To outsource or not to outsource – that is the question?
As a robotic process automation company, we have been asked this question multiple times. The answer as it always is…it depends. Sometimes outsourcing can be cheaper than automation. Sometimes, its the other way around.
The question cannot be generalized and should not be. A lot of the experts always say one way or another. They are always so pro- automation or pro-outsourcing to Business process outsourcing (BPO`s) or freelancers and such that they forget whats most important. Case by Case analysis of whether automation is required or whether outsourcing is required. Below we have created a list to help you answer the question whether you should go for outsourcing or automation. The list is according to task type. The list constitutes of 5 major tasks.
Data entry work / Form Filling
This includes many things including form filling from another data. This is one of those fields and tasks where business process automation has already started making its mark. The reason is very simple. This is a task that can be easily automated. Without much effort or thought. This is basically in essence copy, pasting or looking and typing. For these types of jobs conventionally big companies hire BPO`s in India. Now though with advancements in technology, it is possible to automate it. So if the work is data entry, one should consider maybe automation before outsourcing.
Gathering data from different websites:
This is another common task outsourced. The reason being it requires (usually) every day updation and also visiting of multiple websites to get similar data. What automation can offer in this is web scraping. Web Scraping being multiple bots assigned for this to gather data from different websites. (Specific data). Again if this is the type of work that should be considered for automation first rather than outsourcing.
Data Entry from Handwritten documents – Optical Character Recognition OCR (Handwritten) Issue
This is a task where the technology of automation is still for the most part not up to the mark. The technology when it comes to handwritten OCR is still in the early phases, though massive work is being done on this. Still the technology for the most part is not good enough. Some companies do claim to have it figured out. Those companies should be approached with a lot of caution and asked for a demo first. So over here, outsourcing should be given preference.
Image Recognition And Output :
Another area where outsourcing gets an upper hand on the automation industry is image recognition. Image recognition has been successful in certain minute areas. We did an interesting project on this. Please see image recognition case study. The result in this particular case were amazing but usually we as well as many other companies fail to do image recognition perfectly. So if its got anything to do with images, probably a better option would be to outsource.
Computer handwritten document to computer entry – OCR Handwritten (Digital)
This is an interesting one. Automation companies claim to be able to do it (English language – not sure about other languages). However the transition to giving this work to automation company instead of the usual outsourcing is still to be seen. The results for the most part are good in this. There are issues in this with certain types of fonts, we feel. However for the most part. This should be considered for automation.
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