What is RPA and what organizations are using it the most?
AI Chatbots and RPA operate hand-in-glove – here is what you need to know prior to implementation.
Businesses and organizations are embracing the most recent newcomer to the world of automation, RPA or robotic process automation. RPA is similar to the other processes of automation and is the software technology created to take-over tedious desktop tasks, allowing employers to focus on other pressing matters and to develop their skills in other areas that can be beneficial to their organization.
In the fast-growing segment of the global software market, RPA is one of the most cost-efficient and efficient ways to automate the tasks of the modern business. As we seek to make world-class chatbots that are cooler, smarter and way more effective – RPA is just one ace up our sleeves that works remarkably well.
What is RPA?
Put simply, RPA is a tool aimed at automating the business process and operates on the user interface (UI) level of an IT system. RPA tools can be configured to collect data, process transactions, communicate with other digital systems and even respond to emails. Thousands of bots can be deployed and each can be allocated tasks within an enterprise resource planning system (ERP).
So what are the benefits of implementing RPA?
The bots operating an RPA system provide organizations with the opportunity to reduce their running costs and to decrease the possibilities of human error. Besides undertaking the completion of repetitive and time consuming tasks, RPA effectively improves customer satisfaction.
Implementing RPA requires a company to leverage AI with it. This forces them to clearly define governance procedures, which in turn allows for faster internal reporting. Internal processes are markedly improved.
One of the most important benefits of implementing an RPA bot is that there is no need for a company to replace an existing IT system. RPA controls the existing one in a similar way that an employee would do, implementing the necessary changes.
Repeated processes that are clearly defined and documented are best suited to the implementation of RPA. Their rule-based function can help to organize the automation of numerous processes.
Relatively cheap to integrate, RPA can also be injected with cognitive technologies; these include machine learning (ML), speech recognition and natural language processing (NLP), so that they can undertake more perceptual tasks.
What organizations use RPA the most?
Financial services firms were the forerunners in realizing the benefits of RPA and embraced it to facilitate their business processes in a cost effective way. Healthcare, retail and human resources companies have also espoused robotic process automation to ease the workload of employees and improve the quality of their services. With huge enterprises like Walmart, American Express Global Business Travel, Deutsche Bank, and Vanguard adopting RPA, they are leading the way and showing smaller enterprises that they can also benefit from the technology. In Chatbots for banking, we provide several more examples of how to opt for success instead of failure when implementing AI bots in finance.
However nowadays, everyone wants a scaled advantage and no industry is left untouched by RPA, as I will explain below with various examples:
RPA in Financial Industries
The processes that can be automated in the financial sectors reach almost 45%, because of the important role that data processing plays for them. These industries also include banks and insurance companies and the constant changes in regulations can be quickly taught to the bots in a centralized way, making then easy to implement. They automate processes like sales, underwriting, policy servicing, claims processing and financing tasks like daily reconciliations.
RPA for Utilities Companies
These include telecom and energy where the possibilities for automation also reach almost 45%. These enterprises are run on subscriptions and their payment and customer service processes are easy to automate.
RPA is invaluable to retail companies like Walmart, ASDA, Tesco and even smaller retailers, who have implanted it to undertake tasks like answering employee questions and retrieving other useful information.
Automating processes like airline ticket cancelations and issuing refunds are areas where RPA are helping these enterprises to offer high-level customer service. The possibilities for implementation are numerous for the industry since they can automate expense management tasks, recommendations for rebooking in the event of airport shutdowns and many more.
Healthcare services deal with a huge number of daily visitors and patient processing. This requires a huge amount of manpower and RPA software can keep track of patient details, including re-visits and medications prescribes.
The logistics of moving wares around the globe has increased over the years, especially as e-commerce continues to grow. Automation with RPA allows shipments to be tracked continuously until they have arrived and also facilitates other necessary processes.
What RPA tools are available?
There are two major types of RPA tools available that can cover the automation of an organization. Additionally these can be enhanced with cognitive automation capabilities.
Programmable RPA: These are installed by programmers who code a set of rules that administer how the RPA will function and are used for complex unattended tasks, making them the most used RPA tools.
No code RPA: No programmer is needed but the automation process still needs to be analyzed through the visual interface and macro recording.
What processes can RPA automate in organizations?
The types of processes that RPA can automate are numerous and depend on the type of tasks that an organization needs to automate.
Web Site Scraping: Data collection is an integral part of most businesses and RDA can find the specific information of interest, summarize it and store it for later use. Some examples of the type of websites that can be scraped for information include commodities trading, stock trading, futures trading and even media sites.
Order Processing: Data entering processes for e-commerce websites often need to be transferred to actual warehouses for processing and they are also recorded in inventories for future references. The RPA system ensures the automated process from end-to-end, eliminating any errors that can occur from a manual system.
Incoming E-mail processing: Organizations that need to process thousands of emails hugely benefit from RPA. The process can segregate e-mails according to groups where the RPA can respond to common queries, whereas critical ones can be passed onto the personnel qualified to handle them.
Data management: Finding the time to manage data is almost impossible during the course of the working day and most organizations benefit from RPA. Backups and restorations can be automated and the whole process can be monitored by the RPA.
Call center use: Keeping track of customer information on one single screen is invaluable to call centers. The RPA can do this through the website scraping and the information can be manipulated for the call center executive, by providing him with only the important details.
Payroll processing: this is a huge time-saver from manual monthly intervention and eliminates the need for hand-written timesheets and calculations.
There are fears that RPA will lead to redundancies are an incentive for employers to encourage their employees to up-skill so that they can continue to offer their organizations invaluable services in other areas that don’t require automated tasks. These are fears are probably overblown given the high levels of employment we currently face in many developed countries.
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