Robotic Process Automation or RPA has the potential to reduce the cost of manual operations, improve services while increasing your return on investment (ROI). Anything with such immense capabilities of business transformation can never be restricted to IT. Of course, IT will play a crucial role in implementation and support, but it is a shift in mind-set and business-led initiative or approach.
RPA is not an IT-led initiative, stop treating it like one.
What can RPA achieve, and what it cannot?
Before we dig deeper into strategies, let’s get some clarity on what RPA can and what RPA cannot. Here is an image from the Deloitte global robotics survey report, 2018. This picture quite precisely explains RPA capabilities.
As you can see, RPA at least in the current form is not going to take up jobs. Automation anxiety is as valid today as it was in the industrial revolution days. What we need to understand is that automation is not going to be an alternative to humans, it will be an additional workforce which will help us work faster and concentrate on things more important. It is essentially a technology for the people by the people. RPA promises many things, all for the better; however, it will cause major disruption. The need for change management and skilling up to run those processes cannot be overlooked.
RPA and Life Science
RPA implementation is not a straightforward process. However, going by current trends in Life Sciences, longer research and development timelines, stringent regulatory and unmet patient needs, etc. RPA appears more of a necessity than choice. Besides, most companies are already using automation certain capacity (Six Sigma processes, SaaS). A proper RPA implementation could only mean bringing it all together and augmenting the digital workforce to the existing human workforce.
The right strategy is what stands between a successful implementation and a failed one. We at i2e Consulting propose our clients to move with utter caution before going ahead with RPA implementation.
RPA Implementation Strategy
Conduct a readiness survey. Existing automation investments, IT infrastructure, challenges, and risks, etc. Once, you are pass the discovery phase, shift focus to the right processes for RPA. Ideally, companies should target low or medium complexity processes (with a minimum of 0.5 FTE savings, but preferably more) and then grow the portfolio of processes gradually.
Caution: Targeting RPA at wrong processes can cause significant automation cost
Build your business case, what pain areas are being addressed, what metrices should determine the returns, benefits from RPA implementation. This is also the stage where you should determine your operating model and lay the foundation for the RPA Centre of Excellence (CoE).
Caution: Do not wait for a Proof of Concept (PoC) or pilot to have a business plan, this could create a substantial gap between a successful PoC and large- scale production automation.
The RPA space is flooded with vendors. It is important to find a vendor whose tools and solutions meet the organization’s requirements. Get in-depth market research, pricing, and check which vendor caters to your requirements. It is ideal to consider partnering with a couple of key vendors to develop customized Life Sciences solutions.
Cation: Be thorough in your investigation, seek input from all stakeholders
The first critical step towards RPA realization, it involves detailed planning, quantitative and qualitative benefits of the business model. This is the stage where you involve a pilot program or PoCs (its stages, run time), training, the strategy of scale, architecture, a roadmap for the implementation. It is also the stage to sanction governance and change management.
Caution: Never assume the skills required for a PoC is good enough for production automation.
Once the roadmap is completed, you can go ahead with the implementation and the next steps.
In conclusion, I would like to add that technology innovation is key to the future of Life Science. RPA implementation is not easy; however, with the right approach, proper planning, and necessary training companies can leverage RPA capabilities. Gain operational efficiency and maximize ROI with Robotic Process Automation.
If you are looking for an RPA consultation or solution, feel free to connect.