Understanding Robotic Process Automation
As organizations move towards digital transformation, the need to streamline workflow and empower employees through technology increases. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a type of business automation technology that relies on the digital workforce to perform repetitive process activities. At the same time, allowing to free up human resources and work towards more priority complex tasks.
This technology uses software robots or “bots” that emulate human processes to execute rules-based business jobs. With RPA, bots can be made to interact with any system or application just like humans do. The biggest advantage is that bots can work round the clock with greater precision and reliability. In addition, with robotics, bots can be made to operate for your front office to any other support function.
Key Benefits of RPA
- Impersonate Manual Tasks
RPA allows you to free up your human staff and leave them more time to focus on other valuable strategic work.
- Enhanced Consistency and Fewer Errors
Since bots are available 24*7 and mimic human processes, they can be relied on to execute tasks with reduced risk. Furthermore, every task is monitored and checked for end-to-end traceability.
- Increased Scalability and Flexibility
It allows seamless integration across different software tools and platforms irrespective of department and function.
- Improved Productivity and Efficiency
Robotic automation helps accelerate work, reduce employees’ workload, and help them focus their efforts on important responsibilities. Which leads to enhanced employee productivity and efficiency.
Sneak Peak on How RPA Works
RPA works by imitating human actions and following two approaches to automating tasks for both IT and business users seamlessly.
Front-End Robotic Automation
RPA bots streamline Tasks associated with websites, user interactivity, and attended processes can be streamlined by bots. Deploy it for items like GUI automation or screen scraping, etc.
Back-End Robotic Automation
Leverages APIs for high-capacity processes, including database processing and file movement.
RPA Solutions for Every Industry
RPA is used in many industry sectors to achieve day-to-day tasks:
Some of the largest hospitals use RPA for patient registration, medical record and prescription management, billing, insurance claim processing, and payment cycles, and a lot more
- Human Resources
Ideal here for maintaining employee record, payroll, and list of shortlisted candidates
Helps to improve customer experience by automating claim process operations, premium information, audit management, regulatory compliance, and underwriting tasks
Tackle the complex processes by automating purchase order processing, freight costing, invoice verification, and purchase order processing
Deployed for calculating sales, warehouse and order management, customer relationship management, and bills of material
- Banking and Financial Services
Financial services revolutionized with bots by automating customer onboarding, inquiry processing, mortgage & loan origination, and activating cards new card
- Travel and Logistics
Bots have been a huge hit for accounting, passenger details, and booking tickets
Common RPA Challenges To Keep In Mind
While implementing Robotic Automation and integrating with existing IT technologies, there are few challenges that every organization faces.
- Lack of the In-House Team
Every enterprise needs a local team that has the required skills to implement robotic process automation. Do not forget to invest in the right team that will manage your RPA tool. This will ensure high application performance and efficiency.
- RPA Maintenance Work
Even once the RPA implementation is done successfully, and your software is up and running, it will still require regular maintenance. This is because, during efficiency processes, it is compulsory to maintain the desired output.
- Choosing the Wrong RPA
Most of the companies fail to identify the right RPA tool and recognize that they have picked the wrong solution at the implementation stage. They realize this when they are unable to manage the customization needs and face exceeding investments.
- Infrastructure Problems
It gets difficult if your organization does not have a centralized infrastructure team that keeps on-premise systems or cloud infrastructure updated in real-time.
Prevalent Automation Bots
- Support Chatbots
These help in solving an exact problem and require context-awareness. They allow a user to walk through a business process and get a wide range of FAQs answers. Such bots mostly use natural language processing and deep learning to perform actions.
- Skills Chatbots
It works on a single-turn-type concept that follows a certain command to act but does not require much contextual awareness. For example, a simple skill performing command like ‘switch on the light can be easily understood with its speech recognition functionality.
- Assistant Bots
These act like your very own personal assistant that is good at answering your FAQs and keeping conversations. Such bots maintain the interest of the user by responding funnily if it does not comprehend the query. Siri by Apple is one successful example of assistant bots.
- Transactional Bots
Much like assistant bots, these bots often perform transactions on behalf of humans. Tasks like placing an order or making a reservation are a few examples.
- Informational Bots
These perform the role of a research assistant that helps either in distributing or collecting information. A news bot is an excellent example wherein it sends push notifications using text classification technologies and AI.
How to Implement The RPA Plan
- Identify Automation Opportunities
It is essential to determine the automation opportunities most critical to your business objectives. Then, analyze each exclusive process and its adaptability to automation.
- Select the Best-fit Solution
Spend some time to assess and evaluate which vendor is good enough for your automation need. This step will become the founding stone of all the activities that you plan.
- Develop An Automation Plan
Become a fully automated organization by developing a roadmap for automation dependencies at all levels.
- Deploy A Pilot Project
Before rolling out the actual plan, conduct a pilot project to observe the performance and effectiveness of your strategy against an actual process. Then, study the results and make necessary improvements.
- Roll Out Your Plan
When criticalities and improvements are discussed, it is a good time to execute your actual plan. First, ensure that your people are trained to handle any contingency and aware of the revised procedure.
Automation is not something that you implement once and then forget. Instead, be ready with a maintenance team to conduct regular check-ups and ready to handle any changes.
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