The challenge of automating inefficient processes
The amount of data exposed to organizations in the digital world is growing exponentially and at a rapidly increasing speed. Robotic process automation (RPA) and intelligent automation promise much, but reaping the benefits of these technologies requires a considered approach to ensure optimal success and minimal expenditure.
Bill Gates once said: “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”
While the first rule can’t be argued against, some people are challenging the second rule. Automation is often seen as a quick fix to the problem of inefficient processes – a sticking plaster alternative to a big, disruptive, transformational change project.
RPA and intelligent automation are best put to use after simplifying and standardizing business processes to magnify the efficiency, while leading to improved effectiveness, control, and business value. It is crucial that organizations identify the areas that are ripe for automation, before they actually start to develop an automation solution.
Re-engineer the current state of your business processes
Capgemini’s approach to developing an automation solution is called ESOAR (Eliminate, Standardize, Optimize, Automate, Robotize). This unique and straightforward transformation methodology addresses the underlying causes of inefficiency in your business operations, before working on the actual symptoms.
ESOAR is all about reimagining your processes in the light of intelligent automation, enabling you to implement straightthrough processing and automated solutions while delivering the best impact and outcomes to your business users. ESOAR identifies opportunities to eliminate processes up front if necessary, and enhances your existing investments in technology, setting the agenda for a holistic
approach to transformation of your business operations.
A holistic approach to business transformation
Applied in exactly this order for maximum efficiency, the five steps of ESOAR enable an organization to:
- Eliminate – identify and get rid of all unnecessary and eliminating the cause of waste and barriers to services shifts the focus to more value-added activities in your business operations, such as analysis.
- Standardize – carry out similar routine processes in the same repetitive manner by using standard templates to run way to avoid the cost of ERP customization and drive best practice across your business operations.
- Optimize – leverage all the functions of your existing tools to the maximum effect. Organizations often have the right tools, but don’t know to use them effectively. Optimization is a way to derive the maximum utilization and capabilities from what you already have, including your ERPs, tools, processes, and workflows.
- Automate – leverage easily configured best-of-breed tools to automate standardized manual processes. Automation reduces or eliminates manual work, while delivering increased transparency and control over the process, with extremely high levels of accuracy.
- Robotize – deploy robots to drive efficiency in any remaining manual, repetitive, rule-based activities by simulating the activities of a human operator.
Leveraging the five ESOAR steps in the correct order to review your business operations not only identifies opportunities to eliminate processes up front, but gives you the best return on your existing investments in technology and ERP, redirects resources from repetitive tasks towards higher-value business activity, and drives best practice.