According to Shared Services & Outsourcing network (SSON), the industry’s biggest challenge is the implementation of automation tools. The 2018 SSON keynote speakers will be sharing their insights on intelligent process automation, digital disruption and customer experience. And while various financial automation technologies will drive huge attendance to these sessions, the question of “how to effectively implement the technology” is perhaps the most important one.
While various automation technologies dazzle the mind in terms of possibilities, it is the practicalities of implementation that are challenging. Be sure to focus on ‘proof of value’ implementations to assure outcomes that will result in competitive advantage for the business.
Identify the manual, repetitive processes that drain your resources
Ideally you will want to target processes that can’t be scaled without additional staff. While an Robotic Process Automation (RPA) provider can offer guidance, the teams working on these tasks will be able to offer valuable insights. Look for process candidates that offer the most payback and efficiencies, including those provided by any outsourcing vendors.
Be deliberate in recruiting your project team
Aside from executive sponsorship and stakeholder involvement, getting IT involved at the outset can not only provide assistance, but this group holds the resources to getting your project started. We’ve seen the most successful RPA implementations when IT and lines of business work together. Since deployment of RPA is fast, typically a few weeks, the IT team will be more engaged to get a “quick win.” In addition, they’ll be pleased RPA is not invasive and can work within their current systems.
Your financial process team members should have buy-in. It’s one thing to tell them you have a solution to automate manual tasks, but it’s just as important to show how RPA will allow them to focus on higher value projects.
Once a project is successfully completed, be prepared to document and socialize your results—not just with management, but across your organization.
Leverage your past successes
Leveraging the success of your initial ‘proof of value project’ identify additional opportunities for success. Perhaps it is automating order fulfillment (Quote-to-Cash); using RPA to call parts catalogues for price checking; or in record-to-report, to shorten time to financial close by aggregating data sources for updating financial information, providing management more accurate and faster financial reporting.
Watch this IRPA webinar and see how Duke Energy deployed their RPA test cases for financial processes and how they plan to scale automation throughout their organization.