How RPA can help recession-proof a business

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Keeping customers, making more money, and being efficient is very important when the economy is bad. During a recession, more and more businesses are turning to automation to streamline their processes, cut costs, and improve efficiency. With the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic downturn, automation has become even more important as companies look for ways to weather the storm and come out stronger on the other side. It’s worth taking a closer look at how digital workers can help a business stay strong during a slump with the help of Intelligent Automation.

We live in an exciting time. Even though the economy is showing signs of a decline, the job market is still tight, despite what the Federal Reserve is doing. At the end of 2022, there were still 10.5 million job opportunities, which was almost a record. This is rare, and it makes things harder for companies as the cost of labour keeps going up. Keeping the talent you already have is important because the number of workers quitting went up at the end of last year. This makes it more expensive to find new talent if that talent is even available.  

Digital Workers in a Recession 

Automation lets a business trade small amounts of money for labour, which saves both short-term and long-term labour costs. This is done using digital workers. A survey of 3,000 global leaders showed that 20% are letting people go, 20% will let people go, and 25% have put a freeze on hiring. While 33% said they were building up cash savings, 36% said they were doing programmes to cut costs. Getting rid of workers can hurt you in the long run if they leave unfinished tasks or make it harder to meet customer needs. By adding digital workers to your team, you can increase their effectiveness and save money at the same time.  

A digital worker, also known as a robot or “bot,” is a piece of software that works on top of or in between existing systems to do the boring, repetitive, rules-based tasks that most workers hate doing right now. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Services are used to make digital workers, but they can also use tools like Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, or Artificial Intelligence. (McKinsey Report 2022) says that companies that use digital workers have saved 24% more than they did in 2019 (19%). The rising cost of labour is a big reason for the rise in savings.   

Intelligent automation and robotic process automation (RPA) 

It’s important to know how clever automation is different from RPA. Intelligent automation combines RPA with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to handle more complicated jobs and make decisions. RPA, on the other hand, is a type of technology that lets businesses automate high-volume, repetitive jobs by “teaching” a computer to act like a human worker. During a recession, both clever automation and RPA can be useful tools for businesses that want to cut costs and work more efficiently. 

Struggling with economic uncertainties during a recession? Discover how mobile application development coupled with Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can empower your business to weather the storm. RPA is a cutting-edge technology that automates repetitive tasks, streamlines operations, and enhances productivity. By integrating RPA into mobile application development processes, businesses can achieve unparalleled efficiency and resilience, even in challenging economic times.

In today’s rapidly changing business landscape, companies must adapt to economic challenges to remain resilient. RPA empowers app developers by automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks, allowing you to allocate resources more strategically. By automating tasks such as code generation, testing, and deployment, RPA reduces human error, saves time, and increases productivity.

Pay attention to things that bring in money

One of the best things about technology is that it can lower the cost of labour. By automating repetitive chores, companies can free up workers to do things that add more value, like customer service and activities that bring in more money. During a slump, when businesses may be looking for ways to cut costs and keep making money, this can be especially important. Automation can also improve speed and productivity during a recession, which can help businesses stay competitive. 

Organisations shouldn’t add business costs that don’t help them make money. Automation makes it possible for businesses to grow without having to hire more workers.  This was a big problem for a staffing business that was growing. For every $10 million in sales, they had to hire a new accounting team. This was for a business whose sales were doubling every year. Even though growth was good, the profit ratio was not getting better. Automation helped them grow without having to hire more people. Because of how well they worked, they made a lot more money.  

Keeping customers and making them happy during a recession 

When there is a recession, organisations have to look at themselves again. Platforms, processes, and relationships that are already in place are all looked at closely. Do they still do what they should for the group? What needs to be different? Who needs to be different? The same questions are being asked by your clients. They want to find partners who can give the same value for less money or more value for the same amount of money. They want to do business with companies that change as they do and earn their business.   

