Gone are the days when automation meant something farfetched typically portrayed on the silver screen. In fact, automation is no longer even a buzzword and has found its way into almost every walk of life. Although, even today, there are certain qualms associated with the word amidst the labor force, automation plays an increasingly important role in organizations.
Before envisaging an automated replacement of an existing system or even considering the adoption of an automation strategy, there are few important aspects one must be aware about. Automation is not just about automating simple tasks but also involves automating high-volume, repetitive tasks that typically require humans to perform – Robotic Process Automation
This article attempts to help organizations identify and make the most out of processes that bode well with automation.
A report by Grand View Research reveals that the RPA market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 40.6% between 2020 and 2027. It continues to gain momentum across diverse industries, including healthcare, insurance, finance, logistics, retail, business processes, IT support processes, remote infrastructure, and back-office work. There is a good chance that RPA will achieve universal adoption in the coming years.
A survey showed that 98% of people agreed that technology is critical for success and vital for their jobs. Employees prefer systems that can be quickly updated and operate across different customer touchpoints and channels that connect everything across the complicated landscape. It has been said that a key component triggering the Great Resignation can be attributed to the failure to provide these features to empower the workforce.
If your answer to most of these questions is positive, it is time to take your next step in your digital transformation journey. Before we decode the different processes that thrive when automated, let us look at some key characteristics that work best when automated.
Typically, RPA is best suited for monotonous tasks. By automating repetitive and monotonous tasks, employees can divert their entire focus toward more productive tasks. Extended monotony can lead to a state of atrophy of the workforce's potential.
It isn't uncommon for an organization to burn up most of their daily productive bandwidth in administrative and other menial tasks. In such scenarios, to boost productivity, such processes can be automated.
Tasks like extracting data, transferring them around, making entries in multiple fields, sorting, cross verifying, and ensuring timely updating of data don't require any actual human intervention or decision making. Such tasks can be easily carried out based on predefined rules. Surprisingly, such back-office tasks approximately consume between 50% to 80% of the time.
Let us consider the example of a bank statement reconciliation task typically marred with complex spreadsheets and stubborn legacy systems holding sensitive information. Comparing internal records with the bank statements to ensure that there are no discrepancies becomes unwieldly tedious, lengthy, and slow. The manual system involving extracting data from bank statements and uploading them into the ERP is often error-ridden and vulnerable to fraud if some employees are scrupulous in hiding any malicious transactions within the company.
Here are some examples of processes where RPA can be utilized to its maximum for reducing human intervention:
RPA is ideal for invoice processing as they primarily involve tedious, error-prone tasks that do not generate revenue directly. Invoice processing is considered one of the most time-consuming activities and needs to be pushed across various stakeholders for approval. RPA can empower the process by creating rules to direct the invoices to the proper approval authorities. RPA frees up workforce bandwidth to focus on other outlying tasks.
RPA can assist the hiring process by sourcing applicants with accuracy and objectivity around the clock. The bot can also screen candidates’ resumes. Employees can offload a significant chunk of the paperwork to the company.
Payroll Processing is also another ideal candidate for RPA since it is a recurring, repetitive, and time-consuming activity. The volume and nature of the work are also as such that there are often errors and inaccuracy, causing rework that can result in payment delays.
No one wants a disgruntled customer. A common thread across every industry is customer experience. RPA offers a wide range of possibilities to streamline customer experience through omnichannel capabilities. Timely acknowledgement of issues and notification of resolutions can be quickly done with the help of RPA, which otherwise would require a large chunk of resources following up with endless e-mails.