Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Providers Add Strategic RPA Business Benefits to Projects 

As brands continually look to boost efficiency, productivity, and competitiveness in the marketplace, business process outsourcing (BPO) providers with digital transformation expertise offer unique insights and strategic value. This includes helping brands refine processes to achieve more loyalty throughout the customer journey. 

In recent decades, brands and analysts have come to recognize that BPOs understand how to navigate the options and opportunities created by business process optimization technologies. 

In recent decades, brands and analysts have come to recognize that BPOs understand how to navigate the options and opportunities created by business process optimization technologies.

One such technology—robotic process automation (RPA)—offers myriad business benefits, especially when deployed through a BPO with strategic digital transformation experience. 

Recognizing the Unique Business Benefits BPOs Add to Digital Transformation

In an August 2022 article, Gartner highlighted two unique benefits of partnering with a BPO for digital transformation.  

  1. Because BPOs consistently add technology to their tech stack, it’s easy for them to demonstrate how a given digital solution can help solve a client’s operational challenges. 
  1. By taking on vendor administration responsibilities for you, a BPO can remove two apparent needs: a) to hire more full-time employees and b) to give your IT staff additional work. 

Beyond these two benefits, BPOs bring a third benefit: objectivity. As third parties, BPOs can focus solely on the client’s objectives: to solve operational challenges, boost productivity, improve efficiency, and increase competitiveness while maintaining excellent customer and vendor relationships.  

As BPOs have demonstrated, these benefits apply to automation projects as well.

BPOs and Automation

Many BPOs that excel at digital transformation have also become experts in business process automation (BPA), an umbrella term that covers any type of automation used to streamline business processes and workflows, including robotic process automation.  

Like digital transformation, BPA is an increasingly popular and effective way to make business processes more efficient, workers more productive, and brands more competitive.

Rapid Expansion of RPA

From 2020-2026, global use of business process automation (BPA) is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.2%, from $9.8 billion to $19.6 billion. 

The robotic process automation market is consistently the fastest-growing of all types of BPA. Forrester Research expects RPA deployment and support services to reach $12 billion in 2023. 

Forrester Research expects RPA deployment and support services to reach $12 billion in 2023.

Brands prefer robotic process automation to other forms of automation because it: 

1. Requires little support from IT, leaving them to perform their duties uninterrupted.  

2. Has proved its value across industries by automating a wide array of functions with accuracy, including: 

  • Manipulating and migrating files and data between different applications.
  • Entering and validating massive quantities of data (big data) from multiple systems.
  • Reconciling accounts.
  • Processing credit cards, mortgages, invoices, and insurance claims.
  • Detecting potential threats of bank fraud.
  • Planning resource needs and managing inventory.
  • Onboarding new employees.

RPA at a Glance 

RPA is a collaborative function of business stakeholders, users, RPA designers, and developers who automate processes on an RPA software platform.  

With RPA, software records a human’s clicks and keystrokes as they perform a high-volume, tedious, and repetitive process—such as data entry—on a digital interface. A virtual robot (bot) then mimics the human’s clicks and keystrokes, but much faster and with no errors.  

Like a human operator, an RPA robot can perform data entry tasks, open and close different applications, and use optical character recognition (OCR) software to digitalize data found on hard copy assets—such as printouts of Excel spreadsheets—and then use that data in the process. 

Today, RPA and digital transformation are often used on the same projects, so a thorough discussion of RPA must include digital transformation. 

In this blog post we’ll cover: 

  • Top Benefits of RPA for BPO clients. 
  • The RPA-digital transformation connection. 
  • Why a BPO with a proven digital transformation track record can multiply the benefits of robotic process automation. 
  • Experience the best in RPA 

Top Benefits of RPA for BPO Clients 

When asked, BPO clients cite the following benefits of robotic process automation. 

