‘Robots’ – they’re talked about everywhere; sci-fi thrillers, books, comics and have always managed to hold our fascination. The good news is that they’re no longer a distant reality thanks to rapid technological evolution. From the creation of Unimate back in 1954, the world’s first digitally operated robot that was used to lift hot metal pieces, to Atlas, an advanced humanoid with human-like agility and strength, we’ve certainly come a long way. It’s not just the physical capabilities that we’ve conquered, rather our progress in the field of robotics and AI has given rise to a revolution that can transform the way businesses work, and help them perform better in a dynamic, hyper-competitive world. We’re referring to the much talked about Robotic Process Automation (RPA) or in other words software ‘robots’ that work with digital systems.
What is RPA?
Robotic Process Automation is a form of technology that’s aimed at automating business processes by configuring software or a metaphorical ‘robot’ to capture, emulate and integrate the actions of humans communicating with digital systems to execute a process. This technology is governed by predefined business logic and structured inputs, that allow the robot to execute the task automatically. The robots manipulate data, trigger responses, interact with systems and automate a wide variety of repetitive tasks. They not only replicate human actions but also do it several times better, as RPA software robots don’t make errors nor get tired.
To put it simply, you can think of RPA as a digital or virtual worker who executes mundane, repetitive tasks and is governed by you.
What does RPA do?
Often, your employees might be wrestling with what’s known as the swivel-chair work. Clicking on multiple systems, sourcing data from one place, placing it in another, performing actions on the data, logging it and much more; they keep swiveling their chair from one system to another to get thejob done. Your employees might actually be stuck four to five hours a day with these tedious, boring swivel tasks. That’s time you can use to engage them in other productive tasks that can yield considerable returns for your business. This is where RPA steps in! By helping you automate these mundane tasks, you end up freeing your employees to carry out more meaningful work that adds value to your enterprise.
How does RPA help enterprises?
By automating tasks with RPA, a business can direct the workforce towards critical functions that require human intelligence, save costs, improve productivity, minimize errors and improve overall efficiency. Reports indicate that RPA can help execute business processes five to ten times faster with at least a 37% reduction in resources. Since it first burst into the emerging tech space, RPA has evolved considerably and is capable of accomplishing a wide variety of tasks. But does your business really need it?
Here are some signs that your business does need RPA:
- Most of your business processes are ridden with human errors
- You’re always a few days behind when it comes to the work
- You still rely on legacy systems to get the job done
- Your employees rarely involve in strategy or innovative thinking
- Process bottlenecks are self-evident
- There are tasks that require a high level of compliance and auditability
- Most of your employees complain that the work is monotonous and repetitive
Benefits of using Robotic Process Automation in your business:
- Fewer errors, increased accuracy
To err is human, and there’s always a room for mistakes in work, especially when it entails cumbersome, boring and laborious processes. With RPA, you get the power to eliminate errors and bring accuracy across your chain of operations. As long as the underlying logic and rules are correct and the processes have been mapped accordingly, you’ll never have to worry about a robot making a mistake.
- Optimize resource use
How well are you using the talent within your enterprise? If most of your employees’ time is consumed by tedious tasks, are you really exploring their full potential? RPA can turn it all around by taking away the bulk of the mundane work and allowing you to utilize your resources optimally. As the non-core tasks are handled by a robot, your employees are free to handle critical tasks, involve in innovation and work better towards improving business outcomes.
- No downtime
The best part about implementing RPA in your enterprise is that software robots can work 24/7, at 100% capacity without taking holidays, sleeping, or needing sick leaves. There’s never an unproductive day with bots around! With bots taking over a chunk of work, it only relieves your employees of the unnecessary burden and helps them strike a balance between work and life.
- Increased productivity
Robots don’t stop, and they work at a much faster rate, thereby getting more work done! For instance, the creation of a weekly report can take 5 hours manually. But with a robot’s help to quickly pull up data, navigate through different systems and to do the math, this can be accomplished in less than 20 minutes. It makes your employees’ work easier, naturally boosting the organization’s productivity.
