Robotic process automation (RPA) is a fast-rising form of administrative process automation technology that is based on the concept of software robots or artificial intelligence (AI) workers.
Based on the Wikipedia definition, RPA can be defined as a generic tool that uses screen scraping and other technologies to develop highly skilled agents that can automate clerical tasks.
Presently, RPA is one of the widely known types of Artificial Intelligence applications that enables companies with legacy systems to automate their workflows.
Most industries and companies are excited and pleased about the RPA solutions since most of the bigger non-tech companies or industries still depend on the legacy system.
How does it work
The RPA bots copy every action of the employee, such as inputting data, opening of files, and so on. They interact with distinct systems through screen scraping and integrations. It enables RPA tools to execute actions like an official employee.
The bot is the fundamental unit of an RPA. Currently, there are a lot of different free bots available that offer free trials but with limited functionality (Workfusion RPA Express and UiPath Community Edition).
Robots can be accessed from the cloud or the employee’s computer. Integrations are required for your bot to work effectively with your enterprise applications.
Most bots that are sold in the market work with legacy applications (though coverage depends from vendor to vendor), such as web applications, desktop applications, and other leading enterprise software like SAP, Citrix, Java, and mainframe applications.
Programming interfaces are also needed to programme the bots using different programming interfaces (APIs) or dedicated scripting language . There are also code-free ways to program RPA bots.
Orchestration modules facilitate the management of bots enabling you to start/stop or timeline bots and analyze bot activity. The orchestrators strongly reveal any problem that the bots may encounter.
Business exception handling refers to the problems the bots can still face with the addition of new and different data, regardless of how well it’s being programmed. These exceptions are required to be quickly identified and appropriately assigned to be resolved before they can cause any delays to customers during your processes.
Bots will be integrating with legacy systems improving analytical capabilities, revealing a collection of data that may not be obtainable in other analytics modules.
How RPA is helping organizations
Here are some of the benefits organizations can achieve with RPA:
RPA increases accuracy
The RPA bots are extremely accurate, and they are not influenced by a multitude of factors that can cause human error. But all your processes and workflows must be carefully improved or optimized and error-free before automation, or the RPA software robot will replicate any mistake.
RPA enhances productivity
RPA robots are reliable, and they work tirelessly without any change in the level of their accuracy and consistency. They do not request for time off or take vacations and operate around the clock if necessary.
Based on the research made by the Information Services Group (ISG), RPA robots perform processes about five to ten minutes faster, with an average of 37% fewer resources.
RPA reduces time and saves labor
It is impossible for a human being to work as effectively, tirelessly, and efficiently as a robot. Based on the study of The National Association of Software and Services Companies, the implementation of RPA can result in a reduction of the labor cost by 35-65%, and also starts its return on investment (ROI) in as little as six months.
However, the goal of RPA is not to automate jobs but to automate tasks, allowing employees more time to focus on more essential activities.
RPA is flexible and adaptable
RPA does not require any code modifications for different applications since it can be applied to any software system. This makes it flexible and adaptable to any business. CRM, ERP, etc. are suitable applications for RPA.
It can also simultaneously work effectively across several applications that suit your specific business workflow, pattern, and processes.
How RPA Can Help In Marketing
There is no doubt that data entry is the most monotonous and dreaded task by your employees.
Although RPA can’t safeguard you from all the issues and troubles, at least it can improve processes with the ability for simple process recognition.
Also, because it can change almost any kind of text into a searchable and editable machine-encoded text, it enormously decreases the requirement for manual entry, producing quick and accurate results.
Significant data can be obtained from various sources such as operational performance datasheets, personal records, and files, which need to be consistently analyzed and integrated. The final results must be submitted to the business executives in due time.
This process involves lots of cautious processing, with proper attention to a myriad of information, which is time-consuming and tedious for employees. RPA robots can complete the work faster and accurately without any complaints.
Product categorization and inventory management
RPA robots increase speed and decrease the number of errors and mistakes made during customer-facing processes to enhance customer services and satisfaction. It also influences employees to pay more attention to critical value-adding activities that will increase employee satisfaction and business outcomes.
Executive Repetitive Tasks
The RPA robots are programmed to execute manual tasks through an interface with an application or system. They help decrease the work-load of basic, repetitive, time-consuming data entry, in which a lengthy list of records is required to be attributed to a system by stimulating human actions.
RPA enables you to grade commonly executed manual activities that follow a distinct outlined process. It improves the speed of clerical work while trying to prevent human mistakes and error that usually occurs when re-imputing the same information into various systems.
How to implement RPA
To implement RPA, you need to:
- Identify your objectives to approach RPA systematically using different models focused on implementation, training, communication and change management
- Communicate with your employees, helping them understand why a new RPA technology is being implemented and how it can help them perform better
- Decide whether or not you want to give RPA development to an implementation partner.
- Select your partners, which include RPA technology or a BPO company
- Configure and Test RPA bot
- Run a live pilot, and examine pilot results before going live
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