In terms of a romantic relationship, when one of the people involved is more objectively attractive than the other one – as far as those around them perceive it – onlookers like to say that that person is out of the other one’s league. When it comes to software, some people are of the opinion that small businesses have no business investing in technology because “they’re too young/new/small for it and they don’t need it.” In both cases, we believe that not only are these opinions unrequested, but they’re actually wrong.
Small businesses have one fighting chance in the battle that is to come over the next decade, and that is technology. Many big multinational companies are claiming their territory based on years in the market, footprint size, customer loyalty, etc. But what customers are realizing more and more is that bigger isn’t necessarily always better, and just because they’ve been doing business with one company for a period of time, they might not be offering the latest and greatest available. Customer loyalty is a matter of contention, but in general, when the grass looks greener in another business yard, they might just leave without a shred of guilt.
Robotics process automation (RPA) is a topic we’ve covered far and wide, because we know that this technology is one of the keys to unlocking the power of digitization for companies of all sizes. When it comes to small to mid-sized businesses, RPA can be a huge difference maker, specifically in some areas that are crucial for business growth:
- Data Validation: we know that data is priceless when it comes to not only understanding customers and their behavior, but also as a predictive tool to forecast, foretell, and prepare our businesses for the ebbs and flows that are bound to happen at one point or another. For retail, for example, holidays and sales are a big undertaking. Being able to analyze the data from previous years and use it to anticipate the demand and prepare accordingly is an invaluable capability, and something that can only be accomplished accurately through technology. The human capital and time required to reach something similar would be far more expensive, and the results would probably not be as close to the real thing. RPA can really take SMEs to the next level with their data analyses needs, and it’s not just nice to have, but a necessity.
- Sales: no company can survive without sales, and all that it entails to get them. Whether we’re talking about the presales process, creating pipeline, qualifying the leads, marketing to the right audiences, etc. all of this requires a lot of manpower and resources to do properly. Customer relationship management is one of the pillars of business success, and the only way to ensure the salesforce is free to engage their customers in the right way to close the deals is by leveraging technology like RPA that significantly reduces the time required to complete tasks like reporting and other bureaucratic processes.
- Tech Support: in most businesses with small offices, there’s usually maybe one person providing tech support to all the employees, usually not having enough time to cover all the requests they receive at any given time, especially if there’s an event like a conference or a tradeshow around the corner, when all devices seem to self-sabotage in sync. RPA and robotics in general can provide a stellar line of support and filtering of requests so that the human resource can take the cases that require additional review and don’t have simple fixes. In a small business setting, this can be a huge time-saver for all the employees who rely on equipment and technology to complete their tasks.
RPA and all other technologies available are by no measure out of the league of SMEs, but rather will catapult them into the big league with the rest of the players out there. SMEs have incredible potential to join the ranks of hugely successful and established companies by leveraging technologies that have been democratized and are increasingly available and attainable by all. If you believe RPA and other technologies under the Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) umbrella can work for you, we’d be delighted to show you just how right you are.