Respect for the Human Worker in the new Lean world of Robotic Process Automation ( RPA )

The new technology of ‘Robotic Process Automation’ ( RPA )  has the potential for huge cost savings for companies however NOT by replacing workers with computers or robots.

Instead RPA allows repetitive or logic based process decisions to be done by computer programs ( Robots) rather than humans and thus eliminating the following wastes:

1.  Eliminates the Waste of waiting for a decision from a human. Robots work 24/7 365 days and never take breaks.  They are always available to make decisions and hence there is  zero waiting time. 
2. Eliminates the Waste of the incorrect decision being made by Human Error.  Decisions instead are based on Business Rules and Logic that has been  designed and carefully programmed by a consensus of the process and business experts, with careful consideration of customer needs and expectations.   
3.  Elimination of Re-Work, Scrap, Lost Customers or Penalty costs due to incorrect decisions being made by Human error.   Reduction in the Cost of Poor Quality ( COPQ), an important concept in Lean Six Sigma, first introduced by Joseph Juran in the 1980’s.

4.  Elimination of repetitive, tedious and time-consuming transactional activities for Humans that reduce worker moral and reduce time allowed for customer relationship building, sales, design / redesign and problem solving.

Use of RPA allows time for workers to be involved in Value-Added activities that cannot be done by Robots such as 
  • Relationship Building with customers,   
  • Sales and Marketing/ advertising
  • Design or Re-design or products or Services,   
  • Design of Re-design of process,  
  • Programming of the Robots for greater and greater efficiency.  
By John Dennis

May 28th 2017