Who needs robotic process automation (RPA) the most? The easiest answer would be to say: everyone. Everyone should to let robots run their mundane, repetitive processes – it’s more accurate, faster, and allows you to spend your time doing important things.
But here are five specific kinds of people who especially need automation, how automation could help them, and some pretty great ideas for what else they could do with their time:
The Lone Wolves Need Automation
You know who you are – I’m looking at you, sole proprietors who do everything yourself. You, perhaps more than anyone else, need automation. You know who you are, making appointments during the day and inputting invoices and paying them at night, spending Saturday morning doing data entry while your kids watch cartoons in the background. We’ve been there; we know.
I know what you’re thinking: automation is too expensive for a company my size. And to be fair, it might be a bit of a stretch. But also to be fair? That’s exactly why you need to do it. Think of it this way: you can save and save and eventually take the plunge and hire someone to do admin work for you, so you can have a LIFE again. But what happens when that person leaves after six months, and you have to pick up the job again, adjust to any changes they have made, and then train the new person once you find them? Instead, consider a bot that could get the work done in the evening while you’re relaxing, and then has things ready to go when you start work the next morning. Wouldn’t that be a better solution?
Here are some ideas of things you could do if you WEREN’T mired in paperwork:
- Develop new products or services. Take some time away from the day-to-day grind to truly think creatively and strategize. Create new revenue streams to provide for a better tomorrow.
- Build relationships. Use extra time for networking events or to meet other business owners for coffee.
- Learn new skills. Are there things that you outsource that you could learn to do yourself, given the time? Things like marketing, SEO, web development, or data analytics.
- Focus on the customer. Use the extra time to truly offer a white-glove service to your customers. Plan events, increase communication, or even just check in more often.
- Improve business infrastructure. Focus on organizing processes and getting SOPs in place. (And then, who knows? You might be able to automate those later too.)
Give your evenings back to your family – think about outsourcing admin work to a digital bot.
The People Protectors Need Automation
Now I’m looking at those of you in the human resources areas. SO MUCH of what you do can (and should) be automated. When we say that to people, the reaction is sometimes, “Yes please, I’m drowning.” But also it’s sometimes a slightly defensive “I don’t need that; I can handle it.” You know where the second response comes from? Fear. Fear that they will become redundant when the bot does all their work. Fear their job won’t be needed anymore.
But here’s a question that deserves some thought: what could you do if you weren’t mired in paperwork? Here are a few ideas:
- Employee engagement. Focus on building a positive, fun workplace. Think about things like wellness programs, team-building exercises, etc.
- Talent management. Really take the time to focus on finding strong candidates. Attend job fairs. Spend time with succession planning and be AHEAD (for once) when you need a new team member.
- Training and team development. Create training programs and book clubs to up-skill your team. Set aside intentional time to talk about leadership and teach application.
- Diversity and inclusion. Form a committee and brainstorm ways to make sure everyone feels included at your company. Plan events/talks that ensure everyone knows it’s their responsibility to make sure everyone is seen and valued.
- Corporate and social responsibility. Plan initiatives that support social or environmental causes. Encourage and motivate everyone to give back.
So what do you think? Ready to stop doing paperwork?
Money Magicians Need Automation
The easiest automation/time saver for our financial friends? Invoice processing. Bots can easily do this job, and they already do for many of your competitors. How does it work? It varies, but consider having a bot “man” a specific email inbox and watch for messages with “Invoice” in the subject line. They can then strip out the relevant information and add it to a CRM or finance software.
Other financial processes that are easily automatable are expense reporting, accounts payable and receivable, and bank reconciliations.
Here are some great ideas for how you could use the extra time:
- Financial analysis. Given extra time, you could really dig into forecasting and trend analysis, identifying areas that are performing well and areas that need improvement.
- Financial reporting. After your extra analysis, you could create detailed reports that provide insights into the business’s financial health and overall performance.
- Investor communication. Does your company have investors? If so, an area that is often overlooked is TLC for the investors. Start sending out a monthly or quarterly report.
Customer Happiness Heroes Need Automation
Our customer service friends are using automation too. The biggest time saver here is going to be in the realm of automated replies, which can be used to respond to common questions or support requests. Customer service representatives are using RPA is in triaging requests and data transfer between different internal systems. By automating these systems, customer support teams can take a more proactive and value-driven approach to their work.
How could they add extra value? Here are some ideas:
- Proactive customer outreach. Spend time talking with customers about their future needs and gauge satisfaction levels. Find out if there are ways you could help customers that you aren’t doing now. Engage in up-selling.
- Quality assurance checks. Customer support teams could spend time making sure that customers are satisfied with their service and ensuring that service is consistent. This enables longer-term customer partnerships.
- Develop support materials. Be proactive by creating FAQ sheets, tutorials, and explainer videos.
- Collaboration. Spend time meeting with other departments to solve repeat customer complaints.
The Healing Warriors Need Automation
Perhaps no other industry is finding value from RPA as much as the healthcare industry. Through natural language processing and speech recognition technology, RPA can be used to greatly reduce administrative data entry. Billing, invoicing, document processing, and appointment managing are other areas RPA is being used heavily. What can healthcare administrators do “found time” if bots are completing their tedious, mundane work? Here are some ideas:
- Building relationships. Extra time gives healthcare administrators the opportunity to strengthen relationships between departments within the organization as well as with external stakeholders such as insurers, suppliers, etc., leading to better collaboration and improved communication across teams.
- Streamlining processes. One advantage of saving time by having bots run your processes is that you have time to streamline! When you use RPA, you also have data about the efficiency of your process. Use extra time to find bottlenecks.
Though almost any business can find a use for RPA, these are a few people who especially need it! Want to talk to someone about your automation needs? Click here for a free consultation.