Forrester’s Prediction 2021 guide states that “one in every four information workers will receive help from software bots or RPA in 2021.” The demand for robotic process automation is undoubtedly on the rise, and the reason being its ability to streamline workflows and make organizations more efficient, responsive, and profitable. If you are reading this blogpost, you probably know what RPA is but are not sure how it could automate your processes and how it could optimize your business processes to achieve the best results. Through this blogpost, we will be discussing how RPA helps in transforming your legacy systems by automating the existing manual processes and boosting the efficiency of organizations.
Are My Business Processes Relevant to RPA?
RPA is a versatile technology and is leveraged by businesses across several industry verticals. While it is flexible and scalable, business leaders and decision-makers have to make informed decisions in choosing the right processes that can utilize the potential of RPA to the fullest. Some of the processes that are top candidates for RPA are as follows:
- Rule-based processes that are repetitive and high in volume
- Processes that are susceptible to human error
- Stable processes with predictable operational costs
- Processes with significant ROI
- Manual data entry
- Processes triggered by readable electronic inputs
Once the processes that are to be automated using RPA are chosen, businesses can rely on the bots to carry out their process automation initiatives successfully. So, how do these bots do it? The tasks that the bots have to perform are scheduled and assigned from a human-controlled command center. These processes could be performed in any of the following two ways.
- Defined Process Maps: The RPA software would have process maps wherein each step is documented. The bots follow these flows when they are executing the process.
- Human Observation: In this method, the robot software performs the process by observing a human performing the process and recording the keystrokes.
Once the robots learn the process, they execute them either through ‘screen scraping’ or ‘code reading.’
Processes that can be automated using RPA
There is a wide range of business processes that can be automated using RPA. Most of these processes are repetitive tasks that consume valuable time. Some of the common business processes that could be automated using RPA are:
- Sales Operations: RPA could be used to automate sales activities such as sales order entry, data invoicing, and the like. Sales reps spend a considerable amount of time ensuring data consistency and entering data into the CRM and ERP system. By automating these processes, businesses can save time and reduce human errors while ensuring improved productivity.
- Invoice Processing: Invoice processing is a critical yet tedious task for finance departments. Since these invoices arrive in different formats from vendors, finance analysts have to manually transfer them into the unified financial database system. RPA could automate the processing of invoices, including data input and error reconciliation, and thereby minimize the need for human intervention.
- HR Processes: Since businesses generate huge amounts of employee data, storing and processing them is a challenging task. Using RPA, the HR department can collect and organize all relevant information, including payroll, reimbursements, and employee history. While RPA automates these processes, the HR department can focus on improving the work culture of the organization.
- Extraction of Data from Different Sources: For a business that relies on collecting and storing a huge amount of data, RPA could be a great investment. RPA could accurately extract data from various sources and enter them into the system. As with all the other manual processes that have been earlier discussed, using RPA saves considerable time and allows data entry professionals to focus on more productive tasks.
Why should I automate using RPA?
If you are still wondering why you have to bring changes into your existing system and automate your manual processes, let’s tell you why. To automate your processes, you do not have to replace your existing IT system, as RPA can streamline your processes and automate them using your IT system. This is a major benefit for those businesses that are on the lookout for bringing in changes without disrupting their existing systems. Automating the manual processes also improves employee productivity, and by allowing them to focus on customer service, RPA brings forth a better customer experience. In addition to this, it reduces human errors and thus lowers the operation risk. Since robots cost less than a full-time employee, they enable cost savings of up to 30%. Thus by automating the rule-based, repetitive manual processes using RPA, businesses are free to focus on driving innovation in key performance areas and can accelerate their digital transformation process.