What is Robotic Process Automation?
RPA is a technology practice, governed by business logic and strategic rules, aimed at automating manual and repetitive tasks. According to the definition provided by the Institute for Robotic Process Automation & Artificial Intelligence (IRPA AI), RPA is an application procedure that allows professionals to configure robots or algorithms to capture and interpret existing applications for a multitude of tasks including processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering alerts, and facilitating communication with other systems, etc.
RPA applications range from data scraping from web browsers or any file types using OCR to generating email responses, processing claims or forms to automating jobs in an ERP system. It is a cost-effective and user-friendly solution to automate voluminous data workflows.
In fact, Everest Group, a leading global research firm, reports that companies can reduce costs by up to 65% with RPA, enabling faster and precise decision-making.
Types of RPA Bots
Attended RPA bots are virtual assistants that help users to complete an involved process in less time. They assist in front office tasks by collaborating with teams to boost productivity.
Unattended RPA bots require no human agent. The software performs automation on its own by following a rule-based process. These bots automate end-to-end back-office tasks at scale.
Why is RPA Important in the Post-COVID World?
In the current times, enterprises challenged by the pandemic are increasingly adopting RPA to meet the demands of cost reduction while improving the process quality, speed, efficiency, and productivity.
According to Gartner, 85% of enterprises will implement some form of RPA in their work processes by the end of 2022.
The research firm cites that business resilience and scalability are the key drivers for future investment. And this is the major reason for the global adoption of RPA that has led to remarkable effects on business productivity. Sectors like insurance, banking, manufacturing, retail, healthcare, telecommunications are harnessing immense benefits in terms of automating business tasks, reducing staffing costs and human errors.
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How Does RPA in Business Help?
It is imperative for businesses to evolve with technologies and accelerate growth by understanding their customer needs and market sentiments. Intelligent Automation, which extends the functionality of RPA by combining AI, Machine Learning, NLP, and Computer Vision, can help companies in data-driven decision-making for their targeted customers. Even more, depending on the industries, RPA continues to make employees or working staff more productive by improving business efficiency, reducing costs, and achieving accuracy that leads to increased business ROI.
Here are some crucial business functions where RPA is helping enterprises to tackle challenges.
Error-Free & Speedy Operations for Repetitive Tasks
Process automation can bring speed, quality, and productivity to the work. It also eliminates costly mistakes. The automated bots help businesses achieve accuracy in their operations and make repetitive tasks error-free which further improves analytics and decision making. An obvious benefit is that there will be no missing entry, mistaken information, data leakage or incorrect analytics.
Robots can help collect data in no time whereas humans take long hours repeating the same task. For instance, a leading litigation firm in the US, implemented bots that collect, manipulate, and map the data to achieve the desired accuracy, reliability, and efficiency in the overall data processing and loss analysis procedure. The organization that was once having the hard time to withstand heavy data collection & manipulation for their 150+ monitoring clients, now has reduced that 60 hours of manual work to 4 hours using UiPath automation platform.
Improved Customer Experience through Intelligent Automation
With customers reaching companies over various platforms, it becomes hard to meet evolving customer demands. However, deploying RPA can make customer service agents more productive and efficient. An RPA workflow can quickly access multiple platforms (CRM, ERP, etc.) and retrieve, analyze and process order history and other data. In this manner, customer service staff can get relieved from their repetitive and time-consuming processes and focus on elevating their skills and nurture customer relationships. With skilled customer service agents, companies can better understand their customer needs and identify the gaps from automatically generated analytics reports.
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Automated Data Extraction
If an enterprise handles voluminous data, an RPA solution can help in making sense from Big Data to unlock new ways of productivity, business growth and innovation. The automated bots can help in scrubbing data from hard copies containing handwritten texts and convert them into reusable digital assets. Web scraping using bots bridges the gap between business applications, thereby creating business values and new revenue streams. For instance, RPA software when integrated with web browsers, CSVs, databases, and Excel and even with email exchange applications outlook or Gmail, extracts, manipulates, and prepares data to make informed business decisions.
Businesses can combine RPA and Big Data technologies to identify glitches within systems and streamline operations. For example, ASTM, an International standard based organization, leveraged RPA software to convert 100+ years old technical standards written in physical form into digital assets to make consumers’ world better.
As the organization works on standards with an aim to boost quality, safety, and performance across the products & materials used in industries on a regular basis, they needed a solution to fetch the data automatically from the underlying standards to keep track the materials & practices used.
Icreon as a technology partner helped the organization to implement computer vision API (NLP algorithm) to recognize and extract data from the uploaded scanned images or files in the system. The Icreon team has built an automated web scraping rule-based framework for data extraction and a search engine to find out insights from the historical standards records. The overall process has made the information retrieval task faster from hours to few seconds and reduced their manual efforts up to 60%.
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Claims Processing Automation
Various studies in the healthcare domain estimated that the industry spends a huge amount of $2.1 billion each year on poorly handled manual tasks around data management. Similarly, insurance companies expense somewhere between $6 million to $24 million to fix errors and enhance accuracy of the provider’s data. RPA can reduce unproductive tasks and business inefficiencies by automating complex actions based on structured rules. RPA can offer a seamless execution of claims processing, billing, and new patient enrollment. The bots used for automation can streamline each step involved in claims processing – processing forms, validating eligibility, payment, etc. Moreover, the RPA process helps organizations to achieve high accuracy while eliminating the human error and makes claims processing faster.
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Boost Flexibility & Scalability Options
To stay competitive even after disruptions caused by COVID, organizations need more agility to deal with the change and extended options. RPA process offers flexibility and scalability options to adapt what the business demands now to overcome future challenges. Robotic automation can support businesses to accommodate change on the basis of selected requirements while keeping a tab on costs and process efficiency. For example, ASTM (the standards organization mentioned above in data extraction), has augmented its functionality by automating event planning for its committee members involved in creating & managing standards. The RPA process helps the organization in automating meeting planning, creation, sending invitations, and running the event marketing campaigns. The automated event management & scheduling assistant assists ASTM staff and helps the organization in reducing manual efforts required for event creation, scheduling, and sending e-mails while increasing accuracy, flexibility, and scalability.
RPA is in its Own Way to Mainstream
As organizations look for ways to achieve digital transformation, RPA implementation is a failsafe method to build greater resilience and adaptability. Using process automation and bot services, businesses can complete processes faster, with better quality, performance, scalability, and flexibility. There are many more benefits associated with RPA that help enterprises go beyond their expectations across multiple dimensions.
At Icreon, we provide complete automation strategy and consultation services that are geared towards successful outcomes. Consult with us today to reap the RPA automation benefits.