In almost every business, mundane tasks exist. Tasks that employees wish someone else or something else would complete for them so they can focus on more pressing assignments. This is where robotic process automation enters the equation.
What is Robotic Process Automation?
What exactly is robotic process automation (RPA)? Contrary to popular belief, there is no physical, moving robot in robotic process automation. Instead, the robot or ‘bot’ is software implemented into a machine, which in most cases is a computer. This bot can then be trained by a human to complete a variety of repetitive computer tasks with little to zero errors.
As a side note, RPA should not be confused with artificial intelligence. To differentiate the two, robotic process automation can be associated with “doing”, while artificial intelligence aligns with “learning” and “thinking”.
Certain qualifications should be met to ensure a task is worth incorporating robotic process automation. David Landreman, the CPO at Olive which is an artificial intelligence company, lists them as…
- The process must be rule-based.
- The process must be repeated at regular intervals, or have a pre-defined trigger.
- The process must have defined inputs and outputs.
- The task should have sufficient volume.
Assuming the task aligns with these four qualifications, businesses should reap the many benefits of integrating robotic process automation.
Use Cases for Robotic Process Automation
Before diving into five use cases of robotic process automation, let’s go over a real-world example of how RPA is used. There are boundless use cases for robotic process automation, including implementing RPA for collecting data, handling transactions, and capturing information. One of the most commonly used applications of RPA is data migration and form processing. For example, if a business is transitioning from paper forms to a digital database, RPA can analyze the paper forms, extract the required data, and then enter the collected data into the system. Therefore, RPA almost entirely removes the human from this tedious and time-consuming process.
Now that we covered what robotic process automation is and some examples of how it can be used, let’s reveal some of the numerous benefits RPA offers.
- Greater Efficiency
- RPA is efficient. Once the robot is trained with a specific set of instructions, it can complete a task much quicker than its human counterpart. The robot does not require breaks, does not experience distractions, and can work around the clock.
- Increased Productivity
- Implementing RPA allows human employees to focus their attention on more pressing tasks. No longer do employees need to waste time on repetitive, manual tasks that are better suited for robotic process automation. Instead they can use their time tackling complex assignments that a robot is not able to solve.
- Cost Savings
- RPA is a great way to help a company’s bottom line. Less full-time workers are needed because employees are not spending time completing the mundane tasks which robotic process automation can handle. David Schatsky, a managing director at Deloitte LP, reveals the savings one bank experienced while utilizing RPA, “Deploying 85 bots to run 13 processes, handling 1.5 million requests per year. The bank added capacity equivalent to more than 200 full-time employees at approximately 30 percent of the cost of recruiting more staff.”
- Unmatched Accuracy
- Humans are not perfect, and consequently, make mistakes. Whether it is attaching the wrong file to an email or spelling the address wrong on a tax form, errors occur. However, RPA rarely, if ever, makes mistakes since it is specially trained software.
- Unlimited Scalability
- There are three main ways to RPA automation to fit the growing needs of a business:
- Increasing the bots workload. This simply means providing the bots with a greater share of assignments.
- Diversifying the bots’ responsibilities. Bots can understand and complete different processes. Thus, when a bot is caught up on work in one process, it can switch gears to another different process.
- Expanding RPA access. With new technologies continually being created, robotic process automation is regularly updated with new capabilities. By integrating new software to a company’s robotic process automation solutions, RPAs can be scaled by increasing their workloads and diversifying their responsibilities.
Implementing Robotic Process Automation
If utilized correctly, RPA saves businesses and employees time, money, and accuracy. Three things everyone likes to hear. Whether it’s a bank processing credit and background checks, or a health insurance company processing claims, robotic process automation’s versatility can be deployed. For more information on robotic process automation, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.