Digital transformation is imperative for organizations of all scales and sizes to leverage ArtificiaI Intelligence and RPA for growing business and sustaining volatility.
The general misconception about AI and RPA is that only big and enterprise-level businesses can benefit from this digital acceleration. But studies show that small businesses’ success rate is much higher than big companies when automating their processes with AI and RPA.
As per Mckinsey’s report, 65% of small businesses found success with automation as compared to 55% of large businesses.
Furthermore, according to Grandview Research, the global RPA market is anticipated to attain growth at a CAGR of 38.2% from 2022 to 2030, with a market size of USD 1.89 Billion in 2021. And a report by Fortunebusinessinsights suggests that the global AI market is projected to gain growth to USD 1,394.30 by 2029.
51% of executives consider AI improves their products’ overall functions, features, and performance. Thus the growing impact of automation technologies in the business world is evident.
RPA technology comes under the umbrella of hyperautomation. Read more about hyperautomation to know how it can help in improving your business’ agility and productivity.
RPA-An Ideal Workforce for Small Businesses
Robotic Process Automation is benefitting small businesses by bringing efficiency, speed, control, and visibility into daily operations. RPA assures accurate results in business by automating repetitive and voluminous tasks under human supervision using structured inputs and logic.
The mundane tasks are done by bots so that the human workforce can focus on strategic initiatives. Moreover, the bots are available 24/7, enhancing productivity and reducing the opportunity for human error.
Use Cases of RPA in Small Businesses
- Data Scrapping & Data Entry: Small businesses need to perform daily data scrapping and data entry tasks. Extracting data like product listings from eCommerce sites, and copy-pasting in excel sheets along with daily data entry like entering customer data from CRMs is burdensome and error-prone. RPA can handle these tasks efficiently without burdening the existing resources and allowing the workforce to focus on more critical tasks.
- Report Generation: Businesses frequently need to compile reports by extracting and analyzing data from multiple sources, which takes a lot of time and effort. The report generation process is rule-based, as the data collection sources are fixed, and the report template is predetermined. The RPA bots can quickly extract data from multiple documents and sources leveraging Intelligent Content Extraction(ICR), derive data, and create reports based on rules.
- Document Processing: Small businesses regularly uploads documents from various sources and process these documents. For instance, RPA can help upload invoice documents from multiple sources, extract relevant data from documents, process the data, and save the data in the document repository.
- Reconciliation Process: The accounting department can accelerate its efficiency and productivity by more than 80% by leveraging RPA in the reconciliation process. Tallying the account details with bank statements helps bring accuracy and speed to data processing. Moreover, monthly tasks like checking employees’ travel expenses and claim processing can be accelerated with RPA bots.
- Managing Customer Services: RPA bots can automate customers’ ticket concerns with speed and accuracy. Moreover, RPA can validate customer data from their profiles, update customer information, resolve queries, and integrate data sets that save time and resources.
AI’s Impact on Small Businesses
Artificial Intelligence provides real-time data insights by analyzing trends in customers’ behavior that helps to make more efficient business decisions.
Use Cases of AI in Small Businesses
- Demand Forecasting: AI can understand data patterns and make predictions leveraging past and current data that can influence future patterns. Therefore, small businesses can utilize trends in the data to make accurate predictions for future business.
- Customer Service: Conversational AI plays a vital role as it can derive inputs from unstructured data and provide accurate results to assure the quality of customer service.
- Improvise Products & Services: AI can analyze customers’ behavior about products or services even before red flags are raised. AI can observe and learn what customers are saying about products or services, and the intent behind those responses and communicate those responses to businesses to help them take immediate action. Therefore, businesses can bring instrumental changes to products and services to provide the best customer experience.
- Enhancing Security: Digital evolution involves using software, apps, and tools to conduct business and interact with customers. Security becomes a significant concern for businesses to ascertain the safety of business and customer data. AI can help recognize patterns in the usage of software, tools, and applications by businesses and customers, and if any unusual activity is tracked, the system immediately gets an alert.
Factors to Consider Before Adopting AI and RPA for Automating Business Processes
Let’s get started with the critical factors:
- Cost-Benefit Analysis: Before implementing AI and RPA, small businesses need to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of their investment. SMEs should bring in factors that support the investment decision, such as how these technologies can benefit the business in generating revenue or how these technologies can bring the differentiator factor to encapsulate a particular market share. If these factors are not justified, then the adoption of AI and RPA can hamper business operations.
- Process Mapping: SMEs should have precise product mapping to locate repetitive and redundant processes along with dealing with a mass chunk of unstructured data. It will help to ascertain where RPA can help and where AI can optimize operations to their full potential. This plan will eliminate unnecessary or infrequent processes that need not be automated, bringing cost efficiency.
- Opt for No-code or Low-Code Platforms: Businesses can rely on no-code/low-code platforms that are easily integrated into existing systems without putting pressure on resources. SMEs can decide on this after consulting experts like tech partners.
- Focus on Human Workforce: AI and RPA can never fully replace the human workforce. But the current scenario and future call for humans and automation to work together to leverage its full potential for businesses. The human workforce needs a skill set that complements AI and assures that bots and AI are performing best. Therefore, companies focusing on reskilling, upskilling, and cross-skilling their employees will have the upper hand in the future.
- Plan to Own Automation Technology after Successful Deployment: Initially, small businesses need to opt for subscription-based SAAS models for using automation platforms. Once people and processes are successfully using AI and RPA, SMEs can buy automation technology having advanced cognitive capabilities covering all aspects of the business. It will help them adapt quickly every time a new technology comes up rather than rethinking their strategy for adopting the same for a competitive advantage.
How RPA and AI can Work Together
Both RPA and AI technology can co-exist in SME business operations. These technologies can support back-end automation and work with the Intelligent Automation platform to achieve end-to-end workflow process automation.
- “These technologies,” when combined, can accelerate digital growth by enhancing:
- Workforce Productivity
- Complete process visibility
- No scope for errors and data inconsistencies
- Support cost efficiency
- Improved data management
- Real-time data insights
Small businesses are discovering the value of implementing AI and RPA in their daily operations. But, the critical imperatives for successfully implementing these technologies are accurate analysis of business processes, the cost involved, upgrading workforce, improvement in business functions, and consultation with tech partners.
Trigent Software supports businesses of all sizes to automate business processes effortlessly to bring agility, process efficiency, competitive advantage, and cost-benefit with intelligent solutions.