Continuous improvement is the art of continuously measuring and optimizing a process. I am consciously using the term art in here. Although I believe it is in the nature of every human being to continually strive for improvement, however, in the day-to-day business simply often the time and therefore also the discipline is missing to make corresponding optimizations methodically correct and therefore sustainable.
Software robots, better known under the English term “Robotic Process Automation” (RPA for short), offer a welcome opportunity for support here. Once a process is (partially) automated, the software robots can efficiently and efficiently capture and process additional data during the execution. This data can then provide information on where and how the process can be further optimized. In addition, the digital helpers relieve their human colleagues, which also enable them to find then the time to analyze the data obtained and to convert it into useful insights for improvement.
A short anecdote about this: I recently talked with an IT manager about a potential automation of the backup control. It was not an official process analysis as part of an IKAVA mandate, more an open talk among colleagues. After drafting the solution in our mind, however, for my colleague, it was soon then not the time-saving for the staff which was the primary focus anymore, but he began to see much more possibilities about what else could be done while controlling the backup. Thus he thought e.g. to record the throughput time of the individual backups as a trend, in order to obtain an early warning indicator. He had various such ideas that are easy to implement for a robot. Open a mask here, copy a field there, standardized data without any deviation or “concentration error”: no problem. On the opposite, to ask his existing team to handle those time-consuming and more monotonous data collection tasks additionally, he regarded as not a smart idea.
This is obviously a very simplified example. But it shows this additional added value of the automation, which goes far beyond the pure saving of costs and time. And even if this is a case of application from IT, the idea behind can also be transferred to almost any other process from financial, HR, customer service, and so on.
I hope this short anecdote has pleased you and I have been able to encourage some Robotic Process Automation specialists to focus not only on the control of the smooth operation of the robots during the process analysis and solution design phase but in addition, also keeping an eye on relevant key figures for continuous process control and optimization.
Fabian Wilhelm, Managing Partner, Head of Sales and Customer Projects
Over the past 15 years, Fabian has worked for various global corporations as well as medium sized businesses to optimize and automate their processes, or has helped them to build up corresponding internal competence centers. How can we help you?