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What is Robotic Process Automation—RPA?

Robotic process automation (RPA) refers to the process in which you program software to do basic tasks across applications just like humans do.

You can update the software bot with a workflow that has multiple steps and applications, such as-

  1. Taking received forms
  2. Sending a receipt message
  3. Checking the form for completeness
  4. Filing the form in a folder, and
  5. Updating a spreadsheet with the name of the form, the date filed, etc.

RPA software is designed to reduce the burden of repetitive, simple tasks on employees. Let’s learn more about the RPA technology.

Understanding Robotic Process Automation

Robotic process automation (RPA) is designed to help with typical office functions.

In a sense, the basic concept is similar to traditional automation, which focuses on taking one portion of a workflow or just one task and creating a robot to specialize in doing it. This is basically to automate repetitive office work.

Advantages of Robotic Process Automation

Unlike deep learning, the software robots used in robotic process automation are programmed to do the tasks in a particular workflow by the employees with some assistance from programmers.

The software doesn’t learn on its own or seek to tweak out new efficiencies or new insights like big data analysis or enterprise resource management (ERM) software. Instead, RPA works like a digital assistant for employees by clearing the simple tasks that eat up significant time for every employee.

As such, RPA is a simpler product than an artificial intelligence-driven system or enterprise software. It seeks to bring all data inside that one platform. This also makes it a relatively cheaper product than AI or ERM software. The simplicity and relatively low cost can make RPA a more attractive solution for many companies.

Workflow Automation and Management Tools

As the name suggests, such tools can help with order processing by capturing customer contact information, invoice total as well as item ordered. They even translate these details into the company database and notify the corresponding employee too.

Artificial Intelligence

As we know that AI is the capability of computer systems to perform tasks that normally require human intervention and intelligence. AI machines can replace tedious and manual labor that is time-consuming. In the context of RPA, we can say that the same functionality is used by RPA.

Even RPA is integrating AI capabilities into a larger suite of functions.

All of these three advancements in automation were significant in one sense or the other, but what makes RPA an impactful technology is its ability to combine and refine certain aspects of each of these technologies.

Why RPA?

In today’s scenario of typical enterprises, RPA can be used to fill the gap between systems and a process. A typical enterprise may have the following scenario −

The typical PROCESS in business scenarios is rapidly changing due to competition.

If we talk about TECHNOLOGY in the business scenario, a typical enterprise uses multiple and disconnected IT systems to run its operations. But due to infrequent updating, these technical processes cannot help the business to the required extent.

Talking about PEOPLE in business scenario, a typical enterprise hires human workforce to fill the gap between systems and processes.

A challenging issue in a business enterprise is, well, ‘change’. Why is it challenging? Because with any change in business processes, enterprises either need to hire new employees or train their existing ones. Both solutions are costly as well as time-consuming.

Therefore, RPA can save time as well as resources for the company and help create sustainable solutions.

RPA Use-Cases

With increasing compliance and regulatory filing requirements, the finance industry—banks, insurers, and investment management companies—has been an early adopter of RPA. Many bulky back-office functions, such as ensuring an up-to-date Know Your Client (KYC) form is filed or a recent credit check is included on a loan application, are ideal for RPA. Lifting this burden off the employees’ backs allows them to focus on high-return tasks. More importantly, the software can clear these basic filing and data manipulation functions faster than humans, reducing the overall processing time.

Of course, RPA is not just limited to finance. Any industry that deals in data and filing can benefit from robotic process automation. Whenever software can reduce costs and increase efficiency without requiring complex implementation, it will find eager users and useful applications in almost any sector.

1. Customer Service

Modern customers are accustomed to quick responses and effective solutions. It is possible to deliver the results that customers want, with the help of automation. The automated system will segregate queries into different categories, like tech department, service department, and more. Sorting ensures the queries reach the right customer care agent for a quick resolution.

There is no need to transfer customer calls from one executive to another time and again. Customer service has several rules-based processes that can be automated and streamlined. According to research, over 70% to 80% of rules-based processes can be automated, and it is a good idea to start with customer service.

What Is Robotic Process Automation in customer service?
Use RPA to streamline your customer service process.

2. Invoice Processing

The large volume of invoice processing has repetitive manual tasks which can result in delayed and incorrect payments. Timely payments can strengthen relationships with vendors.As a result, we can ensure the delivery of quality goods/services from them. Invoice processing has many challenges such as invoices with formats require consolidated data from various sources into the single financial database system etc. RPA automatically processes invoices once received.

It can automate the data input, correct reconciliation errors, and even process certain decision-making required for invoice processing, which minimizes the need for human intervention.

RPA can automate the process from end-to-end, all the way from receipt to payment.

