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What is Robotic Process Automation?

Simply said, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) uses software robots to automate business processes. RPA technology is a platform that enables you to build, deploy and manage software bots that can imitate human action by interacting with digital systems using interfaces designed for people. Actions include navigating systems; understanding what is on the screen; completing keystrokes; extracting and inserting data; and performing defined actions.

RPA bots mimic human interaction with computer interfaces to make processes more efficient.

The use of software robots removes the need to spend time on routine, repetitive, data-heavy processes that impact employees workload. By removing the need to do these tasks, staff are now able to focus on the more important, productive tasks that may have been put aside for administration.

PwC estimate that 45% of work activities could be automated.  This shows robotic process automation (RPA) is an opportunity to improve the accuracy and timeliness of nearly half of the business processes within an organisation, why not take advantage of RPA?

In this context, when we say general business, we mean it in the sense that these departments are present in organisations across industries. This will insight will be looking at the applications of robotic process automation in some of the base level departments necessary to keep any organisation running: finance, sales, HR, and operations.

How to set up effective robotic process automation?

When looking at the uses of robotic process automation (RPA) in general business, you need to identify what the pains of the organisation are. There is no point in just trying to see where RPA can fit in, as most likely these won’t be the most beneficial areas. By actually exploring existing processes or talking to various departments and workers, you can understand the parts of the business that could genuinely be improved upon.

To add to this, it is important to note that what works for one business might not work for another. By looking at what other organisations are doing, you may get inspiration of where to start with robotic process automation (RPA), but organisations should do their own investigations into use cases. Without finding the specific business needs of your organisation, you will not be able to get the full potential out of RPA to create genuine change and efficiency.

Responsiv offer free process discovery workshops as a way to help businesses assess their existing processes and improve upon inefficiencies. Building on this, we also help identify the processes that fit the criteria for automation and run through how this would be done. To find out more, contact us today! 

What is RPA used for?

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How to get started with RPA in Finance?

The Return on Investment (ROI) for RPA is weeks or months compared to other software types which could be years

Financially, there are many benefits to RPA. The Return on Investment (ROI) for RPA is weeks or months compared to other software types which could be years – the changes are immediate if done efficiently.

However, looking specifically at finance departments, the use of RPA go beyond simply saving money. The ability to create reports across departments quickly and error free is now a possibility – no more waiting for department heads to complete a report that is already 3 weeks out of date. Collaboration and data sharing is made easier with RPA.

Order and invoice processing is another process that can be optimised by RPA. By streamlining the processing of documentation and the communication of relevant people, orders and payments can be made more efficient.

Specifically, RPA bots can insert and extract the appropriate data into/from invoices or documents to speed up the buying/selling experience. By having access to accounting systems, the bots can ensure that the payments are accurately recorded. Once this is done, alerts can be sent to the people monitoring and part of the payment process so they know when action is needed beyond the natural process.

How to get started with RPA in Sales?

Like with other departments, administrative work takes up time to the point where it becomes avoided. RPA could prevent data loss by automatically entering customer data and communications into the CRM system. This frees up the sales team to focus on making sales over entering correspondences and contact information repeatedly.

Automation can also track prospect engagement, so you know exactly how valuable a lead is:

Collaboration between sales and marketing to determine lead quality can also be made easier through robotic process automation (RPA). Eliminate the time taken to qualify a lead by allowing a bot to do it for you. This allows your sales and marketing teams to focus more on following up with the valuable leads and making sales.

How to get started with RPA in Operations?

Operational productivity can be increased with the use of robotic process automation (RPA). As mentioned earlier, collaboration across departments can be improved by using bots to access different systems and generating reports. This can be used to ensure that business operations are running as optimally as possible and finding where bottlenecks and inefficiencies may be occurring. RPA removes risks in data handling that may arise from manual input and usage, as well as other risks that are involved in business operations.

The main point to consider for how robotic process automation (RPA) can help business operations, is that it makes management of processes, resources, and employees easier. RPA can be used to compile reports and highlight trends in requirements across an organisation so you can properly allocate and redistribute resources where necessary.

How to get started with RPA in Human Resources (HR)?

UiPath estimate that ‘93% of HR employee’s time is spent on repetitive tasks’, and that ‘65% of HR rule-based processes are suitable for automation technologies’. These included processes such as onboarding and offboarding, compliance and reporting, and payroll. Again, by automating these repetitive, data heavy processes, you can increase productivity and allow workers to focus on the tasks that do require human attention.

RPA can be used to process documentation and collect relevant information from various systems. This is useful in a number of cases, including the on/offboarding of employees and recruitment. Bots can ensure that records and systems are kept up to date with live information on workers, eliminating data entry errors or misinformation (gaps in data, etc.).

Bots can also scan and process applications to find those who qualify or meet the criteria for a job spec and remove the applicants who don’t. This saves time for the recruiters, as they no longer have to dredge through numerous CVs just to see who qualifies, rather you can get straight onto contacting the applicants for interviews.

What’s next?

RPA can be used for general business optimisation in a variety of beneficial ways. In this context, the meaning of general business if the base level departments and processes required for every organisation in any industry to function. Therefore, these uses can be applied to any business.

These are just a few examples of potential applications of RPA, but there are many more that can be found by evaluating your specific organisation.

To find out how RPA can benefit your organisation contact Responsiv.

Zoe Whyte
Zoe Whyte
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