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How do I start the process automation initiative in my company?

How do I start the process automation initiative in my company?

Automation through Robotic Process Automation offers companies many advantage. But how can those responsible take the necessary initiative within the company and where should they start with RPA implementation? We explain how to start the first RPA projects and scale them step by step towards the core processes.

Step 1: Start small - find the right processes for the first process automation

At the beginning, the question arises as to which processes you should choose for the initial use of the technology . The basis for answering this question is a professional analysis of all business processes.

For the first RPA project, you should define a use case that is as unambiguous and clearly outlined as possible, which you can use to study the technology and test its benefits. You should involve affected departments as early as the definition of the use case and its requirements.

A typical use case for the introduction of RPA in a company is automation in customer service.

Step 2: Standardize processes

Processes in a company are rarely neatly separated. Most processes grow organically with the company and affect work at different points. As a result, there are often different ways of working for one and the same process. To use RPA effectively, you should therefore standardize processes across the company.

Standardization is the critical phase in the implementation of RPA software. Experts estimate that companies spend 70% of the available resources in this phase.

Step 3: Implement software

Implementation costs are one of the biggest sources of uncertainty for decision-makers when it comes to RPA technology. However, this fear is often unfounded. Processes handled by robotic process automation use exactly the same interfaces as manually performed processes. The framework conditions and the basic digital infrastructure therefore rarely need to be adapted. The average payback period is six months.

Step 4: Monitor the results of automation

One of the most important phases begins with the completion of the implementation: Did the implementation work and is the RPA software working as intended? By continuously monitoring the now automated process, you ensure that the process is still producing the right results. If errors occur, you intervene promptly and adjust the configuration if necessary.

To monitor the results effectively, you can apply various dimensions of observation:

  • To what extent does the result fit in with the company’s larger overall strategic direction?
  • What impact has process automation had on the workforce?
  • What effects can be seen in the operational figures?

Step 5: Ensure compliance

When it comes to automation, the relevant legal provisions for the automated processing of personal data must be observed. The GDPR in particular places high demands on companies. It is therefore best to contact the company’s data protection officer before launching the initiative.

Step 6: The path to scaling process automation

The first RPA implementation is the most difficult. The experience gained during this process will help you to better plan and implement future projects. Perfect for automating not only the simplest standard tasks, but also for automating core business processes with RPA:

  • Use the next projects to get closer to the core processes in the company in order to also automate these where possible in the long term
  • Automation is a team sport, expand your team with qualified employees with relevant experience in automation
  • Gradually expand the available capacities to handle more RPA projects, gain experience and design more efficient processes throughout the company
  • Implement procedures for documenting and analyzing performance in the medium term in order to regularly review the automation strategy and realign it in case of doubt

Costs of RPA implementation: how the state helps

As one of the largest IT companies in the world, Microsoft is now a leading player in the field of business software. With Power Automate, the company offers its customers a range of benefits in the implementation of digitalization in their own company:

Conclusion: RPA in the company: How to get started

The potential of robotic process automation is too great for small and medium-sized companies to ignore in the long term. As soon as relevant players in an industry rely on RPA across the board, the pressure on the remaining industry members also increases. Fortunately, the implementation of process automation is easily scalable. Companies can gain valuable experience at the micro level before investing large sums in the automation of core processes.

Microsoft Power Automate is therefore worthwhile for all those companies that want to delve deeper into process automation but previously lacked the resources or infrastructure. Thanks to Microsoft’s cloud-based solution, even small companies will be able to automate entire workflows and network internal systems in the future.

Prioritize automation ideas based on real process data and according to strategic focus without unnecessarily complicating the prioritization process.

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