RPA1

How Robotic Process Automation helps boost operational performance

 

 

 

One of the most talked-about technology among companies is RPA or Robotic Process Automation. According to the Global Market Insights research report, the Robotic Process Automation market is likely to surpass USD 23 billion by 2026. It is such a sought-out technology as companies can benefit immensely by enhancing their overall performance and consistently provide value to the customers.

By implementing Robotic Process Automation into a business, it’s easy to see exceptional organizational growth as well as increased accuracy and productivity. A study conducted by Mckinsey showed that Robotic Process Automation implementation delivered companies between 30% to 200% return on investment in its first year.

Here’s how Robotic Process Automation can boost operational performance.

1. Improve Customer Experience

Customers are one of the most critical assets for any business. Without an excellent customer experience, most organizations would have to cease business. In today’s business world, a business needs to consistently meet and exceed customer’s expectations. PwC surveyed 15,000 consumers and found that 1 in 3 customers leave a brand they love after just one bad experience, while 92% would completely abandon a company after two negative interactions. It’s no secret how vital customer experience is for an organization.

Businesses that utilize Robotic Process Automation to handle repetitive tasks will leave room for their employees to focus on more value-added work. Key functions like order fulfillment can be automated to fasten the fulfillment process with higher accuracy and consistency. Additionally, customer service can be enhanced by using automatic services to improve resolution time for customer issues.

A consistent effort to improve customer experience with Robotic Process Automation will help provide better value to the customers. The use of this technology not only increases customer experiences and customer loyalty but gives a business a competitive edge over its competitors.

2. Reduce Cost

Implementing RPA is an ideal solution to reduce costs while also improving productivity and efficiency. According to the National Association of Software and Services Companies, using Robotic Process Automation can have a significant labor cost reduction between 30-60%, and businesses can begin to see their return of investment (ROI) in as little as six months.

Robotic Process Automation will significantly help businesses to save costs due to human error. As per Harvard Business Review, incorrect data input by humans costs USD 3 trillion per year in the United States alone. An automated robotic system will cost nowhere close to a full-time employee and is an excellent alternative for outsourcing tasks that are manual and repetitive. It is faster and error-free. Robotic Process Automation also can produce continuous workflow, which can help streamline the operations resulting in higher accuracy, faster processing time, and increased efficiency. 

According to SiberTech, using some type of Robotic Process Automation in a company’s workflow can lower operational costs between 25-50% in their first year of using it.

3. Enhance Productivity

Productivity is commonly one of the most pressing issues a business can face. Most often employees tend to struggle to perform mundane, repetitive work that often results in low productivity. Approximately, 10-20% of human work hours are spent on repetitive tasks, according to Software Testing and Bid Data Hadoop. To succeed and grow, businesses need to optimize processes to improve performance by efficiently allocating resources.

Robotic Process Automation can help perform repetitive and tedious tasks with a high level of accuracy and consistency allowing employees to focus on more significant and more impactful duties. This change enables employees to fully engage and drive core strategic initiatives to improve business performance. Doing so elevates employee morale and increases job satisfaction. Also, this technology can be used 24/7 which enables businesses to increase their resource capacity leading to higher productivity and rapid growth.

A new study from ISG found that using Robotic Process Automation allows businesses to complete processes with 37% fewer resources and 5 to 10 times faster than a human employee could.

4. Increase Scalability

A study done by SSCON found that the scalability of Robotic Process Automation software was unbeatable and could be doubled instantly before product launches. Scalability is one of the key benefits of Robotic Process Automation that is commonly overlooked. Businesses can build their robotic workforce to fit their workspace’s needs at a minimal cost in a short amount of time. 

Even if businesses are continually changing parts of their operations, the automation workflow can be changed easily to adapt to situations to consistently meet the operational needs. As per a study, 65% of the respondents said that the most value they get from Robotic Process Automation is in driving more predictability and quality in the processes, and 50% said that speeding up time to complete the process is of value. 

