As businesses strive to become more efficient and streamlined, robotic process automation (RPA) is becoming front and center. RPA uses software robots to automate business processes - completely eliminating the need for human interaction in certain tasks.
To drive home the importance and benefits of RPA, let's discuss what RPA is, why it's valuable, and what are some common examples of robotic process automation.
What Is RPA?
Robotic process automation (RPA) is the technology that allows organizations to automate business processes using software robots, or “bots.” RPA bots can mimic human users in performing various tasks, such as data entry, form filling, and emailing.
RPA is typically used to automate repetitive and rules-based tasks that humans traditionally perform. RPA can help organizations improve efficiency and accuracy by automating these tasks -- thereby freeing up employees to focus on higher-value work. As an added benefit, unlike a human, an RPA software robot never sleeps and makes zero mistakes.
When you automate business processes using RPA, you can transform your company overnight. You can cut costs dramatically, improve quality and compliance, accelerate speed to market, and drive better customer experiences.
RPA is being deployed in a wide range of industries, including banking, insurance, healthcare, human resources, and E-commerce. In fact, any industry that relies on business processes that are rules-based and repetitive are good candidates for RPA.
What Are the Pros and Cons of RPA?
RPA is a technology that allows organizations to automate repetitive, rules-based tasks that human workers typically perform. RPA can help companies improve efficiency, accuracy, and compliance -- all while reducing costs.
There are several pros and cons to using RPA within an organization. Some of the benefits include:
Faster processing: RPA robots can work 24 hours, seven days a week, which means that processes that used to take days or weeks can now be completed in hours or minutes.
Improved accuracy: RPA robots have zero tolerance for errors. They are programmed to do precisely what they are told, so the results they produce are always accurate.
Increased efficiency: RPA frees employees to focus on higher-value tasks requiring human skills and judgment by automating repetitive and low-value tasks.
Improved customer service: By automating processes and speeding up response times, RPA can help improve customer satisfaction levels.
Reduced costs: RPA can help reduce labor costs and other process-related costs such as paper and mailing costs.
While the benefits of RPA are vast, there are some potential drawbacks. These drawbacks can include:
Lack of flexibility: RPA robots are designed to complete specific tasks according to a predetermined set of rules. They cannot think outside the box or make decisions independently, so they may struggle with more complex tasks that require human judgment.
Inflexible infrastructure: For RPA to work effectively, the underlying IT infrastructure must be stable and robust. If there are any issues with the IT infrastructure, it can impact the performance of the RPA robots.
High initial investment: The upfront cost of implementing RPA can be high, as it requires the purchase of software licenses, hardware, and services.
Lack of transparency: It can be difficult for employees to understand how RPA works and its impact on their jobs. Fear and resistance among employees as a result.
What Are Real-World Examples of Robotic Process Automation?
Robotic process automation can be defined as a technology that allows organizations to automate repeatable and high-volume tasks typically performed by humans. While there are endless ways to use RPA in business, here are some common examples of RPA in action:
1. Call Center Operations
In the call center industry, RPA can automate customer service inquiries and other interactions. For example, an RPA bot can be deployed to answer simple customer questions or route calls to the appropriate human agent. Additionally, RPA can generate reports on call center metrics such as average handle time and first call resolution rate. It has the potential to transform the call center industry by reducing the need for human agents, thereby reducing labor costs.
2. Data Migration/Entry and Forms Processing
One of the most common applications of RPA is automating data entry. This can be particularly helpful for organizations that receive large volumes of data from multiple sources. Rather than requiring employees to manually input this data into various systems, RPA can automate the task, freeing up employees for other jobs.
Another everyday use case for RPA is forms processing, which can include everything from data entry to validating information and generating responses. By automating forms processing, organizations can dramatically speed up their operations.
3. Claims Administration
RPA can also be used to automate claims administration, including tasks like verifying eligibility, approving claims, and processing payments. Automating these tasks can help reduce errors and improve efficiency.
4. Onboarding Employees
RPA can even be used to automate the onboarding of new employees and can include tasks like creating employee profiles, sending welcome emails, and setting up access to systems and applications. Automating onboarding can help improve the employee experience and reduce the workload for HR staff.
5. Help Desk
RPA can be used in a help desk environment to automate various tasks. For example, an RPA software “bot” can log into a help desk ticketing system, retrieve the necessary information from the user’s account, and then populate the relevant fields in the help desk ticket. This can save time for the help desk agent and the user and ultimately ensure that all of the required information is correctly entered into the ticket.
Additionally, RPA bots can monitor help desk tickets and flag them for follow-up if they have not been resolved within a specific timeframe.
6. Support The Sales Process
RPA can also be used to support the sales process and can include tasks like generating quotes, sending price updates, and following up with leads. Automating these tasks can help sales teams operate more efficiently and close more deals.
7. Scheduling Systems
RPA can also be used to automate scheduling systems and can include creating schedules, assigning shifts, and sending reminders. Automating these tasks can help organizations keep their operations running smoothly.
8. Credit Card Applications
RPA can also be used to automate credit card applications, including verifying information, calculating interest rates, and sending approval notifications. Automating these tasks can help reduce errors and improve the efficiency of the credit card application process.
9. Expense Management
Companies can leverage RPA to automate expense management, including submitting expenses, approving claims, and issuing reimbursements. Automating these tasks can help reduce costs and improve the efficiency of the expense management process.
10. Pulling Data from Multiple Websites to Find the Best Deal
RPA can be employed to automate the task of pulling data from multiple websites, majorly benefiting organizations that need to gather data from a variety of sources. Rather than requiring employees to visit each website and copy and paste the data manually, RPA can automate the task, saving time and reducing errors in the process.
How to get started with RPA in your business
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a process where a computer software, or robot, mimics the actions of a human to automate business processes. There are many benefits to using RPA in business, such as reducing costs and improving efficiency. However, there are some potential drawbacks to using robots for business processes -- which can typically be avoided by partnering with the right company.
At Teamworks Group, we help companies leverage RPA in an effective, strategic, and cost-effective manner. If you want to learn more about our RPA services, give us a call or reach out to us online. We'd love to talk.