- On September 14, 2020
As organizations become more focused on customer experience and operational excellence, business automation has become an important area for innovation. It all started back in the 1990’s when the first workflow automation systems were created and replaced manual paper-based processes. In 2005, business process management (BPM) was introduced as the modern workflow automation tool. BPM has transformed businesses operating their core processes; Robotic Process Automation (RPA) was recently introduced to automate human tasks within a workflow.
What is RPA?
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a software application platform that uses bots to automate human repetitive tasks. Performing manual data entry, copy/paste, generating reports and the download/upload of content are all examples of activities that can be done by bots. In fact, bots can replicate human interactions on their devices including mouse clicks and keyboard strokes to complete a task.
Bots are best used for high-volume redundant tasks that have a set of predefined steps. For instance, an employee could have the daily task of generating reports from existing systems and spreadsheets. This task may require opening several systems to export reports as well as spreadsheets, consolidate and send to management via email at the end of day. In this example, RPA will automate the task by scheduling a bot to complete the previously mentioned steps in seconds, and saves half an hour or more from the employee’s time.
Configuring a bot to perform a human task could be as easy as recording a set of human interactions, or more complex as requiring the creation of scripts. It all depends on the task complexity. A simple task could be like the above example of generating daily reports, while a complex one may require integration with applications like SAP.
How many hours could you save in a year with RPA?
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Benefits of RPA
1. Integrate with Minimal Risk
RPA is providing an efficient, low-cost solution for integration; that is bots are performing tasks that require exchanging data between separated or siloed systems. In addition, these bots are replicating a set of human interactions without the need to integrate with current applications. Hence, adopting RPA has zero risk on running systems and infrastructures.
2. Increase Operational Speed and Scalability
Given the fact that bots complete actions in seconds rather than hours, RPA can save up to 80% of the task’s duration. Consequently, bots can help accelerate core business operations as well as minimize an employee’s’ time that is consumed on administrative work. Organizations can scale their business while maintaining staff size and allocating employees’ time to higher-value tasks.
3. Consistency and Efficiency
Task automation guarantees consistency and efficiency. No matter how an organization will unify its services across different channels, there will be differences. Customers value consistent experiences; they want to be treated in branches the same as on the phone, via a chatbot or mobile app. For instance, bots will help a bank provide a consistent experience for account opening/closing operations.
4. Minimize Human Errors
As a matter of fact, administrative work is repetitive and error-prone in its nature. Human error is more likely to occur for tasks that consist of lots of copying/pasting of data from one system to another, and repeating the same steps multiple times per day. With bots having the ability to perform this type of task on a human’s behalf, it minimizes the chance for human error.
5. Improve Employee Engagement
Classifying employees’ daily work, we will find that we have the following categories: expert work, cross-organizational work, departmental work, administrative and repetitive work. The last-mentioned type of work has been the most de-motivating factor for employees. They prefer the expert work where they can show-off their skills and innovate in reinventing the customer experience. In a nutshell, RPA helps to partially reduce most of the admin and departmental work. This encourages employees to focus on higher-value milestones, improving their morale and engagement level.
6. Empower Business Users
With customers’ changing needs, business users prefer to have control over their daily operations to respond proactively. They avoid having a high dependency on the IT team to apply changes upon business requests. RPA empowers employees with a user-friendly platform to manage bots and perform changes easily. Business users can understand bots’ language for their use of easy scripts and commands. Consequently, they can automate tasks and change the workflow of existing ones.
RPA helps organizations automate repetitive, tedious tasks and provide employees with more time for innovative tasks. How would RPA help your organization? How many hours could you save in a year with RPA? Learn More about RPA.