What happens after Covid19 and things return to normal? Should we ramp back up our teams again or take advantage and rebuild a more efficient and resilient workforce?
The pandemic (Covid19) has had a life-changing effect on the way we work. Taking this with the advent of software robots (RPA – robotic process automation and AI), also known as the fourth industrial revolution, the next two years will redefine how we run our businesses and what type of work people will do.
With many people working at home, needs changing and global uncertainty, most businesses are generating less revenue. To survive, they must scale down. While it’s not ideal, we’re in unique times so it will have to do. This means we have scaled back, displaced team doing more with less.
When things improve and the economy gets stronger, surviving businesses will need to scale up again. They will need to employ people to work across both the front and back office. Although it is an excellent position to be in, there will be a substantial additional cost to get back to where they were before. Onboarding new staff is expensive: Recruitment costs, IT, HR, Legal, Training, PAYE, Pensions, retention plans.
Strategies must be implemented to ramp back up in the most cost-effective manner. It’s expensive to re-recruit and a resource drain waiting for them to be working at full capacity. Ironically, most of these functions we need to expand (when compared to using RPA – software robots) people aren’t even that good at doing. Before the pandemic, most forward-thinking companies were starting to look at software robots. Understand where they can go, what they do & what the cost is – what impact they will have on running the business.
Then there is the potential nightmare scenario of another pandemic or something else. Do you continue as is, doing more not as well with less – you may get away with that for a while, but in the long run we all know it will not work. How do you calculate the next move? What are your competitors doing?
There is an answer, and it is staring us all in the face. Did you know that RPA, also known as intelligent automation, can be used to support existing teams? Are you aware that you could integrate software robots into your business to help your core people deliver more work? Think about it; you have an existing remaining workforce; does it not make sense to support them with automation so they can do more? Robots are also better at administration in both front & back office than we are. Faster, cheaper than people, more resilient and make no mistakes. Extremely flexible and can work in almost every part of your business.
Most “jobs” in front and back office are just processes or workflows. In essence, a set of decisions to follow. If you see this, do that, when you see that do this. Cut from here, paste there, upload into this or email that. RPA (robotic process automation) robots use our computers like us, read email, go online, work with our databases and can follow the rules. Smart companies build step-outs, so if there is an issue a bot cannot be used for (perhaps make a phone call, have a meeting) presents itself the robot will inform one of your human team to take over. Software robots (RPA) and people are working together, each working to their strengths and keeping business costs down. This is the future of work.
You will be able to run your administrative functions with minimal capacity. The bots will do the bulk of the work. They are cheaper than people, better at administrative work (including Accounts/HR/Legal/Contact Centre), pandemic proof and easily scaled up or down.
Forward-thinking companies will invest now, take advantage of this opportunity to rebuild, and lay the foundations for automation. Use this opportunity to rebuild with modern technology, take advantage of the Fourth industrial revolution, Robots, AI, Intelligent automation, and build stronger, leaner, easily scalable (up or down) more resilient businesses.
JifJaff is a specialised independent Robotic Process Automation (RPA) consultancy company. We can train you to become self-sufficient through the nine pillars (RPA COE) or we offer RPA implementation support by designing, delivering and supporting RPA solutions for our clients.
Being independent means that we can objectively help you identify the correct RPA software (there are multiple to choose from) for your business. By helping you select the right vendor and processes to automate, we can reduce your operating costs and help you deliver more with less. We understand the methods that are required to manage a business across front and back office and can advise on and implement the best strategy to leverage RPA. RPA supports you while helping your business embrace the future.
About the author: James Aitman is COO at JifJaff