Automation has been playing an exceptional role in improving business processes in multiple industrial domains. Process automation isn’t new to the industries, but, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is an advanced way to automate the business processes with the help of “software robots”. Using RPA, the traditional ways of performing manual tasks are replaced by smart solutions. For instance, an RPA bot can interact with systems, similar to the humans do.
RPA isn’t a physical robot but a virtual system meant to automate several processes. In Robotic Process Automation, intelligent software robots are utilized for automating the tasks, which offer increased operational efficiency, better process quality and enhanced safety of data. Due to this, many businesses are rushing to employ this emerging technology in their work processes.
As per the records from Statista, a leading online platform for business statistics, the global expenditure on RPA software in 2019 will reach up to 1.3 billion U.S. dollars. Huge numbers! Also, research by Gartner, the world’s famous research and advisory company, claimed that 96% of worldwide customers get real value from RPA.
RPA is a cost-effective solution where smart software robots are used to automate the manual, repetitive and tedious tasks that humans could take hours to accomplish. Let us explore a few industries which have been benefitting enormously from RPA.
In the healthcare industry, implementation of RPA can reduce paperwork and automate clinical tasks with higher accuracy. For instance, software robots can automatically schedule patient appointments. The data entry processes can be automated by bots, which saves the labor cost and also improves efficiency. A large amount of medical data like personal health information, medical reports, etc. can be monitored and recorded effortlessly with the use of RPA systems.
RPA eliminates manual work and increases the efficiency of financial processes. It can be applied to different processes in the finance industry like accounts payable, accounts receivable, controller work, financial close, expense management, financial planning and analysis, etc. The data-gathering and data-entry tasks can be automated while saving the time of the staff members. They can work on high-value tasks that need critical thinking and decision making, while the robots handle the data entry work. In the banking sector, loan-processing can be automated for faster and accurate results. RPA can work 24/7 while maintaining the efficiency of work.
Manufacturing firms have many important departments that need RPA. Billing of materials, customer support, administration, ERP, data migration, logistics data, etc. processes can employ RPA to keep the record of data, automate tasks and manage them with accuracy. In supply chain management, RPA helps to improve communication along with inventory management and order processing. It allows the employees to be more strategic and innovative in the work. Thus, RPA improves productivity that ultimately enhances the return on investment (ROI) of the manufacturing industries.
Leveraging automation in BPO isn’t a new thing. BPO sector has most of the work processes that are dependent on data-entry. Such back-office processes are accurately and consistently carried out using RPA. Data entry, its validation or manipulation, sending email notifications, extracting ERP data, automatic formatting, uploading or exporting, downloading or importing, work-flow acceleration, etc. processes utilize RPA solutions. When these tasks are automated the employees can devote more time in providing better customer service. It is a low-cost ‘quick fix’ for the BPO sector. Also, the level of security that the application of RPA offers in BPO processes is exponentially higher.
Manual tasks like manipulating data, processing a transaction, communicating with other systems, triggering responses, etc. are successfully automated using the RPA tools like Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism, UiPath, Inflectra rapise, etc.
If implemented properly, RPA yields expected results of cost savings in 24 to 36 month period approximately. RPA also results in service improvement, enhanced regulatory response, transformative services, etc. Some of the pre-requisites to achieve early ROI are:
- Identifying appropriate tasks for automation
- Designing and implementing the right processes
- Choosing the right tools
With such huge potential, many organizations are drawn to invest in RPA. Along with healthcare, finance, manufacturing and BPO, other sectors like Telecom, IT, retail, utilities, insurance, etc. sectors are also focusing on the implementation of RPA at a fast pace.