Robotic Process Automation, or RPA popularly known as a technology that helps in rule-based repetitive tasks that are usually undertaken by humans.
According to Forrester Research, RPA services and the RPA software industry will touch a combined total of $22.5 Billion by 2025
Why is RPA so powerful and promising?
RPA is powerful and promising because it offers several advantages that erstwhile technologies cannot provide. These advantages include:
RPA can automate repetitive, rule-based tasks, which leads to improved efficiency and faster completion of tasks. Faster completion of tasks directly translates into augmented efficiency. In domains like insurance and banking, this efficiency is a metric that is used to measure the success of the organization. For example, how fast does an insurance company process claims? How fast does a bank carry out income appraisals and dispatch loans to borrowers?
Measurable cost savings
RPA can reduce the need for manual labor, which can lead to significant cost savings for organizations. KPMG reports that RPA can cut down costs for financial firms by up to 75% (KPMG – Rise of the Robots).
RPA can free up employees from performing repetitive, mundane tasks, allowing them to focus on more complex and value-added activities. According to Deloitte, 95% of organizations that use RPA have witnessed a significant boost in productivity. Also, unlike human agents who are prone to fatigue, carelessness, and similar limitations that restrict their productivity. RPA software can run round-the-clock without any recess or dip in productivity.
RPA can lessen the risk of errors by automating tasks, which are prone to human error. Further, the use of text recognition, image recognition, and similar technologies ensures that there is heightened accuracy compared to human workers.
RPA can be scaled up or down easily to meet the changing requirements of an organization. Think of it as software capable of simultaneous processing. A single RPA software can handle multiple customer chats and requests, unlike a human agent who can only focus on one task at a time or maybe accommodate multi-tasking with compromised accuracy to a certain extent.
RPA can be integrated with a variety of systems, including legacy systems, making it a versatile solution for automating tasks. For example, it is possible to integrate RPA with a CRM to automate tasks such as moving leads down the sales funnel, setting up follow-up meetings, and so on. The options are endless when it comes to automating tasks with RPA.
RPA can run 24/7 which can help organizations to automate tasks that need to be done continuously. They can work as an always-available live agent on a website live chat without break or without the distinction of day or night. This leads to a tangible improvement in customer service and engagement.
RPA can help organizations to comply with legal and regulatory requirements by automating compliance-related tasks. It can highlight any transaction which might be flouting compliance or a statute. It can help ensure that human workers are not transacting legally barred transactions even by mistake.
Automated data entry
RPA can automate data entry, data validation, and data reconciliation, which can help organizations to have accurate and up-to-date data. This is typically useful in scenarios where there are large volumes of data to be entered into the system from manual records. For example, digitization of historical bank records, reading texts from images, QR code scanning, etc.
The several tasks that RPA can do
RPA is proven to be capable of handling tasks with the same (if not better) accuracy and efficiency as humans. Here are some tasks that RPA can undertake:
RPA can automate tasks such as document scanning, data extraction, and invoice processing. It can also retrieve data from physical records and create leaned copies that make data legible and easy to consume. Given the scale and pace at which it can perform, it is considered to be superior to human workers.
RPA can automate tasks such as email sorting, email categorization, and email response. This serves greatly those who are working in customer service and support where email volumes are significantly higher and time-sensitive in nature.
RPA can automate tasks such as answering customer inquiries, providing product or service information, and troubleshooting. Chatbots and live website chats are classic examples of RPA in action for customer service.
RPA can automate tasks such as order processing, inventory management, and shipping and receiving. Although not automated, RPA can quicken the supply chain by eliminating the need for human workers to work on rule-based tasks.
RPA can automate tasks such as account reconciliation, compliance reporting, and financial forecasting. Since these processes are largely rule-based and are driven by logic, RPAs save a lot of time for accountants and financial analysts.
RPA can automate tasks such as software testing, data backup and recovery, and system monitoring. The system may have to be trained and programmed in the beginning, like setting up the dates or threshold limits when data backup should be initiated, scenarios when a recovery process must be put in place, etc.
For almost a century, manufacturing has remained a physical activity done with the strength of the human brain and brawn. However, with the advent of smart factory floors and the Internet of Things, automation has seeped into manufacturing as well. RPA, which is on the software side of automation, can easily automate tasks such as quality control, production planning, and inventory management in manufacturing.
The healthcare industry is at a tipping point where technology has made it possible to provide superior healthcare to patients in myriad forms. There are IoT-based wearables that do not make it possible to gather more patient data on a real-time basis. There are also ERP systems that allow healthcare organizations to manage patient data in an efficient manner. However, RPA’s strength lies in managing all of these and also in taking care of repetitive tasks such as scheduling appointments, managing patient records, and processing insurance claims.
Bringing it all together
As the future inches closer, most of the rule-based repetitive tasks that humans do today will be taken over by automation. RPA, which is placed at the heart of automation, will help in freeing up valuable time and resources for higher-level tasks across all industries and functions.
However, the future of RPA is not just about the automation of tasks, but also about the augmentation of human capabilities, allowing us to reach new heights of productivity and efficiency.
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