Boost Efficiency and Reduce Costs 

RPA saves time by assigning repetitive tasks to bots, which allows humans to focus on tasks that require critical thinking. Reducing the human time spent on repetitive processes also reduces the cost to complete each process. Efficiency savings of 25%-50% are common. 

Improve Customer Satisfaction 

Contact centers help brands build relationships with customers, earn high customer satisfaction ratings with excellent personalized service, and help retain customers. To personalize customer service, an agent must access the customer’s history of interactions with the brand in every channel they’ve ever used—including in-store, e-commerce, chatbot, voice, social media, and more.  

Pulling all that information together can take the agents several minutes. In today’s real-time world, several minutes can be enough to make customers wonder what’s taking so long. RPA can pull all the customer information together from every channel in seconds. That makes it easier for the agent to focus on the customer and provide excellent, personalized customer service that makes the customer smile. Heart

Accelerate Productivity 

Many frontline workers perform repetitive tasks that take time away from the more valuable work they joined the brand to do. RPA removes the need to perform repetitive tasks and allows them to focus on knowledge and skills-based responsibilities. The result is a win-win for both the employees and the brand. It lowers costs for the brand and boosts workers’ morale by making them feel more valuable. 

Increase Accuracy 

When humans perform the same monotonous tasks repeatedly, they make mistakes. A 2% error rate may not seem like much, but over 10,000 repetitions, that’s 200 errors. Fixing those errors takes time, which costs money, and means valuable workers are doing something other than their primary tasks. When RPA bots take over those monotonous tasks, they make no mistakes. RPAs are robots that do a handful of things consistently well.  

Tighten Data Security 

Brands prioritize the security of business data and personally identifiable data. By specifying strict parameters in the RPA security rules, brands can limit the number of people who see confidential data and make it difficult for bad actors to copy or share it. Tightening data security with RPA helps brands comply with government and industry-specific privacy regulations. 

Scale on Demand 

Many business activities change seasonally, and seasonal change often requires temporarily ramping up headcount, onboarding, and training. When RPA handles the repetitive processes, bots do all required work without impacting headcount to meet changes in demand. 

Generate Valuable Data 

An RPA gives brands the opportunity to digitally track processing efficiency. This is especially important when humans and bots work together, with the bot handling the parts of the process that can be automated and the person handling the rest. The RPA can track the time it takes to complete the process from beginning to end, including the part performed by the worker.  

When some instances take longer than normal, these outliers may be signs that the process could benefit from analysis and modifications that will allow the human and robot team to consistently complete the process in the same amount of time. This data enables organizations to fine-tune their RPA and generate additional efficiencies. 

Function Consistently 

People find their own ways to perform processes, even when they are repetitive.  

When the person who usually handles a process is unavailable, someone else must perform the task. The replacement brings their own touch to the task, so you can’t expect them to complete it in the same amount of time or with the same level of accuracy. RPA works the same way every time, as long as the rules and the systems remain the same. 

Extend the Life Cycle of Legacy Systems  

When workers are required to execute repetitive processes that move data from one application to another, it’s usually because a legacy system that doesn’t accommodate API connectivity is involved. Brands can improve efficiency by using an alternative way of connecting the applications. RPA is that alternative.  

RPA bots do everything workers do when transferring data between systems—but in a small fraction of the time and with 100% accuracy. Bridging connectivity gaps is how brands employ RPA in digital transformation projects. 

Each of these benefits of RPA generates significant value for brands that do RPA right. The next two sections clarify the RPA-digital transformation connection and the role business process outsourcing providers play. 

The RPA-Digital Transformation Connection 

In a perfect world, digital transformation would be a straightforward process, with new software replacing old software and data digitalization making all data shareable and actionable across lines of business.  

In reality, there are times when old software can’t be replaced because the hardware that hosts it doesn’t meet the technical requirements of the new software. That’s usually because the hardware was created for an outdated—or legacy—operating system. When that’s the case, there are two options: 

  1. Replace the old hardware with new hardware at considerable cost and time-consuming operational disruption. 
  1. Find a way to connect the new software in the modern digital system to the old software in the legacy system.  