Also, Robotic Process Automation can be beneficial during periods of intense growth or peak business activity, which could be due to a new product launch or busy seasonal times of the year. Instead of having to train staff, businesses can leverage this technology to help sort through the increased traffic and workflow while improving overall performance to consistently meet customer demand.

5. Increase Accuracy

It’s easy for employees to make errors that can cost an organization a ton of money. Mistakes will happen, no matter how careful and thorough employees are at performing their tasks. Using a Robotic Process Automation eliminates these issues due to its automated and optimized workflow that is error-free and consistent.

Robotic Process Automation can carry out critical, high-volume complex tasks faster with more accuracy, leading to faster processing and reduced waste. This accuracy will help in all aspects of a business, including analytic reporting. This technology is designed to return a huge amount of performance data analysis. This information can be used to continuously improve performance and avoid costly operational errors. 

The more repetitive tasks are automated, the higher is the accuracy and processing time. Eliminating human errors does have a huge cumulative impact on costs and customer satisfaction levels. 

Summary

In the coming years, businesses will gain enormous benefits from the capabilities of the RPA technology. Using Robotic Process Automation will help boost operational performance to better meeting customer needs, gaining a competitive edge, providing accuracy, scalability and reducing overall work costs. Investing in this technology frees up employees to work on high-scale projects to effectively use their talents and strengths. Technology is transforming the business world and will continue to play a key role in the future. Leveraging RPA technology is vital to transform the business and to increase the competitive position in the marketplace.

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    cash

    Six effective ways to improve cash flow in manufacturing

    "Never take your eyes off the cash flow because it's the lifeblood of business."

    "Never take your eyes off the cash flow because it's the lifeblood of business."

    Richard Branson

    Richard Branson

     

    A strong cash flow is one of the key factors to creating a sustainable manufacturing organization.  There is a constant need for cash to flow into the business to stay on top of production schedules, consistently meet the customer needs, and grow the business. No matter how great the business model is or how high the product demand is, poor cash flow can disrupt the entire operations and growth. Research indicates that 82% of business failures are due to poor cash management. It is critical to effectively manage the cash flow to avoid putting the future of business in jeopardy. Here are six effective ways to improve cash flow.

    Send Invoices On Time

    Promptly sending invoices to the customers is one of the best ways to avoid delayed payments and improve cash flow. As per research, 46.2% of invoices remain unpaid as of the due date. This staggering figure is supported by Export Finance Solutions, who found that companies pay on average seven days late. Another study found that small businesses in manufacturing have an average of $96,000 in unpaid invoices and it takes 21 days to get paid. Hence organizations must implement effective and robust plans to ensure that invoices are getting paid on time.

    Invoices with accurate data, regular follow-up on upcoming due dates, sending statements of current outstanding invoices will help immensely to eliminate late payments. Simplifying the invoicing process through automation, implementing software tools and easy payment options will help in streamlining the invoicing process to speed up payments and increase cash flow.

    Define Balanced Payment Terms

    Cash flow is heavily influenced by the payment terms extended to the customers. Whilst it is critical to send invoices on time, it is essential to implement balanced payment terms. These terms should be clearly stated at the time of signing the contract. A recent study showed that the average payment term is 32 days, yet the average actual payment length is 55 days. If the customers are unable to meet the payment terms, look for alternative solutions. For example, provide customers with installment options or offer discounts for early/faster payments. Also, keeping track of late payers with quick follow up will help to avoid delayed payments. At times it may be necessary to renegotiate terms with the late payers or implement penalties for the late payment.  

    Additionally, conducting a credit check before working with a customer is a simple and effective way to reduce non-payment/delayed payment and avoid cash flow problems. A credit check will help to better understand the financial risk of working with a customer and whether or not they are likely to make their payments on time. This can significantly improve short-term cash flow and help reduce the risks.   

    Reduce Operating Expenses

    Another effective way to improve cash flow is to reduce operating expenses. In the manufacturing industry, operating expenses make up the bulk of the overall costs. To help reduce these costs, remove inefficiencies/waste within the business. This can be done through automation and continuous process improvements which will help streamline the internal operations. According to a study by Okuma Corporation, it’s realistic to see up to a 30% increase in production by using automation in the manufacturing process. This can significantly decrease operating expenses and thus improve cash flow.

