RPA (Robotic Process Automation) is the process of automating tasks across various platforms. It communicates with live IT architecture and doesn’t need complex system incorporation. The main aim of RPA is to move the execution of tasks from human labor to software bots.
In order to grow and expand, businesses have to adjust to the dynamic and changing environment by evolving their processes, products and services constantly. Due to these constant changes, they’re often still dependent on outdated and disconnected systems as a result of budgeting, schedule issues and difficulty in the implementation of the latest technology.
To bridge the gap between the systems and processes and successfully map their technical processes together, many businesses end up hiring more staff or training their existing workforce- both of which consume a lot of time and money. This is exacerbated by any future changes in the business process that require further hiring and re-training.
Using RPA technology, businesses can install software bots to imitate their human workforce. For constantly shifting and evolving processes, a few changes in the software coding will prove to be quicker and more cost-effective than hiring and retraining staff. RPA bots can multitask well, work continuously round the clock and are free of human error.
RPA implementation methodology
The RPA implementation methodology is as follows:
The planning phase involves setting up a project team and finalizing timelines and approach, solution designs and logging mechanisms to find issues with running bots and define a clear roadmap.
The next phase is to initiate the development of the automation workflow as per the set plan. The implementation process generally faster as it involves the usage of wizards.
Running of RPA test cycles helps in identifying and correcting errors for in scope automation.
Support and maintenance
This process focuses on providing continuous support even after they go live and helps in the instant resolution of errors.
Four steps to implementing RPA
Once a business decides to adopt RPA technology, it will have to go through several implementation phases. The overall time of implementation will depend on the culture of the business and its administration.
1. Identify processes
Implementation begins with identifying and assessing the processes that can be automated with the RPA technology. At this stage, the business will have to assess the below sub-phases:
- Locate the system used to perform the tasks
- Collate and create log data for analysis
- Utilize data algorithms to initiate processes
- Certify and verify the processes
The identification phase is complete when the team along with the process owners then review and analyze the performance baseline and models through a quick review cycle.
After identifying the process, the workable outputs are used by the business to determine the processes eligible for the initial POC. A POC is an important move that helps business operations to get accustomed to the new technology.
Once the process is identified, the team moves forward to create the initial business cases and project statement, which should involve the IT resources of both parties.
Based on POC, an expandable Operational Model and Centre of Excellence (COE) is developed to recognize the roles and responsibilities for the POC
Once the formation of RPA has been constructed, the next sub-step will be to implement the POC in the following approach.
- Create a plan, solution design, and project approach.
- Test the bots created by the POC and observe the outputs.
- Filter the deliverables after the work for the POC is completed.
The deployment phase is all about concentration on the overall deployment of a full-scale pilot project. In order to have a successful development environment, the establishment of the RPA Center of Excellence (COE) and an internal delivery team is vital.
Facilitating the COE requires anchoring the teachings from the POC as well as the selecting and upskilling of the key members of the RPA process. It’s also a good practice to set up systems for computing and observing the pilots.
After the deployment of the COE, the next step is to carry out the pilot project with the inclusion of the below stages:
- Determine the processes in scope
- Plan the future state
- Developing bots
- Create handover plans
- Deployment of the pilot
- Observing pilot performance
4. Launch RPA
After the determined processes have been successfully deployed, the next step is to introduce and enable the RPA bots. In turn, this will provide the highest ROI.
The COE facilitates the setup of the required control to supervise the automation program and assist the RPA drive. After the launch of the RPA project, the next step would be:
- Prioritize the remaining processes
- Scale-up multiple RPA projects
- Establish an RPA control model
- Create RPA best practices
- Ongoing improvement
8 Benefits of RPA
The RPA technology facilitates a boost in productivity. As employees are now free of tedious and mundane tasks, it saves a lot of their productive time and they get to focus better on the clients and their requirements. It also helps the employee to pay better attention to tasks that require human interactions such as relationship management and customer interactions, thus making the employee more productive. And as we all know, businesses with happy clients and customers grow and prosper.
Unlike humans, software bots don’t need to take breaks. In the same way, they don’t take leave and have no chance of falling ill. They can function day in and day out on a repeated basis throughout the year. A single bot can perform the tasks of one or more than one employee task at any given time. With RPA, these bots are capable of performing more work at the same time or the same work in less time.
