Automation, the new way for companies to deal with the next health crisis

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Long before the Covid-19 crisis, the world has known and survived other crises, for example the crisis of 11 September 2001, when the United States experienced real chaos. Following these events, some companies set up a BCP (Business Continuity Plan) to anticipate the possibility of similar future disasters. The aim is to maintain continuity of service, by allowing business resumption in offices rented for this purpose and located far from the main offices.

The Covid 19 has made the world realize that it is no longer necessary to only anticipate building specific disasters, for two main reasons, the first because the consequences of a health lockdown unfortunately prove to be even more harmful, the second because we realized that with teleworking, offices could become "optional".

This teleworking, helped by digitalisation and collaborative tools, has allowed companies to partially maintain their activities. However, it does not solve everything, especially if part of the staff is ill or quarantined, which implies a fall or sudden cessation of activity, or if certain tasks and tools require a physical presence.

How to replace processes that cannot be performed remotely? How can a company operate if it suddenly loses 20% or more of its workforce? And above all, how do you enable those who can still work to be as efficient as possible, to best support the activity?

Once digital processes have been implemented, it is necessary to be able to support their automation to promote the organisational resilience of companies, which will therefore be less impacted in the event of a crisis and more efficient in normal times. Just as service continuity programs emerged in the past, process automation programs should be integrated into the strategy of any company.


RPA, the tool companies need in all circumstances

Automation not only makes it possible to be better prepared for the next crisis, but also to recover some of the profitability lost during the Covid 19 crisis. Tools for automating certain processes, automatic document filling or generation, data collection or encoding, are in most cases very easily achievable.

RPA (Robotic Process Automation) mimics a manual task or process step by step, as if a human would do it, much faster and without risk of error. For more complex needs, application developments can automate many of the most time-consuming tasks.

The implementation of automation in a company, whatever its size, requires at the very least to take a step back and take a step up from its current organization. First and foremost, it is necessary to determine which processes are the best candidates for automation, i.e. which ones produce the best return on investment and contribute to resilience in the event of a crisis. It is sometimes easy to identify the many double-encoding tasks that are still too prevalent in companies, while, on the other hand, certain daily tasks that are done mechanically are forgotten as ideal candidates for automation. This is why the importance of taking a high level view of the functioning of internal company processes takes on its full meaning. Calling on an external company allows you to have a more neutral and seasoned opinion on its potential.

RPA not only saves time, with or without sanitary lockdown, but also saves time, since the robots work day and night. Also, savings in money and wellbeing, as the employee normally destined for tedious tasks can now work on others with higher added value. And finally, the RPA ensures that the company's activity is maintained in the event of a new health crisis, no matter how big, with limited human need.

Written by Julien Gras

Published on 21/08/2020

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