This article is published in collaboration with our key partner, Basico P/S.
In the near future, it is not unlikely that "robots" are your new colleagues within your business unit. "Robots" such as Foxtrot RPA, are suitable for replacing some of the traditional processes and at the same time reduce the costs.
It is happening now – and it is going fast: Imagine that you are standing and looking at a "driverless" PC that locks in to multiple systems or web solutions to perform routine tasks, all by itself. It could open emails with attached files for processing. It could load and update data across various systems in your digital landscape – maybe even in a third party system due to the lack of system integrations. And during the process, Foxtrot RPA could prompt or ask the business users for input to handle unexpected scenarios if necessary, all to ensure that data is handled accordingly. Finally, it could post, upload, or in other ways finalize the process within the same governance and security boundaries as any other employee.
Foxtrot RPA is fully customizable to be set up in any way needed to comply with your business and IT needs. A typical example is for Foxtrot RPA to retrieve and handle all records according to the standard business steps defined in the unit. And entries and differences that vary from the defined standards will be sent to manual processing. Ongoingly, the "human colleagues" can continue to teach Foxtrot RPA to handle additional scenarios in order to increase the success rate for the automation.
Next generation of shared service centers
These types of tasks are typical processes that many companies have outsourced to a low-income country. For some, this has been a success, but for others, both quality and the actual cost have been a disappointment. Robotics technology now allows the responsible business employees to take ownership and manage the execution of the process through Foxtrot RPA.
There are many significant advantages by letting Foxtrot RPA do the work, it:
Works 24/7 with 100% stability (no absence)
Is extremely fast (5-20 x human)
Increases quality and is flawless (if set up correctly)
Is compliant and well documented, since all actions are regulated
Is stable and loyal
Costs 10-20% of the original process cost
Frees the business user to focus on other tasks
Broadly speaking, all companies and business units can benefit from using Foxtrot RPA.
Offshoring is and will undergo a rapid change. The major centers of outsourcing now focus on how they can develop to better understand the business, become a part of the company’s value chain, and to handle and use big data for the benefit of the company. Education and development are highlights as an alternative to being replaced by robots, so in order to maintain the business, the departments try to move up the value chain. But does it make sense to maintain outsourcing/offshoring? The tasks that remain after the automation, or that are moving up the value chain, are the tasks and processes that support the value-creating financial function, which includes proximity to the business and is essential. The offshore industry’s business model is thus under pressure. Often, the basic processes have been gathered and offshored, but this business model is now more the past than the future. Wages in low-wage countries have risen and offshoring providers often find it hard to hold on to their employees. Now, a robot comes and offers better solutions at a significantly lower cost.
Better and cheaper system integrations with Foxtrot RPA
The basic processes in business units are obvious possibilities for Foxtrot RPA. It is the case in transaction-heavy companies with a high degree of standardization. A precondition for introducing Foxtrot RPA is data-driven, rule-based processes that are methodical and repetitive. Processes may have many manual steps, as it will increase the gain through efficiency. There is additional potential by focusing on the company’s cross-cutting end-to-end processes. Today, system integrations and process interfaces are often challenges in the company’s IT- and process landscape. The robotics technology offers a solution to efficiently cope with cross-system integrations.
How does Foxtrot RPA differ from ERP?
The purpose of an ERP-system is to roll out the same integrated platform throughout the whole company. This requires the use of standardized processes across the company, notwithstanding that there may be a big difference between market condition, traditions, competences, etc. across borders. Foxtrot RPA works (primarily) through the user interface by performing the same steps on a machine as human employees. This means that Foxtrot RPA can basically automate anything in your ERP-system, whether it is creating new master data, perform financial postings, manage your inventory, etc. By interfacing between systems, Foxtrot RPA makes it possible to avoid costly integrations as well as complete cross-company standardizations. For a company with a heterogeneous ERP-system landscape, it is therefore obvious to use robotics to interface between applications rather than run a large, expensive, and complex ERP-project with high inherent risk.
Foxtrot RPA provides new opportunities, and what was right yesterday is not necessarily right tomorrow. It is therefore important to relate to the possibilities that Foxtrot RPA offers and incorporate them into the company’s business units and processes.
When can Foxtrot RPA pay off?
Foxtrot RPA can literally be of use for all types of companies. It is our experience that once the robot has automated a few processes, the company’s eyes open up for new and larger perspectives for the propagation of Foxtrot RPA. It is not only financial processes that can be automated, but also HR-processes, call center tasks and other back-office processes. The return of the investment can thus prove to be much greater than expected. It is all based on the user's ability to embrace the technology and new opportunities offered by Foxtrot RPA. If the business strives towards automation, the success is inevitable.
One of the key advantages with Foxtrot RPA that greatly increases the success rate of implementations and the general ROI is the fact that the platform is the most intuitive and user-friendly robotics software available. Compared to traditional solutions and many other RPA applications that require programming, Foxtrot RPA allows everyone to be a part of the implementation. It is our recommendation that the company’s employee(s) participate in this configuration, so that sufficient knowledge and experience is built to spread the use of the platform further in the company.
Foxtrot RPA is a "business-friendly" platform
The foundation of Foxtrot RPA is automation of the company’s processes. When the processes are documented in detail, this will inevitably lead to improvements. As the ownership of these processes is rooted in the business, it is important that Foxtrot RPA-projects will be considered as a business project with an IT-component and not purely as an IT-project. IT must of course be involved in installing the software, governing the security, developing the scripts, etc., but only as a project participant. The anchorage must be in the business units themselves. That's where the real magic happens.