliminated.

The same risks exist in any automation, of course, but in tools where the automation solution is very fast to implement, as is the case with RPA, in general, there is hardly time for a more adequate reflection on value addition and inefficiency becomes run very quickly.

Vector has an adequate methodology to accurately diagnose the added value of activities, assess the disposal of activities or their automation, either in a conventional way, such as added to the ERP or more modern with the use of BPMS or RPA, as well as , which product is most suitable for the specific needs of companies.