As the term suggests, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) automates jobs. It implies a technology similar to Artificial Intelligence and machine learning into software that automates business processes such as interpreting, applications, processing transactions, dealing with data, and responding to emails.
In a simple term, RPA automates all the repetitive tasks that people do. In a controlled environment, RPA can complete 10x more work than its human counterparts. You can apply robotic automation to different business processes to ensure quicker results.
Although the experts have been debating about RPA threatening the livelihood of 230 million people or more, it has been helping with the most tedious business process while generating new jobs for developers, project managers, business analysts, solution architects, and consultants.
By 2021, Forrester.com estimates there will be more than 4 million robots doing office and administrative work and sales and related tasks.
Let’s talk about the implication of Robotic process automation on the modern-day company and how you, as a business owner, can take advantage of RPA.
What sort of Business Processes can be automated?
RPA is more likely to give proven results when used in business processes that are:
- High in volume and repetitive–High transaction volume, routine processes are running periodically (daily or weekly).
- Rule-based–Standardized operation or decision-making based on predictive rules.
- Mature and stable–Documented, stable, and with predictable operational costs.
- Low exception–Low variation scenarios in the activities that could lead to different handling of procedures.
- High ROI potential–Choose processes that can provide significant automation savings.
- Not subject to methodology changes –Avoid automating processes in systems that are due to undergo fundamental changes to interface or configuration in the short term.
- Readable inputs–Processes triggered by standard and readable electronic inputs like MS Word, Excel, XML, PPT, and PDFs.
What are the direct benefits of RPA?
Here are some of the direct benefits of RPA for any company running a large scale of repetitive work.
Unlike prevalent human errors, while handing data, RPA software is programmed to follow rules that eliminate the chances of errors. Compliance is the key to RPA's success!
Once instructed, RPA software will execute as per compliance. Your RPA software will work following existing regulations.
RPA can reduce processing costs by up to 80%. It's guaranteed to offer you a positive return in the least time possible.
It delivers scalable works because it performs a massive amount of operations in a scalable environment.
Speed and Productivity
Quick results help to grow the productivity of any business process. RPA removes non-value-add activities and relieves them from the rising pressure of work.
7 Most Common Tasks Performed by RPA
Here are the seven most common tasks performed by RPA software.
Sending and receiving invoices is often the most tedious task performed by finance departments.
It's crucial to process invoices on time and properly store them. Hence, RPA software is designed to automate this process by processing it upon receipt, whether it arrives electronically (email, fax, PDF, MS Word) or in paper formats (using OCT). It automates data input and error reconciliation.
The overall process typically can be performed end-to-end from receipt to payment in a matter of minutes.
The sales department often sees the influx of repetitive works, from answering queries, maintain accounts, processing sales order entry, invoicing, etc. They have to manually input all the data into the CRM system and ERP accounting updates.
Sales representatives can benefit significantly from RPA automation on operational sales activities, including processing a sales order, invoicing, maintaining a customer database, upselling, etc. When adopted early, it can help achieve improved customer experience, customer service, and worker satisfaction in the long run by updating and maintaining records in CRM.
RPA integration into accounting software helps for accounting reconciliation by eliminating tedious work.
It can automate repetitive tasks like verifying records and balances for accuracy, comparing the different sets of documents from varied formats, and even undertaking minute manual processes like data extraction, data comparison, finding and approving matching orders, reconcile purchase orders with delivery notes, etc.
ERP Data Entry
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) offers integrated management of main business processes. Most of the time, you're busy entering data into your ERP system like Oracle, SAP, NetSuite, etc. The problem with it is that it's time-consuming, and analysts need to gather data from multiple sources. It’s prone to human clerical errors.
Integration of RPA with ERP helps automate entire workflows of ERP data entries, from data gathering to logging, updating, processing, and validating data from hours to minutes, hence saving a lot of time.
Businesses often face difficulty obtaining and relaying information from different applications. Automation can provide smooth data integration between different data housing systems.
You can use automation software to link all your applications and provide staff rapid access to gathered data. RPA can provision data from servers such as a SQL database by executing a query to extract data and write it out into the output panel.
HR spends a substantial time manually maintaining, updating, and executing payroll. This is not only time-consuming but also repetitive and futile in most cases. Spending more time dealing with processes that are rule-based and repetitive can be overwhelming for the human workforce. RPA eliminates this by automating the entire payroll system within a click. All you'd need to do is input the remuneration, benefits, and other reimbursements data into the digital system. RPA will automatically generate custom payroll sheets and reports.
When you bring a new employee to the organization, you have to deal with all the laborious work such as creating new user accounts, emails, profiles, access rights, updating the mailing list, etc. RPA overtakes this rule-based work by introducing an onboarding workflow once the new user account is created. You can configure the RPA system to generate the required detail when a new user account is created.
Things to Consider
- RPA isn't meant for all levels of enterprises. Most of the time, it will only eliminate jobs but offer good results to the company. It can often be a costly affair to install and manage RPA systems. You'd need to hire an expert to maintain the system.
- It would be best if you involved IT early and often when introducing RPA into the business processes. IT will provide all the required resources to help implement the RPA system sooner.
- Check for areas where the RPA system can bog down. Maintain a monitoring or alert system to watch for automation gaps can help improve performance.
- Don't forget its impact on employees, creating unusual scenarios with their daily processes and workflows.
Software bots are here to stay. The faster you harvest their potential, the faster you create a competitive edge for your business. Robotic Process Automation delivers direct profitability while improving accuracy across organizations and industries.
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