Keeping customers during a slump is important for more than one reason: 

Keeping customers during a slump is important for more than one reason:

Reduced Customer Acquisition Costs: It usually costs more to get new customers than to keep the ones you already have. During a slump, when the cost of a new client can go through the roof, this is especially true.

Increased sales: Loyal customers buy from you again and again and tend to spend more each time. Trust is earned over time, so it’s not worth risking it to make the numbers look good for one quarter.

Reputation of a Brand: During a recession, your business will stay strong and grow if you keep a strong customer base. When things are uncertain, both buyers and businesses value suggestions and word of mouth even more.

Competitive Advantage: Now that there are fewer businesses, those that keep their customers are in a better position to make up for the losses of their competitors. 

Automation makes it easier for customers to be happy. By automating jobs like order processing and answering questions from customers, businesses can give customers a faster and more consistent experience. For example, 93% of customers say that the quality of their billing experience is a big part of whether or not they’ll go back to a provider. (Cedar Healthcare Study of 2021). Messing with a customer’s bottom line or financial health is the fastest way to lose them as a customer. Putting stress on this spot will only lead to loss. Making sure customers have a smooth experience is especially important during a slump when keeping customers is key. During a recession, automation can make self-service possible and speed up the way requests are handled by standard customer service.  

Think about the DMV, which has been looked down upon for a long time because of its bad customer service and long lines. Here in Virginia, the DMV has added automated self-service tools to their website. They also set up a system for scheduling and appointments that lets people show up right on time and leave just as fast. It has totally changed how people in Virginia drive. When associations, credit unions, and healthcare providers use automation, they get the same benefits and their customers are happier.  

Effects of Automated Work

Automation makes businesses more flexible and able to change. When an organisation adopts an automation mindset and deploys capabilities, it can quickly switch to new goods, services, or markets. This can be helpful in an economy that is always changing. Adding new lines of business to meet the changing wants of clients is a great way to bring in more money.   

Of course, it’s important for companies to think carefully about how automation might affect their staff. Automation can free up workers so they can focus on more valuable tasks, but it can also make workers nervous. Automation that works well puts people first and makes their work more important. Good automation takes the robot out of people and lets them focus on things that only humans can do. Organisations should have a clear plan for training and helping employees who may be affected by automation. They should also think about ways to upskill and retrain workers so they can take advantage of the new possibilities automation creates. 

An important note. Many businesses jumped on the robotic train without following best practices. This often led to bad results and robotic programmes that didn’t work. Even though it might be tempting to give up on technology, there are two things to keep in mind. Technology changes very fast. Five years ago, a project took ten months and was only 60% correct or effective. Now, it only takes six weeks and is 99% correct or effective. What didn’t work a few years ago may seem “easy” now. Two, technology is here to stay. 57% of businesses are testing automation with sample projects. If you aren’t, someone else is.  

How to Begin with Automation 

Find an automated partner is an excellent way to start on the road to automation. Good partners will help you find use cases that have a high return on investment and fit with your business goals. They will make sure that best practices are used and that paperwork is made available. This will keep your automation programme ready for the future. Good technology stays in place because the organisation needs it. Think about a home appliance like a machine or dishwasher. You could live without them, but your home would be much less efficient. Top-down projects often choose pet projects that have a different effect than was hoped for. During the discovery process, make sure your lowest-level subject matter experts are involved. Your top executives will know what the plan is for the next 12 to 18 months. Your SMEs will know exactly which processes need to be automated. Your automation partner will help you choose the processes that fit with the plan of your business.  

Automation, especially intelligent automation and RPA, can be helpful for businesses that want to get through a recession and be better when it’s over. Automation can help businesses keep making money and stay competitive during a downturn by lowering labour costs, increasing efficiency and output, and making customers happier. Firms that use automation will not only be able to handle uncertainty but will be able to grow in it.

Bijin Azeez April 24, 2023
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