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04 feb 2019

Swedish companies are lagging behind – can RPA be a solution?

Thoughts

Capacent survey reveals – Swedish companies are not realizing the full potential in their finance department. Can robotics process automation, RPA, be a solution?

The fight against non-value adding activities is vital for companies in their search for competitive advantage and business success. Continuously, companies strive to identify ways to become leaner, more efficient, and thus increase the focus on what brings value to the customer. Download this article as pdf

Join the digital revolution

In the era of the fast-evolving digital revolution, companies may turn to new technology to accomplish improved value creation and efficiency. The technology robotics process automation (RPA) has over the past years proven to be an enabler to achieve these improvements. In short, RPA is a software that combines technologies such as rules engines, workflow, and screen scraping to remove repetitive, low-value adding work operations. The utilization of RPA to perform manual or semi-manual activities and financial processes can enable organizations to work more efficiently at a lower cost. Effectively creating an opportunity to improve the EBIT – margin.

“Overall, it is expected that about a third of the main transactional based activities performed at the finance department can be automated.

Taking off in the back-end operations in the banking sector, RPA has lately shown potential for improving operational efficiency across industries. To date, substantial opportunities for RPA have been identified within companies’ financial departments. For instance, accounting processes, accounts payables, accounts receivables, financial planning, and payroll are areas with a significant amount of manual or semi-manual activities which can be performed by RPA. Overall, it is expected that about a third of the main transactional based activities performed at the finance department can be automated. This is an opportunity for companies across industries that must not be overlooked.

Capacent survey reveals: Swedish companies are lagging behind

However, in a recently conducted market survey by Capacent of Swedish companies with a turnover of SEK 5–50 billion, only 38% responded that they have implemented RPA at their finance department. Out of these companies, more than half stated that they are at the very beginning of their RPA implementation. Meaning, RPA is still at an early stage in the Swedish market and it has mainly been introduced as a pilot case on a limited basis. Additionally, the survey shows that companies in the lower end of the spectrum, with a turnover between SEK 5 and 25 billion have reached further in their RPA implementation. Of the companies that have implemented RPA, more than 80% belonged to this category, potentially utilizing RPA to stay ahead of the curve in terms of finance efficiency.

The results from the Capacent survey reveals that Swedish companies are lagging behind in their roadmap to reduce the low-value adding, repetitive activities performed by human workforce. Consequently, Swedish companies are not realizing the full potential of their employees to add value and contribute to business success.

By introducing RPA in the financial department, companies have the potential to remove inefficient processes and repetitive work across the organization. Instead of replacing the human with a robot, RPA will take the robot out of the human and enable them to work side-by-side in their daily operations. For Swedish companies to keep pushing the frontier of value creation in the global market space, they must capture the full potential of the employees within the organization — RPA may be a solution.