How to turn ROI into ROMG with RPA

This blog is part of our guest blog series with our partners, myInvenio and BP3. This is the second of four blogs from Scott Francis, CEO at BP3.

Are you looking for ways to turn your ROI with RPA into ROMG?  If so, look no further than this post, where we’ll give you a few key hints for how to maximize the OMG factor in ROI.

First off, let me start by saying that we often say “Robotics” or “Automation” rather than RPA.  RPA is a specific type of automation that emulates what a human would do in the same situation.  If you’re looking for more background on these topics, look no further than this post on our blog.

At BP3 many of us were deep into process definition, process improvement, and process implementation before we even started BP3 back in 2007.  The notions of process run deep for us.  Our consulting team is taught, from the beginning, to pay attention to the context of everything we do, and specifically to see things through a process-oriented lens.  Forrester even defines a framework for this for process:

  • Deep Digital Process Automation – really transforming a core business process. This was our core business to start with.
  • Wide Digital Process Automation – attempting to bring process implementation or improvement approaches to the masses.  We have had some great experiences with these technology stacks as well.

These skills are critical in defining RPA projects.  Some RPA projects resemble these deep digital process automation projects – really transforming a key business process or customer journey.  Others achieve benefits by democratizing automation in lots of smaller impact ways. We leverage this advantage to turn ROI to ROMG:

1. The first place to look for ROMG is in places where you have friction in receiving or recognizing revenue.

If you’re onboarding massive numbers of sales reps or agents to sell your products, you have an opportunity for ROMG.  Every day that goes by without those sales reps on-boarded, you’re letting potential revenue walk out the door.  The faster they are onboarded the faster they can start generating revenue for you.  Consider the case of one of our clients who needed to onboard 10,000 agents all at once…. months of work for a person, days for a Bot.

Invoice reconciliation is another place to generate those ROMG returns. Making reconciliation faster and more accurately allows for faster revenue recognition and being able to put money to work faster.

2. The second place to look for ROMG is where you have friction for your clients.

In the last wave of process re-engineering work pushed out by waves of large consulting firms, a key tenet of this work was to push work from inside your four walls as a company, out to your clients and suppliers and make *them* do the work.  It’s been an effective strategy for dominant market share players, and a good “growth hack” for disruptive new entrants looking to break into a new market without having a comparatively sized call-center.

It is time to take that work back into your company, by feeding it to your RPA bots.  Instead of asking a supplier to enter their price list or product descriptions into your software, give them a bot that will read their native format and emulate entering it into your software.  Do the same for your customers – help them chase down the information they need from various financial institutions or government entities.  Use RPA style automation to do it!

This targets ROI – but also client and supplier experiences – and together they’re going to produce ROMG!

3. Combine RPA with process, decisioning, and AI/ML to generate that ROMG!

Often the automation of an individual task or unit of work is only part of the picture and leaves a lot to be desired around it.  There’s a useful description of what happens in scientific process improvement circles:  Squeezing the balloon. Squeezing the balloon makes one part of an overall process or workflow faster but doesn’t address upstream and downstream implications, resulting in a system that has no additional throughput despite having a step that is now 10x faster.

The cure is to allow for the use of technology in and around RPA to streamline the rest of the balloon.  Instead of hardcoding rules into a bot, put them into a decision model with machine learning feedback loop that can learn from categorization mistakes.  Now you have automated decisioning in combination with your automated data entry…

Combine RPA with image-to-text (OCR) and semantic analysis to allow your RPA bots to leverage AI/ML reasoning about the data input and to extract structured data from images and unstructured narrative.

Leverage a process engine to drive the distribution of work to the humans on your team, or to distribute and orchestrate work between humans and bots.  This will allow you to keep the work moving and prioritized as it flows through the balloon, so to speak.

Often the results take something that has single digit ROI and turns the project into something with double or triple digit ROMG.

If you’re new to RPA, you need a partner that does more than just RPA to help you cross the finish line. RPA, like every other technology, lives in the context of what’s around it, and we can help you maximize your ROMG by bringing those other points of leverage to bear:

  • Robotic Process Automation – in effect it follows the same two patterns above – it can be leveraged for transformational results or it can be distributed far and wide in an organization for quick-and-dirty integration needs.
  • Case Management – focusing on human flexibility and productivity.

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