Automation is on everyone’s minds these days. Employers need it for better ROI and employees for better productivity at work. But the traditional way of automating tasks through software is cumbersome and inefficient. Listing out tasks and developing APIs so systems can contribute to performing repeatable actions takes a lot of time and effort that is not available in the current fast-paced world. Robotic Process Automation or RPA use cases help people automate their tasks. We will see how organizations can use RPA around the globe to automate all kinds of tasks.
What is Robotic Process Automation?
According to Wikipedia:
Robotic process automation (or RPA) is a form of business process automation technology based on metaphorical software robots (bots) or artificial intelligence (AI) workers.
RPA provides tools that anybody can use to automate repeatable tasks in their organization. RPA robots use the graphical user interface of the applications to capture data and manage devices just as people do. To perform a wide range of repetitive tasks, they perceive and generate responses to interact with other systems.
In short, RPA provides an interface between different systems so the tasks do not need any human labor. Your employees can focus on more productive and benefitting tasks. The best part is robots can do repetitive tasks without any boredom. This consequently allows organizations to automate at a fraction of the cost and time previously needed.
RPA Use Cases
Below we will discuss the three use cases of RPA that every organization can apply to benefit from the change that this decade is bringing forward.
Customer Service Tasks
Customer service is something inevitable for every company which can prove to be very difficult at times. Human-robot Interaction can greatly enhance customer satisfaction while making work less stressful for your employees. It is possible to automate quick, frequent, and repetitive activities such as developing and updating customer profiles. For example, virtual agents or bots may take consumer profile data in over-the-phone bill payments. Further, direct them to the right person to automatically triage their request. Therefore, it decreases Customer waiting time and staff can use their communication skills openly.
Managing Company Data
A lot of time an IT department spends on setting up new employees’ user accounts or existing employees’ application-specific profiles. This type of work bounds highly skilled talent to do manual, repetitive tasks. Also, some frameworks might not have the capability for running back-end automation scripts. When a new user registers, workers have to manually configure the new user’s security permissions for the process to proceed. IT can build an RPA bot to perform the behavior of the administrator during this configuration phase to develop a more comprehensive automation solution. So that in the future, employees involvement is when the user wants some actual services. Employee profiles are also available easily by using RPA bots. They automatically access the data present and push the information to the database.
Paying employees is the ask no company can get rid of. Rendering payroll every month is a time-consuming and tedious job for the HR department. This also requires a great deal of work in data entry. This can result in the inaccuracy of data that can lead to delays in payment and frustration for employees. One of the common use cases of RPA in payments is that it can verify the accuracy of employee data across multiple systems, validate timesheets, load earnings, and deductions. It can also automate paycheck origination, manage insurance, and reimbursements. To avoid inaccuracies and delays, companies can use RPA to automate payroll-related transactions. Thus, saving the HR department a bunch of valuable time.
Dealing with data across multiple enterprise systems can be quite a tedious task Due to the involvement of a wide array of individual systems that are all integrated into the data management process. This is because of the nature of the work itself.
The sales team has to utilize their time to enter data into the CRM systems as well as the ERP systems. While the financial analysts have to go a step further and replicate the data. So that it can go into another system or module altogether.
This entire process of two separate departments working on the same available data can lead to issues of duplication. Also, the production of errors with the ultimate impact being a negative influence on productivity.
This is where RPA comes in; by performing sales activities end-to-end i.e. by automating tasks such as sales order entry and invoicing. It can help to provide structure to the entire process whilst also removing any duplicate data. Moreover, through the development of a rather sustainable datasheet, RPA can improve customer experience. While also increasing employee satisfaction through the removal of mundane tasks such as data entry, leaving the employees to focus on more important and revenue-generating tasks.
Any business that’s working in the service or trade sector will find itself making purchases in bulk for their manufacturing to take place or to simply provide services. These items come at a cost which more often than not, impacts the revenues or profits of the company.
That is why businesses go the extra mile to make intelligent decisions that see them conduct research online or through the utilization of offline resources. This entire process is not only time-consuming. Also, drains company resources leading to further concerns for the organization.
This is where RPA use cases comes in; with the system having the capability to not just conduct price comparisons (from different vendors). Also, compare product attributes and quality on the kind of output the organization is trying to achieve.
