It’s long been the goal of workplace innovation to relieve humans of drudgery. Robotic process automation (RPA) represents one more step in that journey.
RPA use cases examples demonstrate that RPA can assume the mundane repetitive tasks that human office workers generally dislike. The increasing adoption of RPA continues throughout varied industries as business owners recognize the inherent value of using RPA.
The Role of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in Business Efficiency
RPA simply functions many times faster than any human could ever work. The improvement will differ depending on the complexity of the task. But it’s conceivable that RPA could finish in minutes what would require your staff all day to complete.
Speed and Accuracy
The increase in speed could mean keeping your company’s databases up-to-date with the latest information rather than having a 24-hour lag period. It could also result in shipping client orders faster.
Even the most focused human will make errors when entering data. And the likelihood of mistakes increases the more often humans reenter that data into numerous databases or in multiple locations within the same database.
Traditionally, companies have used to verify entries. But errors can also escape the notice of veteran quality control experts.
In stark contrast, RPA doesn’t make data entry errors. It can’t. It can only enter the source data. When RPA eliminates human error it saves not only time but money.
Availability and Reliability
RPA is also available around the clock. The process can take place at your convenience. This could eliminate the need to use late-night staffers to accomplish tasks that can only be done after standard business hours.
Like all robotic programs, RPA will never miss work due to an illness, a personal issue, or transportation problem. It will be available for work regardless of whether your city is in the middle of a snowstorm, heatwave, flood, earthquake, or hurricane.
Relieves Staff of Mundane Tasks
RPA examples aren’t necessarily illustrating how to eliminate jobs. Instead, automated process examples can show how to increase efficiency by giving your staff time to perform more interesting tasks.
Repetitive duties can lead to worker dissatisfaction and high turnover. On the other hand, mentally challenging and creative assignments may foster a happier work environment for everyone.
Understanding RPA: What it is and How it Works
RPA is technology that uses software robots or bots to perform repetitive computer tasks that otherwise would be done by humans. Businesses use RPA to accomplish complete assignments rather than one or two steps.
Performs Complete Tasks
To get a better idea of the difference, think of Microsoft Excel. Even a beginner can program a formula on an Excel spreadsheet to calculate the total for a column of prices. That’s the equivalent of one or two steps.
In contrast, RPA might calculate the total, transfer the total to a contact management system, draft and send an email bearing the total, and update all other relevant company databases. The entire task is done without human intervention.
RPA bots are not intelligent in the sense that can make decisions on their own. Each RPA task is predictable and so are the individual steps within that task.
RPA responds to clear, simple directions found in its programming. The bot will only perform the function stipulated by its program.
The number of RPA bots in operation can grow along with the company. You may experiment with using RPA to ease a bottleneck on the front end of your business, such as entering customer information into multiple databases.
Later, you might see the benefit of using another bot to help with the back-end of your operation.
It’s not uncommon to have dozens of bots operating simultaneously.
Industry Transformations: How RPA is Revolutionizing Diverse Sectors
(itransition)One of the beauties of RPA is its adaptability for a number of business settings. The technology is key in the digital transformation of many industries. Let’s look at some robotic process automation examples.
Juggling appointments and cancellations can consume much of a healthcare administration’s time. RPA can perform all the entries, delete cancelled appointments, reschedule postponements, estimate the length of a visit, and send notices to the doctors and their patients.
RPA speeds up the delivery of freight in the automotive industry. RPA can quickly choose the best carrier, best route, confer with the customer, and book the delivery.
Banks use RPA to satisfy federal and international guidelines against money laundering. The Know-Your-Customer process collects necessary information about the account holder and runs a background check.
However, KYC procedures can require interacting with many systems. RPA can take over that task, never tiring of how many times it must replicate an entry for yet another computer system.
RPA is also at work when someone applies for a credit card or loan. Often pertinent information comes from a multiple sources such as landlords, utilities, previous employees, and so forth.
RPA can corral all relevant data then enter it into the required format in the correct databases. The increased speed of data entry means the application can be accepted or rejected in a fraction of the traditional time.
A Real-Life Use Case: An Example of RPA Applications in the Workplace
Financial giant JP Morgan Chase contacted an RPA services company when it wanted to optimize the time spent preparing commercial loans. The consultants used RPA driven by machine learning to research, select, and analyze the appropriate data.
How well did the digitization program work? Each year, Chase estimates that, before the transformation, its employees spent 360,000 hours doing repetitive tasks associated with commercial loans. After switching to RPA, the bank completed a year’s worth of human effort in seconds.
The Future of RPA: Anticipating Trends and Evolving Applications
Companies are using RPA in a procedure called process mining to find overlooked avenues where it can employ additional RPA. During process mining, RPA locates the bottlenecks where human interaction is slowing production. Businesses can then turn over those tasks to RPA, removing the data traffic jam.
Artificial intelligence is already using RPA in ways that expand the use of RPA. For example, chatbots use AI to respond to customer inquiries then uses RPA to complete predictable tasks.
Expect greater integration of RPA and AI as the use of AI gains wider acceptance. You might think of AI as the brain and RPA as the arms that AI can use to accomplish its mission.
It’s inevitable that as RPA continues to gain ground, the number of low-level repetitive human tasks will shrink in the workplace. Workers will be available to tackle more cognitively demanding assignments.
For a long time, office work has mirrored factory jobs. Tapping a computer key repetitively all day isn’t much different than tightening the same bolt for eight hours. RPA will make such mind numbing tasks rarer and rarer.