Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

The introduction of RPA to complete often tedious tasks in a timely fashion allows employees to focus on more high value work. However, RPA requires proper design, planning and management if it is to be a successful commercial solution for businesses in the long term.

Emerging technologies which implement the practice known as robotic process automation (RPA) to help streamline operations in enterprises and enabling business professionals to dedicate more time to serving customers and focus on business development.

So what is RPA and how does it work?

RPA is a technological application enthused by logical business procedures and calculated inputs, aimed at automatic what may be complex business processes. Using RPA based tools, companies are able to configure software to processes transactions, collate and record data, trigger comprehensive responses and communicate with other digital systems.

Examples of processes RPA tools that can facilitate includes everything from responding to emails to deploying a series of bots to do automated jobs in ERP systems.

Pros of using RPA tools:

RPA enables organisations to reduce staffing costs and minimise human error. One case study highlights a Bank’s experience with RPA implementation by automating their claims processes. The results showed that the tool was able to handle over a million requests in the first year which equated to the equivalent of 200+ staff members – at a fraction of the cost.

Bots are known for being typically low cost and easy to implement compared to the equivalent of staff training costs and duration, no customised software or deep integration is required which highlights huge benefits from a commercial perspective. With tasks which would usually take several thousands of hours of manpower can be replaced and in theory could reduce costs in the ranges around 60%.

Speech recognition is amongst one of the further capabilities along with NLP (natural language processing) which in today’s day and age is a huge benefit for businesses that typically now operate on a global scale. The processes of language isn’t just beneficial to multi-lingual procedures but more simply to single language tasks that are open to human-error.

Cons of using RPA tools:

What may seem too good to be true, often is. RPA isn’t for every business. Which some may find quite enlightening as this means job security of many! Introduction to such processes which encourage a much lower spend factor will inevitably mean job cuts which presents problems for businesses in managing talent. Although human-error is considered a factor to avoid, not all technologies are error-proof and can be open to failures.

Research shows that there are currently several companies who use RPA tools today

It has been reported that the likes of Deutsche Bank, AT&T, Ernst & Young and American Express Global Business Travel and amongst the multiple enterprises implementing RPA technologies to help automate business procedures.

So, should your company on board RPA tools?

Considering the pros seem to outweigh the cons it may be great for saving expenses and reducing staff costs. Stay safe by selecting a pilot plan to test implementations on a smaller scale until you are able to determine immediate benefits. Small scale sampling will allow you to review costs and determine whether you have room for a long term viable solution.