- Scaling up made easy
Meeting the unpredictably evolving market needs might be tricky. What if it becomes too much to handle? How will you sustain it? With Robotic Process Automation, there’s a simple solution; you simply add more bots to share the load. RPA can support the business in adapting to the growing requirements and help you scale up in a hassle-free manner.
- Empower your workforce
Contrary to popular belief, robots aren’t taking away jobs, rather they’re making jobs easier. The lesser the burden, the more work they get done, and the happier your workforce. Studies have shown that when employees perform meaningful work their satisfaction levels increase. A direct benefit of increased employee satisfaction is high morale levels, which in turn means that your employees don’t feel the need to switch jobs and attrition rates are kept to a minimum.
- No training time
Once the logic is defined and the programming is in place, you’re good to go! The robots get to work from day one. On the other hand, training a human worker on the same processes and tasks might cost you time, money and the efforts of your existing employees who’d rather be spending their time on crucial tasks than on training new hires.
- Better analytics
RPA helps companies see through data and get actionable insights! From work volume to cycle time, they gather data that can be analyzed and used to support several process improvements by determining various gaps and streamlining it to improve efficiency. It also supports a wider scope of data collection wherever it isn’t feasible for humans. This means that you can focus more on using the data to derive insights and drive better decisions.
- Enhanced security
There’s always a certain amount of risk associated with letting human employees handle data. True, most employees work with the best interest of the organization, but what’s also true is that data breaches and leaks most often originate internally. Bots neither understand the meaning or the value of the data they work with, thereby protecting the confidential information of your clients/vendors. The data is well controlled, documented and the chances of a breach are significantly reduced.
- Lower costs
One of the most obvious business impacts of implementing RPA is a reduction in costs. You use fewer resources for the same job, there’s also no setbacks due to human errors, plus you also witness an improvement in productivity that can significantly enhance your revenue and business outcomes.
RPA in action:
As per a BusinessWire report, a growing Scandinavian logistics company used RPA to transform their enterprise. The results were phenomenal. They managed to speed up customer order processing by a whopping 89% and achieved a 15% ROI within two months of automating one of their processes. This is just one of the many examples of what RPA can accomplish! From the insurance sector to automotive, no matter what the industry or the size of the business, you can achieve tangible results with Robotic Process Automation.
How to get started with RPA?
Perhaps due to its novelty, many assume that infusing RPA into business operations might be demanding, time-consuming and require an overhaul of complete systems and processes. But that’s not the case! To enable RPA, you don’t have to invest in new expensive IT infrastructure as it can sit alongside your existing setup and integrate seamlessly with your prevailing policies and systems. So, implementing it is far easier than you thought.
Before you begin, understand your needs and set clear expectations on what you hope to achieve with RPA. You also need to factor in the people impact. Any change you introduce in your organization can have a direct impact on your people. Prepare them in advance and plan how you’ll utilize your resources ahead of RPA implementation. Then, set up the tech team for the job. While RPA can be easy to implement, it’s certainly not something you can do yourself. Rope in RPA companies who specialize in the field. Post-implementation, you need to set up an RPA control center to keep a tab on any hiccups affecting the performance and a CoE to make improvements continually. Measure business impact and keep updating and upgrading the systems to get the best out of RPA!
The time is NOW!
How do you know if it’s time to put RPA on your roadmap? As the next big thing in digital transformation, RPA can deliver powerful outcomes and transform organizations from being manpower-driven to technology-centric. With the enterprise RPA market growing at a rapid rate since its nascent stages, it is predicted that it will hit $3 billion in 2021. Forrester estimates that there will be more than 4 million robots by 2021 handling office, administrative work, sales, and related tasks. You can’t take a wait-and-see approach with RPA, because adoption is rising fast. At this pace, it’s not long before RPA achieves a near-universal adoption. So, don’t sit back! The time to act is now!
Don’t know how to get started? Let us help! At Vuram, we have over 50 RPA consultants who can work with cutting-edge tools and technologies such as BluePrism, UiPath, Automation Anywhere among others! Talk to us today to avail our RPA solutions or send us your requirements on email@example.com and we’ll get in touch with you.