Just another brick in the wall?

By Simon Shah, Chief Marketing Officer, Redwood Software

Ever heard the expression the more things change, the more they stay the same? My simple interpretation is that it means that the one thing that we can be sure of, the only thing that is consistent in life, is that nothing is permanent. There is evolution and perhaps one could say revolution taking place in the back office on a grandiose scale at present. The end result of which is that the current enterprise status quo is being challenged to within an inch of its life.

We are talking of process robotics of course. I mean what other topic other than the American Presidential Race is capturing more of the headlines at present? And rightly so. For automation and robotics is not going to go away in a hurry. That negates the ostrich in the sand approach, as by the time you’ve emerged from the sand and taken a good hard look around, you’ll soon discover that you will have fallen dangerously far behind the curve.

Automation is everywhere. In car factories, in supply chains, heck even in HR which should be the last bastion of human input into a process. And now it has even crept into the building industry. For in a fascinating blog post penned by Phil Fersht from Horses for Sources – the leading analyst authority and global community for business operations and IT services – there is a new automation entity in the building industry that’s set to change the operating landscape forever. Enter Hadrian X, which claims to build a house in two days by moving four times faster than human construction workers. Currently it is being primed to work day and night, lay 1,000 bricks per hour, and could potentially build 150 homes in a single year. That's a lot of construction workers who may just not be needed anymore.

And that’s generally where most people start to throw up their arms in horror, citing robotic process automation as the grim reaper when it comes to the topic of job longevity. Sure jobs will be lost, but others will be created. It’s now time to start to rethink the way we work in order to work together with software robots, rather than against them.

Just as in this robotics example, robotics in a process can now allow you to completely reimagine how those processes operate. Rather than take a piecemeal silo approach, it’s now possible to look at the outcomes in their entirety.

You see rather than taking a disjointed approach to business and IT process automation, Enterprise Process Robotics (EPR)™ solutions allow you to think across your business, across your processes and across your extended value chain. With an enterprise-wide approach you can obtain the maximum benefit from automation and your existing investments.

You get improved process consistency thanks to more accurate and consistent execution of the process itself. Fewer errors due to dependable and repeatable tasks along with automatic corrections based on predefined parameters. 100% accurate compliance delivered by a full end-to-end audit trail. Greater execution speed by removing manual handovers from one point in the process to the next, leaving more time for analysis. And the ability to leverage IT assets and increase efficiencies by reducing the number of FTEs involved in any repeatable business process.

That might all be good and well, but going back to the imminent implementation of Hadrian X in the building trade, and that very last sentence above, many will again refer to our earlier observation of workers simply relating automation to large-scale job losses. Not necessarily true.

According to Neil Kinson, Redwood’s Chief of Staff, “EPR is not just about taking FTEs out, it is about raising the level from pure transactional to more rewarding work, creating a higher quality of work.”

So those long suffering skilled workers in finance and accounting, HR and the Supply Chain will be able to turn their attention away from mind numbing manually repetitive data entry tasks and toward analysis and other more value-added tasks. Putting their expertise to better use and ultimately helping to increase the profitability of companies around the globe.

It’s time to take the robot out of the human and turn our backs on slow error prone manually repetitive tasks that quite simply hinder productivity, rather than promote it.

Your business is dependent on your underlying processes. Improve them and your business improves. You’ll move towards consistent performance, elimination of mundane manual tasks, achieve 99% of your SLAs, manage by exception and add business process improvements.

EPR is without a shadow of a doubt the way to go and because the latest advanced versions are delivering so many more benefits than rival Analog Robotic solutions, you’ll soon come to discover that all in all, EPR is not just another brick in the wall.

Categories:   Automation   Enterprise Process Automation  
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