Throughout the course of my career, I’ve had the pleasure of working through more than one organizational downturn – whether due to the economy or the company’s financial status. In times like this, the organization turns to supply chain to lead and impact the bottom line.
Not many people can say they haven't heard the voice of a young child asking “Why?” No matter what the subject matter we all seem to be programmed to want to know the “why” behind the “what.” The procurement workplace is no different but we tend to find difficulty in connecting these. Understanding the ins and outs of theory and practice become essential to success in the procurement world.
When a business is choosing which company to outsource with, location can often be overlooked in favour of the most appropriate specialist for the project. However, location – and especially proximity - should be a critical part of the decision process. For example, if your company is based in Europe, it will be more difficult to outsource from a provider based in Asia, due to a mixture of time, travel, language, and perhaps cultural differences.
By now everyone knows about outsourcing, the big issue of the 20th century that revolutionized the 21st century. But outsourcing didn’t start in the 20th century. In the 18th and 19th century Europe developed Imperialism, setting up colonies around the world. These colonies provided the language skills and education systems that made offshoring possible.
This time last year I wrote in these pages about the year ahead for outsourcing. The key trend I focused on was an increase in partnership with clients and suppliers getting much closer—and that seems to have taken place throughout 2017. One major driver for this has been the change in how consumers become aware of a product and then convert into customers...what marketing professionals call the ‘customer journey.’ Think for a moment about the classic customer journey.
In 2017, organisations started to get serious about automation. Research from the wider automation industry has revealed a lot about how businesses are developing and controlling their automation programmes. I was recently at the RPA (Robotic Process Automation) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) in BFSI (Banking, Financial Services and Insurance) show in London; here’s a snapshot of the top automation concerns amongst the event attendees I spoke to:
You’ve learned the definition of Robotic Process Automation (RPA). You’ve learned about how it works and about the impressive results that can be realized. So, now it’s time to take the next step to explore some lesser known concepts and truths about RPA implementation.
1. RPA is a lot tougher than most people think.
The SAVO methodology speaks to our origin story as process-focused organization. We set out to emphasize the importance of process as the foundation for any stable and meaningful transformation. What SAVO represents are the following steps to digital transformation:
“RPA is more complex than you think”, as said by my wise colleague, David Brain. In fact, not only is the technology itself complex, but the successful deployment is also largely dependent upon extensive planning and collaboration among key stakeholders. That’s why it’s critical that champions and executives prepare the organization for RPA implementation as a first step in the process.
A common question when considering Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is what process would be the most optimal one to automate. When looking for a candidate process, you should be focused on a couple key requirements. First, you will want to identify a process that is rule-based, so it doesn't require any human judgment capabilities in its operation. If you have processes that have human-judgement elements, they may still be suitable for RPA but you'll need to hand out that portion of the work to be done by an individual and then pass back it back to the robot.