Robotic Process Automation
Technology has opened the door to several innovations and discoveries.
With technology, tasks are done at faster rates and with great efficiency.
The technological practice RPA (robotic process automation) is one of those technical ideas that is shaping the business industry. RPA is being utilised by several organisations to reduce cost and also organise enterprise activities. The advent of RPA has made things quite easy; businesses can now robotise tedious rules-based business processes, given business owners the opportunity to serve customers effectively and adequately.
While RPA is viewed differently by business proprietors, others see this process as a stopgap on the way to the automation of intelligence through a process called machine learning and artificial intelligence tools, which, when properly tutored, can make decisions regarding future outputs on their own.
RPA comes with several utilities, with it, the influx of work can be automated, infrastructure, and tedious back-office tasks can be automated as well.
How RPA works?
RPA is software bots, and they can communicate with an in-house app, a website, a user portal, and so on. The RPA software can be operated on an end user’s PC, a laptop, or a mobile device. It is an array of instructions that can be carried out by the RPA bots with the guidance of specific business rules.
The primary aim of RPA, robotic process automation, is to make the completion of a task a fast and efficient process.
These bots replace those tedious clerical jobs that are performed by humans, with the simulated digital workforce.
RPA doesn’t require much, and it doesn’t need you to create codes like other automated processes, it doesn’t also need direct access to the code or archive of the applications.
What is RPA?
RPA, which is Robotic Process Automation, is the process of providing robots with the chance to perform some repetitive tasks that humans will often find hectic and time-consuming.
Robotic: This involves a machine that acts like humans
Process: A step-to-step procedure that must be followed to finish a task
Automation: Done without the help of humans
Having these elements in mind, RPA can be simply defined as a program that is capable of imitating the actions of humans to carry out a step-to-step procedure without the help of humans.
The need for Robotic Process Automation
Take a look at the scenarios below:
The business world is constantly evolving. It is paramount that an organisation evolves its sales, marketing, etc., continuously to stay on top and be useful.
A normal organisation or an enterprise makes use of IT systems (multiple and disconnected) to perform its operations.
When the business process goes through a certain change, due to factors such as budgeting, timing, and implementing complexity problems, these IT systems remain the same; they don’t frequently change.
Because of this, the business process eventually fails to copy the technical process copied in the IT system.
Human is employed to fill the gap between processes and systems to tackle this organisation and technical debt.
Let’s take a company as a case study. For instance, this company made certain alterations to its sales process so that an obligatory 50% advance is needed to ensure the booking of its product. Although this is not yet integrated into the IT system. For a human worker, he or she will have to go through the pain of scrutinising the invoice and payment information, and after that process the sales order provided the 50% advance is made.
Who is the problem? Humans!
With a certain modification in how a business process is performed, a company would be required to employ new employees or train existing employees to map business processes and IT systems.
Both solutions come with their disadvantage, which is that they take a lot of time. For a business process that undergoes modification, the rehiring and re-training of employees are paramount.
With the aid of RPA, a company can deploy robots who completely copy human workers. Regarding a modification in the process, an alteration in a few lines of the software code always tends to be faster and less costly than making several workers undergo training.
Below are some advantages of RPA (Robotic Automation Process):
- A normal worker can suffer from fatigue due to excess work, whereas a robot can work for more than 24 hours non-stop without being tired.
- The average productivity of humans can’t be compared to that of robots. Robots boast of impressive average productivity of 100% while the average productivity of humans stands at 60%.
- Robots are quite good at multi-tasking more than humans.
Pitfalls of Robotic Automation Process
The use of RPA is limited; in other words, it is not for all organisations.
Just like other automation tech, this process can eliminate jobs, which makes it hard for several enterprises to manage talents. While it is the focus of most enterprise that adopts the use of RPA to transition several employees to new jobs,
Forrester Research estimates that the Robotic process automation software will pose as a threat to the workers since these robots will replace them.
Also, installing these bots, several of them isn’t an easy process; it is quite complicated, and it comes with a hefty installation fee amongst other associated fees.
Over the past ten years or more, it has been a tough task for manufacturers to source employees who have the necessary expertise to fit in specific roles in their working place.
The introduction of automation comes with another problem as the operation of these robots is not an easy task, because it requires programming knowledge and a knowledge of how to use them.
These problem gifts employees the opportunity to enlarge their skill set and be trained on how to operate these bots.
Because of the complications that come with the installation and the setting-up process, automation companies take care of this by themselves, while they leave the long-term operation of the bots to the adequately experienced staff.
Below are some examples of Robotic Automation Process
With the ever-growing pressure to increase efficiency and at the same time, reduce cost, several enterprises have embraced the use of RPA as a solution.
