Study

Robotic Process Automation

By implementing robot-based process automation (RPA) now, companies can lay the foundation for targeted deployment of software robots and artificial intelligence in future. RPA, robotics for short, can be described as the autonomous performance of repetitive, rule-based process steps or chains founded on structured data, by specifically programmed software robots. The implementation of RPA supports methods of modularization and greater flexibility of processes and process chains, and significantly speeds up these processes.

The implementation of RPA supports methods of modularization and greater flexibility of processes and process chains, and significantly speeds up these processes.

Experts from Horváth & Partners surveyed more than 100 people from various industries (banking, insurance, manufacturing) and functions (finance, sales, operations) on the implementation of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in their company.

Overview of key results:

  • More than 50% of respondents currently use robotic process automation or are in the implementation planning phase. Around half of them are planning full implementation in specific functions such as finance. Blanket implementation throughout the company is currently only relevant to a minority. Two thirds of respondents envisage the future importance of robotics as high or very high.
  • Due to their high degree of standardization, shared services centers are very well suited for the implementation of RPA. RPA also provides scope for potential savings in that area, just as it does in logistics, customer service and reporting.
  • Improvements in process quality, as well as speeding up the average processing time through the use of RPA, are other important benefits from this technology, as acknowledged by almost all respondents.
  • Respondents see the implementation of robotics as hugely important in the future of the customer service industry, as well as for accounting, logistics, and reporting. The potential of RPA in IT is, by contrast, considered less crucial, but still significant.
  • More than 70% of respondents cite a lack of process standardization as the greatest challenge, with 58% mentioning potential resistance from employees as the second biggest challenge, and 54% citing lack of expertise as the third biggest.
  • In regard to potential technological factors in the automation of business processes, 87% of respondents consider core IT systems (e.g. SAP) to be particularly relevant

Analysis and conclusions:
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) offers huge potential for increasing efficiency, and for enhancing the quality and speed of processes. Corporate management and financial controlling of the value chain must allow for the blanket implementation of RPA. The robots used can, for example, be integrated into operating and shift models in the same way as people. They are granted user permissions and profiles and integrated and utilized in the production workflow in accordance with their abilities. Only fully integrating robot resources into corporate processes and the operating model will increase and secure the potential efficiency offered by RPA on a long-term basis.

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