Comprehensive Guide: How to choose an RPA consultant?

Comprehensive Guide: How to choose an RPA consultant?

Like all companies, yours probably relies on certain tasks and activities that don’t require a specialist’s attention. This means you can usually outsource or even automate them.

And now there is a new automation tool on the market: Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

If you have access to personnel who have experience working with RPA tools, that’s great. You probably set up a Center of Excellence and are running most of your RPA projects. However if you are not yet at that stage or if you need additional manpower to help program automations in the process, RPA consulting can help you take full advantage of this powerful solution.

Why Is RPA Consulting Relevant Now?

First question is “Why is RPA relevant now?” which we explained in detail. Getting help from consultants has also its reasons for becoming so relevant.

1. RPA Has Become a Commonplace Solution

RPA has grown to become a realistic solution for companies of all sizes with repetable processes. Interest in RPA has grown exponentially in the last 5 years.

Courtesy of Google Trends

2. Numerous RPA consultants have emerged to help organizations

Any commonplace solution triggers services as companies try to adopt the solution but experience issues such as lack of workforce with RPA experience. While organizations had to build in-house capabilities in the beginning, now RPA is part of the standard toolkit of most consultants and system integrators such as Big 4 professional services companies, Big 3 management consultancies and system integrators such as Accenture.

3. Companies are embracing consultants to proceed faster

RPA essentially provides companies speed in automation. They could also achieve automation with slower methods like IT transformation but they choose RPA to proceed faster. And consultancies increase that speed because they come with experience automating processes at numerous companies. They know the tools, the processes and potential automation issues they will face so they proceed faster.

4 Reasons You Need an RPA Consultant

Now that you have a better understanding of why RPA consulting has recently become such a relevant service to so many companies, let’s talk about your business.

Here are four reasons you should consider hiring an RPA consultant.

1. The most valuable processes to automate may not be obvious

The first is a simple but important point. Given how popular RPA has become in such a short period of time, there’s a good chance you and/or your CTO won’t have a strong grasp on how to successfully implement that.

You’re far from alone.

The fact that the demand for RPA consulting has grown so quickly speaks to how many people aren’t sure where to begin.

An RPA consultant will begin by first assessing the processes within your company that would benefit most from automation. They may even find some options that you otherwise wouldn’t have known about.

Next, they’ll explain the solutions they recommend for overhauling those processes with RPA.

Once you have decided which ones you wish to begin benefiting from, they’ll walk you through the implementation process.

Finally, they’ll execute said process and then ensure you have ample time to ask any questions about them once they’re “live.”

2. Choosing the RPA tool requires careful consideration

Similarly, if you try to move forward without an expert, it will be easy to stumble upon RPA tools that appear to be good fits.

Unfortunately, it takes a lot of consideration to pick the best RPA tools. The right ones will depend on the industry you’re in and unique aspects of your business.

In fact, a direct competitor may be better off picking a certain solution that wouldn’t work as well for your company.

A consultant will take the time to learn about the unique aspects of your organization so they can help you choose the right tools for it.

3. RPA Consulting increases your company’s speed without boosting headcount

It would be a bit ridiculous to be increasing your company’s headcount due to RPA initiatives. RPA is supposed to create a leaner and faster organization.

We touched on this earlier, but RPA consulting is far more affordable than hiring experts to join your company and oversee your robotic automation.

Unless you have an ongoing need to continuously build enterprise-level RPA deployments, hiring one or more people in a support capacity is going to be a waste of money. Your existing team members who work with consultants will acquire the necessary skills and act as your RPA Center of Excellence in upcoming projects in a part-time capacity.

4. You Want Results Now.

It’s hard not to get excited about the benefits of RPA.

Here are just a handful of common examples:

  • Better ROI on Your Staff
  • Detailed Data Capture
  • Flexibility
  • Improved Accuracy
  • Improved Throughput
  • Reduced Cycle Times
  • Scalability

The sooner you begin enjoying these advantages, the sooner they’ll begin paying off – and the sooner you’ll start putting distance between your company and the competition.

RPA deployments can be complex. An RPA consultant will help you successfully navigate it so you begin enjoying the results sooner.

An Alternative to RPA Consulting

One option you may wish to consider in the future would be establishing an internal RPA Center of Excellence (CoE). This CoE would allow your company to launch successful other RPA projects. Your CoE team would then audit and help improve these deployments, as well.

RPA consulting should still help with initially setting up the CoE, too.

How to Choose an RPA Consultant

If you’re sold on the value of RPA consulting services, the next step is actually hiring a qualified consultant. Make the right decision now and the entire process will be much simpler and – more importantly – successful.

Here’s what you need to look for in a consultant in order to do that:

  • RPA Experience – As we’ve already covered, RPA consulting is a burgeoning field, so you’ll have no lack of options. Look for consultants who have ample experience working with RPA, not the ones who are jumping on the bandwagon. You need more than just a developer or someone with programming experience (though that kind of background certainly doesn’t hurt).
  • Industry-Specific Experience – At the same time, just because someone has RPA experience doesn’t mean they’ll know how to best serve your company. While any RPA consultant will need to begin by assessing your unique business, it will help if they understand your industry. Otherwise, they’ll need to spend a lot of time getting caught up or risk making costly assumptions. This kind of expertise will also help if the processes you wish to automate need to be further optimized first.
  • Domain-Specific Experience – Where does your company need RPA? Will it be for the back office? For a call center? Ideally, you want a consultant who has already completed projects that helped with these specific areas.

Finally, while case studies could also fall under any of the below categories, look for a consultant who can show examples of how they troubleshot past challenges. Creating RPA solutions and applying them can be difficult, even for the most talented professionals. Make sure you work with someone who is ready to overcome initial roadblocks.

Need Help Choosing an RPA Consultant?

Don’t make such an important decision unless you’re 100% confident moving forward.

If you want, we’d be more than happy to help. Our free short list of RPA vendors is a great place to start, but you can also contact us with any questions you have. We’d be happy to help.

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