Based on research carried out by Gartner, spending’s made on this technology will attain the $2.4 billion mark by the year 2020. This technology helps take care of specific mundane tasks that humans perform. Here are some types of RPA processes
Call Centre operations
With the help of this technology, several customer requests gotten by call centres can be effectively handled.
The RPA technology is capable of providing rapid solutions to customers’ queries as well as answers to their questions. RPA can also help in consolidating the overall information about a certain client on one screen when a problem gets escalated to human customer service agents; this will provide the agent with the needed access to all the important information they require from several systems to offer topnotch service.
Data input and the processing of forms
To have certain information available for newer systems, employees are often charged with the duty of extracting important info from legacy systems.
RPA can help in this regard; it is well capable of carrying out the process and finishing it without any single error.
When the need to change paper form into digital form arises, an RPA solution can be beneficial, because it helps read the forms and integrate the needed data into the system, thus, providing humans have the time to focus on other things.
RPA is also very useful in the healthcare and insurance industry. This technology is adopted in these industries to enter and process claims. RPA also indicates any exception that is wrong and eventually saves needless payments.
RPA offers the ideal solution to make sure all employee is on-boarded based on the laid down process and that they all get the necessary info to adhere to the established company guideline.
Simple and resistive issues can be quite cumbersome for humans, but with RPA, these issues can be effectively handled; this results in a lessened workload on the part of humans.
Though these level-one technological problems are quite easy to solve, they consume a lot of time.
Also, with the aid of frequently diagnostic tests that will be conducted on the computer systems of the company and finished by robots, the human IT staff can stay on top of issues that may arise.
Helps the sales process
The fact remains that adequate time ought to be spent developing relationships rather than performing several administrative duties like updating a customer relationship management system, creating the billing system of the customer, etc.
The tasks mentioned above can be streamlined with the aid of RPA.
RPA VS Regular Automation
In normal automation, the user should have an in-depth understanding of the specific app. Also, in RPA. Provided it knows the appropriate thing to do, the user ought not to bother about how complex the work is or how it will be carried out.
Traditional automation depends solely on coding, and it also depends on certain integration methods to integrate diverse systems.
But, the RPA technology consists of probably a minute amount of coding or no coding at all, and it’s quite easy for one to make an RPA program, with a drag and drop utility, this task can be easily achieved.
There exists a considerable difference between these two types of automation, and the difference is that traditional automation needs the involvement of a program, be it tech, machine, or a software program.
For instance, one can easily invent a calculator if he/she wants to make some calculations, but in the case of RPA, it can be utilised for two tasks; inputting the numbers automatically and also performing the actual calculations.
Here, nothing new is being invented; the primary goal here is to replace the things that can be manually done.
How does this technology work?
Having being briefed of what RPA entails, let’s describe how this system works with a basic example.
For instance, a collection of candidates is told to take an aptitude test before a company can hire them.
The hiring team inputs the test scores into an excel sheet, coupled with the names of the candidate names and their email addresses.
Now, just picture that the hiring team has to send an email to those candidates with a score above the cut-off, informing them that they have passed the previous test and have progressed for the next round of aptitude test.
Before the introduction of RPA, these messages were being sent manually; now, imagine how stressful and cumbersome it will be to send email messages to over 100 candidates. With the introduction of the RPA tech, the manual intervention has diminished.
It’s quite lucid that the RPA is a technology, and not some sort of programming language like the Java programming language, or a tool.
For this technology to be effectively implemented in our administrative duties, there are several tools; this won’t be discussed here.
What makes RPA special?
On a frequent basis, there exist several repetitive tasks that are being carried out in a business organisation.
Robots can effectively carry out these repetitive takes that seem dull and somewhat hectic to humans. The robots that perform these repetitive tasks operate on RPA technology.
The RPA tech performs these tasks utilising the same steps that are laid down by a human and finishes the job without the help of a human.
By allowing the RPA bots to handle these repetitive tasks, one can have the opportunity to take care of other essential tasks at hand.
For example, at the instance of entering certain data, the individual in charge of the data entry visit the same source each day, obtains the data from the source, and fills it, maybe, in an Excel sheet.
This process has a defined step, which starts with visiting the site, getting the required data from the source, and including the Excel sheet.
But have you thought of how simple, effective, error-free, and fast this process would be if a trained robot is charged with doing this?
With just little basic commands, this action can be performed in the twinkle of an eye.
The robot adheres to the laid down command, and the job is finished at a faster rate compared to when a human handles the task.
This can be seen as one of the several tasks RPA can perform. Most enterprises make use of this technology for end-to-end automation for business operations.
Where can RPA be applied?
This program is being utilised by several companies, ranging from medium business all the way to enterprise companies.
Currently, RPA is mainly used in the banking and BPO sectors; and this is simply because of the mundane tasks that are performed in these sectors.
Below are a few industries that use this tech for their daily business:
- Hiring Process