How can small organisations benefit from software robotics?
As a small business owner, it can sometimes feel like you need eight arms to get everything done.
Even as you scale-up with a team, manual processes often stay the same because it’s ‘how you’ve always done things.’
But as SMEs know, time is a precious commodity.
And thanks to innovation it is now possible to transform your business processes, using your time more efficiently.
According to a study commissioned by SAP, Europe’s largest software company, two-thirds of UK SMEs are now using technology to improve their business and keep up with digital transformation.
As with the help of Robotic Process Automations (RPA), it is possible to simplify manual tasks and put your team’s time to better use.
Isn’t robotics only for big firms?
Nope, RPA can be implemented in all types (and size) of business and be just as effective.
Martin Keelagher, CEO, of Agile Automations, explains: “There is a common misconception that RPA is only useful for big businesses because it is often used by corporates.
“People assume that you need to have the volume to make it pay, but that is not the case.”
RPA can be just as useful to smaller enterprises and will benefit many sectors.
Take, for example, a property company with a 100-person headcount.
There will be a team in finance, responsible for thousands of tenants, whose job it is to trawl through rental payments once a month to make sure they match up.
This monotonous task takes time and is open to human error.
However, by using a bot you could create a bank reconciliation tool which will automatically cross-reference payments and flag up any anomalies.
It’s easy to use, quick and the cost-saving potential is huge.
And if you do this through Agile Automations it will also be bespoke to you.
As Martin explains: “SMEs who want to maintain a competitive advantage need to integrate these innovations into their existing technology infrastructure to take full advantage of the digital economy and compete with larger businesses.”
Now is the time to future-proof
With so many areas competing for your attention, you may well ask ‘why this and why now’?
We understand it’s been a hard year for businesses, especially SMEs, as many continue to contend with the fallout from the pandemic.
Whether you’ve had to furlough staff, downsize, or put growth plans on hold streamlining your business processes, through RPA, can help you get back on track.
And the good news is that it works across many different sectors.
It could be migrating data between CRM systems for a law firm, tracking competitor activity on social media for a marketing start-up or automating communications for a challenger bank.
It’s not the sector that matters it’s the task. And as long as it involves pushing or pulling data it can be automated.
Martin explains: “Bots don’t care whether you work in marketing or finance, whether you’re an SME or a big corporate firm – all they see is data.”
Drive digital transformation
With this in mind, RPA is often hailed as part of the ‘digital transformation’ piece which is so vital for SMEs.
It may feel like a buzz word but if done successfully, the process will make life easier for you and your customers.
RPA is one of the most efficient ways to transform your business, speeding up the manual processes which are holding you back.
And SMEs are taking this up faster than you might think.
Ray Boggs, vice president, Small and Medium Business Research, IDC, believes that it’s noteworthy that both small and mid-size businesses in the UK lead in the implementation of new technologies.
“This will help achieve their business goals, especially when compared to other markets in EMEA.”