This is where RPA comes in. Instead of spending a fortune on new hardware and disrupting operations until it performs all functions properly, RPA can bridge the gap between the new hardware and the old by mimicking all the steps required to connect the two applications. 

The need to solve connectivity gaps is a common need in digital transformation projects, and a major reason RPA has become an invaluable component of digital transformation. By incorporating RPA to bridge digital transformation gaps—at a much lower cost than that of buying and installing new hardware—brands can stage their digital transformation strategy over time. 

Why a BPO With a Proven Digital Transformation Track Record Can Help Multiply the Benefits of Robotic Process Automation 

We’ve touched on three unique RPA business benefits that BPOs bring to projects: 

1. Conduct affordable pilot programs to prove the RPA concept.
If your brand wants to see what RPA can do before investing in a large project, a BPO with RPA expertise can run a small pilot project. 

You could run the test yourself, but the BPO’s technical knowledge and RPA expertise allow your brand to focus on your business without having to become RPA experts while the BPO runs the pilot. 

2. Save the brand from having to hire full-time employees.
Creating a successful RPA requires: 

  • Project leaders.
  • Ongoing communication with all stakeholders.
  • Expert RPA developers.
  • Post-launch follow-up communication.
  • Ongoing maintenance and fine-tuning as systems and rules changes dictate.
  • Vendor management.

A BPO with its own center of excellence has the experienced staff and leadership in place for your first project and all ensuing RPA projects, so increasing your headcount won’t be necessary. 

3. Instill confidence that all recommendations have the brand in mind.
Many decisions are made when creating an RPA. When you partner with a BPO that provides objective advice based solely on the goals and needs of your brand, you can feel confident in both the process and your decisions. 

But the most significant benefit a BPO can provide a brand is its unique ability to take a holistic approach to business process optimization. 

When objectively evaluating an organization’s potential RPA projects, a BPO with digital transformation expertise can employ a strategic perspective of the involved system(s) that includes: 

  • Brand objectives. 
  • IT modernization plans. 
  • Hardware lifecycle stages. 
  • Pending operating system and application updates. 

All this information must be considered holistically to properly answer these four fundamental questions: 

  1. Which form of optimization is the correct choice of optimization for a given process? RPA? Another type of automation? Digital transformation?
  2. What resources are required to complete each task? 
  3. What steps for preparing the system for optimization should come first? 
  4. In what order, and over what time span, should the creation and implementation of business process solutions be staged to generate a return in the least amount of time while minimizing operational disruption?

Getting these answers right the first time can multiply the value of the top RPA business benefits listed earlier. 

The right BPO—one with a track record of success in both RPA and digital transformation—can provide these services without pushing one solution over another for self-serving reasons.

The right BPO—one with a track record of success in both RPA and digital transformation—can provide these services without pushing one solution over another for self-serving reasons.    

Even if it means recommending an alternative solution to RPA, the BPO’s mission is to help the client achieve its goals to refine processes and improve the customer experience. 

Experience the Best in RPA 

iQor is a business process outsourcing company (BPO) ideally suited to help brands optimize their business processes through RPA and digital transformation. Our intelligent automation delivers better customer experiences and helps employees perform at their best.  

iQor’s cognitive RPA software solutions are customized to client needs. We use AI and machine learning to handle high-volume, repetitive, or slow, time-consuming tasks. With streamlined workflows using RPAs, our team completes tasks faster and more accurately to provide amazing customer experiences. 

Moreover, our experience designing, developing, and implementing successful RPA projects for many different businesses enables iQor to identify and recommend the solutions that will deliver to each client their highest return. 

If you’re ready to start a conversation with an RPA expert, contact us to learn about how we can help you create more smiles. 

Joe Przybylowski is vice president of digital solutions and optimization at iQor

Ada Smith is vice president of research and analytics at iQor.

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