Today, Robotics Process Automation (RPA) is gaining more acceptance across industries as it’s extensively adopted by many future-thinking companies.
There’s a popular misconception that RPA relates to building mechanical robots that physically move around to perform tasks. This is quite far from reality. RPA, or robotic process automation, is the use of technology to automate rule-based business processes. It can mimic any repetitive human action to streamline workflows and increase efficiencies, resulting in a significant return on investment and resource savings.
UiPath defines it thus, “Robotic process automation (RPA) is a software technology that makes it easy to build, deploy, and manage software robots that emulate humans actions interacting with digital systems and software.”
Similar to how humans work, software robots can perform tasks like understanding what’s on a screen, completing the right keystrokes, navigating systems, identifying and extracting data, and executing a wide range of defined actions. But software robots can do it faster with zero errors than people, yet without the need to get up and stretch or take a coffee break.
RPA serves as a one-of-a-kind temporary or full-time employee to augment your department or business unit. It completes projects in a fraction of the time, working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and never tires.
The ROI is almost immediate when any workflow is automated faster and more accurately than a human user. Because of the significant time, cost, and resource savings, your organization will be able to remain sustainable and continue to save money over time. I love to see RPA as the virtual employee we didn’t know we needed until now. In fact, Forrester predicts the RPA software market to total $2.9 billion this year, 2022.
With a post-covid reality and dynamics of customers expectations, businesses must stay on the edge to maintain relevance. RPA is helping organizations reimagine their business operations for several benefits. Here are some of them;
Scalability and efficiency
Unlike human users, robotic process automation enables organizations to scale repetitive tasks almost instantly, which can contribute to productivity improvement. Building a workflow to streamline a process in one area of your organization can be expanded by reusing or creating similar automated workflows for other projects across job functions and even across the entire organization.
This means you can build a reusable component process that can be used in a different area of your organization. For example, deploying a reconciliation process in a bank significantly reduce output timeline, driving work efficiency.
Quality and Compliance Improvement
Automation technology is not affected by fatigue or human error. Using emulation in day-to-day operations can assist in providing a consistent foundation for service and care activities. Even the most perfect employee may make a few human errors, which RPA can easily avoid. In the long run, the consequences of these errors could be significant while quality is consistently sustained.
Labor Cost Savings
Using automation to replace labour-intensive tasks can save a significant amount of time, completing tasks in a fraction of the time it would take full-time equivalent employees.
Relieve your team of tedious, repetitive data entry tasks. Instead, promote your employees to higher-level positions that require the expertise for which they have been trained. In return, your team can focus on what truly matters to your business goals.
Most organizations report a return on investment (ROI) in less than a year after implementing an RPA solution. Aside from obvious time, labour, and cost savings, the use of paper and spreadsheets, as well as other workarounds required for an overburdened workload, can result in a lot of waste. Go digital with RPA and eliminate unnecessary costing that comes with traditional workflows.
A lot of people have asked if RPA will affect the job security of employees. The answer today, tomorrow and forever will always be NO. Let’s take a look at the impact of RPA on your employees.
RPA fundamentally restructures business processes, allowing employees more time for mutual interaction and releasing energy that fuels creativity.
Employees devote their efforts to strategic initiatives that aid in the achievement of organizational goals.
The reduction of manual error boosts customer confidence, and tasks that were previously too difficult for humans become doable and straightforward.
Where exactly has RPA been used so far?
Accounting and financial services: RPA is used by businesses in both the accounting and financial services departments. Boring tasks in general accounting, operational accounting, transactional reporting, budgeting, exchange payments, automating account openings and closings, managing audit requests, and processing insurance claims can be handled by the software robot. Examples are Bad debt write-offs, GL Reconciliation, Insurance processing, Payroll processing, Tax processes etc.
Medical Facilities: RPA is used in healthcare to handle patient records, patient admission and discharge records processing, Patient records access audit, Scanned document processing etc.
Human Resources: RPA platforms can be used by HR organizations and departments to automate tasks such as onboarding and offboarding, updating employee information, Employee benefit processing, Employee credentialing and de-credentialing etc.
Customer Service: Organizations can use RPA to improve customer service by automating the entire customer interaction process. Software robots can automate contact centre tasks, validate e-signatures, upload scanned documents, and validate data for automatic approval and rejection. RPA allows you to handle more customer requests by automating the steps one at a time.
*Leslie Willcocks once said and I quote *
“In every case we looked at, people welcomed the technology because they hated the work machines now do, and it relieved them of the rising pressure of the work.”
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You can also watch this beautiful piece by UiPath