|RPA is taking the world by storm / Photo Credit: Dim Dimich (via Shutterstock)|
We are now at the age of automation, and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is taking the world by storm as it is the fastest-growing segment of the global enterprise software market in 2018, according to Malina Platon of Entrepreneur, a website on business and entrepreneurship and research company Gartner. The RPA market is growing by 63.1% and is forecasted to reach $1.3 billion by the end of 2020. RPA software robots are currently automating “rule-based, repetitive processes” quietly and efficiently in organizations and governments across the globe. However, RPA is mostly associated with large multinationals, particularly finance or insurance who use this technology to automate processes. For entrepreneurs who are still at the beginning of their journey, RPA is not usually a priority as product development, sales, and hiring are deemed as more pressing.
Yet founders of startups are experiencing the same issues as those of larger firms. Hence, startups could benefit from automation technologies—one of which is RPA. One example is a hairdresser start-up in Norway who opened their first salon in 2015 and has plans to establish hundreds by the end of 2021. Early on, its tech-savvy founders leveraged RPA into their infrastructure, enabling them to scale faster. The founder had some past experience with RPA in his previous job. He knew the RPA was accessible, so he decided to implement it into the fabric of the company from the beginning. There was no transformation. In fact, the transitions were seamless and his employees experienced minimal disruption when RPA was incorporated.
“Move fast, fail fast.” The team took this to heart with their RPA journey. They all agreed that no process should take more than two weeks/10 working days to implement instead of wasting their time on lengthy proof of concept tests or research. If the project did not produce the outcome they want, they would kill it quickly. This way, the team could experiment and be more flexible. Once the startup hit the 20-30 salon mark, the team brought RPA robots to address efficiency issues as they started to experience problems of scale.
Overall, integrating RPA early is practical, enabling a startup to reap its benefits when it comes to expansion and scaling.