    Also, purchasing efficient machines/equipment will help in enhancing the overall productivity and efficiency leading to increased production and consistent in-flow of cash in the long run. Diligently keeping track of the expenses will further help to avoid unnecessary expenses and reduce the cash going out of the business.

    Reassess Product Price

    Product price is commonly overlooked in the manufacturing industry. A common trend within the industry is that new entrants will try to undercut the competition as a strategy. Whilst this works as a short term solution, it fails as a long term strategy. Not only will this potentially damage the cash flow, but it will also create the impression that the product is cheap. This can consequently damage the brand and reputation.

    When developing a pricing strategy, it is important to look at fulfillment cost, competitor pricing as well as maintaining a buffer for flexible pricing. An important aspect of pricing is determining the “value” for the customers. If the customer sees the “value” of the product/services, then the price will not be the key factor for making their purchasing decision. This will help in lowering the price sensitivity resulting in improved cash flow and profit margins.

    Efficient Stock Management

    Most of the manufacturing industries have a substantial amount of cash tied up in inventory. It is vital to ensure appropriate inventory levels are maintained to operate efficiently and consistently meet customer needs. Forecasting demand is critical, meaning having sufficient inventory to seamlessly process customer orders. Incorrect forecasting will result in a surplus or insufficient stock. Overstocked inventory ties up cash that otherwise can be invested in other areas to meet business needs. On the other hand, not enough inventory will risk not being able to fulfill the orders leading to lost sales and unhappy customers. This could further lead to a potential loss of new sales. Having a robust stock management system can significantly enhance productivity and efficiency, helping organizations to reduce inventory costs and enhance the speed to fulfill orders. Doing so will have a positive impact on the cash flow.

    Invest Prudently

    Often manufacturing industries invest heavily in purchasing equipment and other assets without fully understanding the need, resulting in increased operating expenses that further impact the cash flow. To invest prudently, it is necessary to have a comprehensive understanding of the business needs. These include equipment, materials, and other resources. According to Forbes, 20% of every dollar spent in the manufacturing industry is wasted – adding up to $8 Trillion every year. Avoiding such expenses can help to reduce unnecessary costs and waste, which will have a positive impact on the cash flow.

    Summary

    Cash flow is vital for maintaining healthy finances. Implementing these strategies is a great way to boost and maintain a positive cash flow. With 82% of all businesses failing due to poor cash management, staying on top of the cash flow is not just an option but a critical aspect to successfully run the business.

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      Strategy Execution1

      Five key steps to successfully execute strategic plans

      "A vision and strategy aren't enough. The long-term key to success is execution. Each day. Every Day "

      "A vision and strategy aren't enough. The long-term key to success is execution. Each day. Every Day "

      Richard M Kovacevich

      Richard M Kovacevich

       

       

      One major factor that makes most organizations stand out in a competitive business climate thrives on their ability to successfully execute strategic plans. It is not how robust a strategic plan is, instead, how it is strategically implemented to ensure business growth is vital. As a result, leaders must invest in improving organizational capability to ensure the successful execution of the strategic plans. Findings from a recent poll conducted by the BPC and Morning Consult (MC) revealed that 59% of small businesses affirmed that a decline in revenue was their top challenge. While another study revealed,

      • Internal factors hinder an organization’s growth and performance.
      • Poor execution of strategy is most organizations’ single biggest hindrance to growth.

      One of the major reasons for poor execution is that most leaders often communicate strategic plans to members of staff in abstract language and leaves everyone wondering how to convert them into realistic and practical steps.

      Successfully executing strategic plans is not as easy as formulating them, but here are five key steps to ensure the successful execution of strategic plans. 

      Communicate clear Vision

      Communication is key. Communication is indispensable. Communication is at the center of effective implementation of every strategic plan. Communication is the vessel for driving organizational performance, as it ensures all team members fully understand the objectives and goals of a project. To successfully execute strategic plans, the first thing to make sure is effective and clear communication. This goes a long way in ensuring that all team players fully understand their roles in carrying out the strategic plan.

