Performance Management

Robotize or cancel?

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Challenges of outdated processes and the role of Robotics

Very often we may witness that the processes and tools in the company are totally obsolete. It leads to a set of multiple manual and exhausting tasks linked with those processes that has a negative impact on the efficiency and profitability of the running business. Obviously, it is an area of risk that should be identified as such in the mapping of operational risks. But no worry, the miraculous solution is there: the robot! 

Indeed, in recent years, companies have chosen to solve this problem with the help of robots. With the objective to improve the efficiency of the process and to free time of employees for accomplishment of other added value tasks. The robot here is nothing more than a set of instructions written in a basic computer language and executed on usual tools, taking over, and mimicking the manual tasks in question.

The limitations of automation in business efficiency

This experience would be exemplary if the process using the robot were truly efficient and sustainable. Unfortunately, this is not often the case. The observation is finally quite logical, if the robot saves a few apparent hours or even a few days of heavy manual work, these gains could turn into  the  loss of time later on, so the expected work on brining “greater added value”  is negligible or even non-visible.

The causes can be multiple, but two of the most common ones can be identified:

– the process continued to evolve, which is completely normal, while the robot continued to execute the same tasks,

– the process had been redesigned and modified while keeping in the loop the tasks previously manual and heavy through the robot

Here starts the infinite loop: it takes an update of the robot or a totally new robot that adapts to the evolution of the process. In that case we could start the loop again and again.

Strategic integration of AI and RPA for sustainable transformation, only if…

As for Beyond Horizons-New Finance, we believe that Robotics and Automation known as RPA “Robotic Process Automation”, and Artificial Intelligence offer enormous possibilities for the development of the entire enterprise processes. However, their usage to perform tasks without or with low added value, is quite limited. It postpones the problem and makes situation even more complicated. In addition, single expenses of relatively small amounts repeated several times would, sometimes, far exceed the necessary investment that would have been put in place much earlier.

Thus, the implementation of disruptive technologies should be more important and more ambitious and thoughtful. Based on our experience, Beyond Horizons supports companies to estimate and find the most efficient option that will help clients to reach their objectives and avoid losses.

1/ We have to question what would be more relevant for repetitive, low-value-added, and time-consuming tasks. Should they be automated, robotized or simply eliminated?

2/ as for highly intellectual tasks, requiring reasoning, and operating with precise algorithms, they should be fully or partly supported by an Intelligent Agent. 

This approach is obviously to be carried out within the framework of a global reflection and a coherent transformation program considering different components, the first of which are people, the humans.

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