In RPA technology, access to data is well documented and controlled, so there’s no chance of data leakage. The RPA implementation doesn’t demand the elimination of the human workforce. However, it requires employees who can handle the systems that include humans and machines. It’s secured and doesn't hinder the inbuilt systems. It also provides consistency while performing the tasks across various stages.
RPA allows businesses to acquire information about the executed such as errors and exceptions, volume pattern and cycle times. The perception gained can help in process improvement initiatives. When gathering, comparing and differentiating data is done efficiently, it enhances the quality of analytics in the process and facilitates good decision making. Streamlining processes will enhance efficiency and lead to an overall improvement of process execution.
RPA technology can help lower the cost of operations to a considerable extent. It also helps in recovering the cost within a short period. These software bots can operate continuously daily and throughout the year without taking breaks or vacations, unlike humans. Handing over a section of the manual tasks to the software bots could prove to be advantageous to the business.
6. Customer satisfaction
With the implementation of RPA technology, where the manual and mundane tasks are handed down to the software bot, employees can focus more on providing improved customer service and meeting the demand. The analytical reports generated using RPA will help them better to understand the customer requirements. Providing quality work and enhanced customer service will lead to a high rate of client satisfaction and expansion of the customer base.
The RPA process is flexible and capable of executing several tasks and adapting to the demands of the moment. Software bots are accommodative of time and task-specific requirements, hence even small businesses can adopt the RPA technology to help in managing and coping up with unpredictable and constantly changing market demands.
8. Quality and accuracy
Accuracy and quality go hand in hand. RPA technology aids in boosting the processes of the business by considerably increasing accuracy by eliminating the possibility of human error. The software bots are consistent, dependable and don’t complain of continuous workload. Tasks are completed without human error and the need for re-work drops drastically. This improves the overall quality of the process.
Application of RPA in various industries
RPA can be applied in businesses of all sizes and industries to automate the tasks across the various systems and eliminate human error. Here are a few examples:
The ability of RPA in handling a huge volume of data makes it well suited for the telecommunications industry. RPA aids in FCR (Firs-call resolution) by enabling the bot to access data quickly and address the demands of the customer without multiple follow-ups, thus ensuring customer loyalty and retention. RPA also helps the telecom industry in reducing costs and increasing the ROI.
The cost of implementing RPA isn’t as high as other processes and an RPA license can be used across various platforms and multiple processes. Its ability to automate the back-end processes and perform redundant tasks helps employees focus on more important tasks.
The customer care industry is data-driven; important and evaluative data of the customers is collected and a proper perception is gained from it. RPA helps in automating this entire process, thus saving valuable time and helping to better serve customers.
RPA also decreases the cost of operation by undertaking and automating the redundant task as a minimum workforce would be engaged in the process. It aids in obtaining accurate workflows as it involves fewer human interactions, and as the redundant tasks are taken over by the software bots, the accuracy increases overall and eliminates additional costs. Based on the data gained, it also helps in providing personalized services to the customer thus leading to customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Implementation of RPA in the banking industry helps in saving operational and labor costs. It also significantly helps in reducing errors and human tasks and thus reducing the turnaround time.
RPA aids the banking industry in onboarding customers, verifying customer details, credit card and mortgage processing, enabling KYC and compliance.
RPA technology can also be used in automating the entire process of account payable and closures.
The biggest contribution of RPA in the banking industry is how it can control fraud detection. It helps in identifying and flagging the prospective and unrealized fraud beforehand. The banks can then scan these accounts and launch a fraud investigation.
It can also be used in sending automated notifications to customers.
The insurance industry uses RPA in various processes such as processing claims, form registration process and risk mitigation, where gathering relative data and automating mundane tasks is very crucial.
Using RPA, the registration process can be quickened, significantly reducing the workload and ensuring customer satisfaction. Processing of claims also takes place at a faster pace as it eliminates the paper-based processes and improves the quality and accuracy of the whole process.
It also aids the banks in ensuring the clients are following various compliance standards and policies by making use of automated notifications and updates.
RPA benefits in the mitigation of risk factors by accurately scrutinizing and processing the data from the internal as well as an external source.
The health care industries are focusing on efficiency and cost reduction with the increasing volume of patients. As RPA eliminates the need to work for performing repetitive and mundane tasks, this facilitates the workforce on focusing more on core activities.
It also helps the healthcare personnel to tackle a huge volume of patients thus resulting in providing individual and attention.
Maintenance of the medical records of the patients, entry processing, claim processing can also be automated by implementing the RPA technology.