Time-consuming and repetitive tasks annoy teams and delay processes. This is where robotic process automation comes into play. The software robots open up numerous opportunities to better use manpower and free up capacities for creative work in the company. And there are also winners on the other side of the process: customers benefit from standardized inquiries because RPA routines in customer contact run quickly, error-free, and around the clock. But what should companies consider when implementing and planning an RPA strategy?
They have long since found their way into industrial production. High added value and monotonous activities have been the prerequisite for using high-priced mechanical robots. Their digital counterparts, i.e., software-based bots, can automate small-scale, digital processes much more cheaply, which have little added value but are essential in larger business processes. This can be, for example, copying customer data from one system to another.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) helps modernize the back office. The technological threshold is set low, and RPA software can be used and configured without extensive programming knowledge. The systems already used in the company, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or department-specific solutions, do not have to be technically changed. They control the bots – just like the employees – via the user interface, which has the additional advantage that legacy solutions can also be connected for which there are no modern interfaces.
RPA solutions are generally used where data-based processes follow a defined pattern: accounting, human resources, and application processes. A practical example would be the use in the corona pandemic in the mass allocation of corporate aid.
More Speed In The Routines, The Better Mood In The Team
As with all key technologies, RPA cannot be the sole solution and cannot be used for all core processes. Proven software systems are not completely replaced either. Rather, RPA connects them and automates the data input and output to and from these systems. A study on Intelligent Automation points out exactly this: “The greatest potential of automation does not lie in a single technology, but the growing range of technologies and solution approaches, and above all in their interaction. A lot of potential remains untapped here in particular,” the authors say. Of course, this does not change the expected annual growth rates of 40 percent by 2027, which the researchers believe the RPA market is capable of. And not without reason: Various studies show that companies use it to handle rule-based and recurring business processes five to ten times faster than conventional processes and can better use valuable human resources.
A Good Team: Bots And Content Services
The implementation of RPA software in the company can usually be easily designed according to a low-level approach. Processes remain the same, as do the systems in the back office. Ultimately, the software robot imitates the human work steps – albeit around the clock and error-free. This is especially true for repetitive document-based processes that can be automated through RPA in conjunction with Enterprise Content Management (ECM). Modern content services platforms combine RPA with functionalities for managing content and operations and bringing together information from different channels.
An application example is the management and creation of personnel files. HR teams have to access different systems and information from various departments in the company and enter data, for example, for access rights in all relevant company applications. Software bots can do such routines automatically.
Lots To Do – Then Add A Few More Bots
Software robots thus mediate between existing applications and automatically transfer customer information from accounting to invoice dispatch. Such activities should no longer be processed manually in the interest of efficiency, especially in the mass sector. RPA often covers requirements for low-threshold tasks better than humans, and valuable professionals can move on to more complex tasks. The digital bots access databases and applications and display the information on any front end, whether in a portal or a common email program. Programming activities in the “level below” are therefore omitted. RPA solutions grow with their tasks: Additional robots can be assigned to any process if the number of cycles increases.
Compliance? Well, Always!
Compliance, i.e., adhering to several regulations that tend to increase rather than decrease, has become a task for companies within a decade that increasingly accompanies actual business activities – to the chagrin of many companies. After all, precisely this control of processes with their obligation to provide evidence leads to routines that do not add value and that should be avoided. RPA can help here, as the bots document and log every work step in detail, work tirelessly and error-free and observe company guidelines. In addition, detailed reports can be called up at any time.
Rationalize Away? No Thank You
An understandable fear of many employees is that they will be “rationalized away.” However, it has been shown that, contrary to fears, automation tools often even create higher-skilled jobs with opportunities for further training and only replace redundant tasks. RPA and intelligent automation solutions make everyday work easier and often “think” ahead of the next work step. In the end, however, the human being still decides in complex contexts.
While the employees in the company benefit from the virtual colleagues and their satisfaction increases, the same applies to customers – regardless of whether they are B2C or B2B relationships. The software bots accept inquiries 365 days a year, so services are available quickly and around the clock. A combination of the robotic process with enterprise content management and other automation tools is an economically interesting way from which companies and customers benefit equally.
Also Read: The Road To Adopting RPA Automation