Through the research results by the RPA, businesses can make informed decisions. Moreover, purchase the best resources at the most optimum prices available.
Customer Information Storage
In today’s world where organizations are working with a plethora of customers with each having its own set of individual relationships with the business. There exists the need to ensure that all data is readily available and easily accessible.
Businesses can use RPA to help store, sort, and organize all kinds of customer data. For example, contact information, individual purchase histories & preferences, and personal information like birthdays or anniversaries.
The RPA system can display any of the information to customer care executives, salespersons, and basically any employees that might need to view such data. With an RPA system in place, there’s no need for employees to manually enter information or worry about its accuracy. The latter is because RPA as a system is more accurate than humans and therefore has a lower margin of error.
Through the adoption of RPA, such labor-intensive jobs as information storage can be taken over. Further, leading to the reduction of repetitive tasks by almost 80%.
If you’re a company working in the service or trade sector, you would more often than not require to process refunds.
As a customer, you want this refund process to be as quick & seamless as possible but that’s easier said than done. Companies have to go through a long and rather draining process to identify such concerns and provide solutions to customers’ complaints/return requests.
The RPA system can however step in to deal with this issue rather effectively and process refunds without much delay. Since the data is already available on these systems. They can process them without much haste and can sort customer concerns in a much quicker manner than if this was done manually.
This improves the overall customer experience which obviously leads to a positive impact on the reputation of the company.
When a company is going through a recruitment process. They usually find themselves drowning in resumes which leads to the shortlisting process being a rather tedious task.
RPA can help with recruitment by streamlining the entire process. It starts with sourcing resumes from a variety of platforms, assessing value, sorting through spam/undesirable applications. Also, taking care of any other factors that might be impacting the process. This streamlines the entire recruitment process by a considerable margin. While also reducing the stress of recruiters and allowing them direct access to applicants.
Almost 90% of the recruitment process such as screening, assessing, measuring, onboarding, and administration can be handled by RPA.
The great thing about data is that it can come from anywhere and everywhere. While the not-so-great thing about data is the fact that because it comes from a variety of sources. It can be in several different formats from editable text to simple handwritten notes.
Data entry professionals are then tasked with going through the information and entering it into the system, which can be a rather tedious task.
Through RPA, and more specifically through the integration of an optical character recognition technology. The system can read the information from different format sources and then enter it into the general system.
RPA is a great investment if your business collects and stores information from a variety of different sources. While also ensuring that the collected information is accurate. More so, by removing employees from working on such repetitive tasks. You’d be saving up their time which can then use in other more productive areas of work.
Report Preparation And Dissemination
Every business requires regular reporting to ensure that teams are on track and that respective managers are well-aware of their performance/progress. These reports require weekly/monthly development. While it may not be labor-intensive, it does take up precious employee time.
RPA automates processes and helps periodic reporting by auto-generating reports, analyzing their contents, and then passing it onto relevant stakeholders.
The process of evolution for RPA tools saw them mimic user interactions to better understand gaps and areas that needed improvement/furnishing. While tests can be built into the software. It also needs testing from the perspective of the user.
These tests are time-consuming when performed manually, but if they’re automated, they can be rather fast-paced.
RPA tools have common test scenarios automated within, and these tests are run regularly to ensure that no new bugs find their way into the code. Through automated testing with RPA tools, a business can facilitate testing and improve overall software quality.
HR Virtual Assistants
Human resource departments are over-worked anyways with the plethora of paperwork that comes their way regularly coupled with the rather constant payroll process that they undertake. This is why it’s important to see where certain processes need improvement to provide some form of relief to the HR department.
Through RPA, a chatbot integration into the system helps to authenticate customers/users while also serving any of their HR-related needs. Through this chatbot, employees can register leaves, request contract information, submit expense reports. Basically, carry out simple HR-related tasks.
While all this is being taken care of by the automated system, the HR department can focus on more high-priority tasks.
The ability of RPA to automate manual data entry and bridge automation gaps between systems allows for fully automated systems, making your organization more efficient, productive, and customer-focused. It can also increase the productivity of your employees by giving them something important to work on. If you are thinking of reaping the benefits of RPA, the three tasks set out above must be your top priority.