RPA for invoice processing
Process your invoices faster with RPA

3. Sales Orders

Maintaining data consistency across enterprise systems is a very tedious task. Sales representatives need to spend their valuable time entering data into the CRM system as well as the ERP system. Finance analysts have to replicate the data and enter it in another system or module. This may result in duplication, errors and lower productivity. RPA can perform sales activities end-to-end by automating tasks such as sales order entry, invoicing, etc. It will help in maintaining a database by removing duplicate data; improve customer experience, and increase your sales employees’ satisfaction by removing all the time-consuming tasks like data entry and letting them concentrate on their main task- prospecting, and generating more business.

4. Payroll

Processing payroll every month is time-consuming and repetitive for the HR team in every organization. This also requires a large volume of data entry efforts which may result in data inaccuracy that can cause delays in payment and employee dissatisfaction. RPA can verify employee data consistency across multiple systems, validate timesheets, load earning and deductions. It can also automate paycheck creations, administer benefits, and reimbursements. Similarly, RPA can perform automation for payroll-related transactions from end-to-end to avoid inaccuracies and delays.

5. Price Comparison

Businesses often have to make bulk purchases to manufacture products or provide services. The cost of these items can impact the company’s revenue or profits. Companies always research online in order to make an informed decision. The research process can be time-consuming and complicated, which is why many companies have now begun using RPA.

The system doesn’t just compare prices from different vendors but compares product attributes and quality as well. As a result, businesses can now buy the best resources at the best possible prices.

6. Storing Customer Information

RPA can help businesses store, sort and organize all kinds of customer information to ensure that everything is easily accessible. The system will automatically categorize different data like contact information, purchase history, preferences, personal information like birthdays or anniversaries.

The system can display all the information to customer care executives, salespersons, and similar employees. There’s no need to manually enter this information or worry about its accuracy. RPA is more accurate than humans and has a lower margin of error. Storing information is one of the most labor-intensive jobs and can cause a lot of stress. Therefore, RPA adoption can reduce repetitive tasks by nearly 80%.

RPA for storing customer information
Use RPA to store and categorize customer information

7. Processing HR Information

Storing and processing HR information is a challenging task. It takes a lot of time and can be a tedious process. A successful business generates huge amounts of employee data, which can be difficult to sort and organize. The RPA system can collect and organize all the information your HR department requires.Information like employee history, payroll, reimbursements, level of training, can all be sorted and stored through RPA. It can handle all of the day-to-day tasks and allow your HR employees to focus on the human aspect. They can work on improving employee productivity and work culture, which can’t be handled by automation.

RPA in HR processes
Let RPA do the monotonous tasks so that HR can focus on the HUMAN aspect

8. Processing Fast Refunds

A company’s reputation depends on how quickly it can process refunds. Customers want this process to be quick and seamless, but that is easier said than done. Complaints and return requests generate a lot of data which can be tiresome to sort through. The RPA system deals with the matter effectively and processes the refund without delay. That improves overall customer experience and has a positive impact on brand and reputation.

RPA in processing refunds
RPA= Faster Refunds= Happy and loyal customers

9. Recruitment

Robotic Process Automation can also help with recruitment, which can help streamline the process. The system can source resumes from different platforms, sort through spam or undesirable applications, and other unwelcome factors.Consequently, we can streamline the recruitment process by a considerable margin and can reduce the stress on recruiters allowing them to assess every applicant more thoroughly.

RPA can handle around 90% to 95% of vital recruitment processes like screening, assessing, measuring, onboarding, and administration related tasks.

10. Extract Data from Different Formats

Data can appear in different formats ranging from editable text to handwritten notes. Data entry professionals struggle to read the information and enter it into the system. Optical character recognition technology can easily read the information from different format sources and enter it into the system.

The entire process can be automated with little compromise in the accuracy of the information. If your business needs to collect and store information from different sources, RPA is a great investment. Employees spend around 10% to 20% of their hours on repetitive computer tasks like this one. Now you can save all of that time and direct it towards something more productive.

What is Robotic Process Automation in data extraction?
Use RPA to extract data from multiple formats quickly

Conclusion

As you can see, RPA can be implemented in several interesting ways. It is a revolution in business process automation and with some practice, you’ll easily adapt to the changes and work productively.

Ultimately, there is no magic behind implementing RPA. You need an intelligent automation spirit that must be part of the long-term journey for enterprises. RPA will complete business processes faster, with better quality and at scale when done right.
For more about Robotic Process Automation, please visit Engati!

FAQs


What is meant by RPA?


Robotic process automation (RPA) refers to the process in which you program software to do basic tasks across applications just like humans do.


What is the use of RPA?


RPA can be used to fill the gap between systems and a process.


What are the benefits of RPA?


RPA is a simpler product than an artificial intelligence-driven system or enterprise software. It seeks to bring all data inside that one platform. This also makes it a relatively cheaper product than AI or ERM software. This simplicity and relatively low cost can make RPA a more attractive solution for many companies.