      Findings from a recent study revealed that poor or ineffective communication can affect an organization resulting in delay or failure to complete projects, reduced morale, increased stress, lack of motivation, and decrease in revenue and profit. Therefore, to ensure successful implementation of strategic plans, leaders need to effectively communicate realistic action steps in a clear, precise, and unambiguous way. This ensures the overall performance of executing strategic plans.

      To communicate a clear vision, leaders across various units in an organization should create a robust communication strategy by clearly explaining the objectives and motivation behind each organizational strategic plan. This is important because, with clear communication of the organization’s vision, each employee across various levels in the organization will fully understand their role(s) in the execution process of the strategic plan.

      Build Organizational Capability

      Any organization that wants to successfully execute strategic plans, has to ensure it builds organizational capability. Having a good strategic plan is indispensable in achieving organizational growth, however, building organizational capability is vital in executing the strategic plan. Hiring the right people, continuously enhancing their skills, implementing efficient processes, and leveraging technology are essential to seamlessly execute strategic plans.

      Organizations should consistently assess performance, identify gaps, and implement plans to close the gap between strategy and execution. Today, the business environment is changing rapidly. A proactive approach and ongoing process to build capabilities will help organizations to constantly improve performance, boost agility, and adapt to change.   

      The objective of a strategic plan is to give organizations a competitive advantage to thrive in the marketplace. Hence, building organizational capabilities is essential to build a strong foundation to achieve the strategic vision and for a sustainable competitive advantage.

      Implement adaptable and flexible strategies

      Every successful leader works hard to successfully execute the strategic plans, though what leading organizations do is that they design their strategic plans implementation process to be adaptable and flexible. Flexibility in the implementation of strategic plans does not imply not taking business goals seriously, but it implies that strategies are built to be more adaptable. What ensures an excellent execution of a strategic plan is how well a plan is built to adapt to unforeseen and unpredictable business trends.

      Charles Darwin reinforces the importance of adaptivity, ‘It is not the strongest of the spices that survive nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”

      The greatest advantage of any execution plan is adaptability and flexibility. This is a skill that leaders need to introduce to planning and executing strategic goals.

      Strong Leadership

      Many factors mutually ensure the successful execution of strategies, strong leadership, however, play the most crucial role in determining the strategies overall performance, as everything falls and rises on leadership. One major role leaders play in the strategy execution process is to clearly defined the goals and roles of every key player in implementing strategies.

      Findings from a survey by PWC revealed that most organizations affirmed that their major problem when it comes to strategy development and execution was having conflicting and too many strategic initiatives. This further reinforces how crucial strong leadership is in the strategy execution process. As it is the responsibility of the leaders and top executives to give clear and precise goals, objectives, and roles. Ensuring strong leadership is indispensable in executing strategies because it reinforces clear vision, precise operations, and cultivates a motivating work culture.

      Measuring Performance

      Another effective way of ensuring excellent implementation of strategies is by constantly measuring business performance, and also measure the effectiveness of the implemented strategies. Measuring business performance is important because it helps improve productivity and efficiency in the strategy execution process.

      Measuring performance in an organization is crucial in facilitating better performance. Organizations should measure the productivity of their strategies by defining and using the key performance indicators (KPI) to predict how executed strategies will perform. This is very important because a KPI is very versatile and yet an effective approach in evaluating the overall organization’s performance.

      Final Thoughts

      Entrepreneurs and business leaders must be careful in their approach to executing strategic plans as the business environment is vulnerable to unpredictable and unforeseen trends that can destabilize business productivity. How an organization implements strategic plans goes a long way in determining the outcome and performance of such strategies.

      It is therefore imperative that leaders should invest more time and resources in drafting and developing strong, flexible, adaptable, clear, and evaluated strategies to implement business goals and objectives. Successful execution of strategies is key to business growth, performance, and productivity, as it makes organizations compete effortlessly with their competitors.

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