What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?
As the name suggests it is a software that can be developed to perform basic activities as human workers do. The robot inbuilt in the software must be taught by the various steps and applications, for example, receiving forms, sending a message, filling the form, updating an excel sheet and so on. This is an excellent innovation in terms of technology. The main motive of the software is to reduce the burden on employees and performing simple tasks. Many top companies in the world are using RPA and save time for your employees. The software can perform various IT and business processes, which makes your team free to take another work and helps to grow the business.
Robots of the software communicate and manipulate with other business systems and applications to reduce the work pressure on the human employee. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has got the greatest achievement by creating this high-level of software. It is getting attention and recognition among the organizations in the present era. It is important to understand what Robotic Process Automation can do and what it cannot. It also has its limitations.
If you heard the word Robotic Process Automation first time, then you will surprise to know that you use it in your life multiple times. For example, when you order anything online after placing an order you can track your order. This process is handled by RPA in the back end which is responsible to update the customers on the order status.
How does it work?
RPA can be operated by running a set workflow of tasks that provides instructions to the robot at each stage. You must program the workflow into RPA, then the software will automatically run the program and repeat the tasks accordingly as per the requirements. It can work with both existing systems and front-end integrations. When RPA works with existing systems it accesses information from the system. RPA tools can be integrated into various ways with the application. And on the front end, users look at the screen, identify the elements and interact accordingly. A machine is indeed a machine so it can be possible that RPA may have some issues sometimes, so at that point when an exception arrives humans must solve it because RPA does not have decision-making abilities. So do not be completely dependent on the RPA system it just decreases your work pressure by performing some tasks its own.
Let’s take an example of real-time applications to understand it more clearly. Suppose an organization uses the RPA to be creating the invoices. This is a task that is performed by almost all companies and businesses. Creating an invoice is a time-consuming and tedious task for the human employee. RPA performs this task in less period as compared to a human. The workflow of this process follow the sequence:
- User requests for an invoice via mail
- The employee checks the mail and starts to create an invoice via software
- An invoice will be created and mailed to the user
This is a normal process when RPA performs this process all the steps are done automatically. As RPA has seen the request for creating an invoice the RPA bots will perform automatically. There is no need to perform this task manually when you are using RPA. It will automatically generate an invoice and send it to the user. Using RPA is a time-saving process and in the future it will be used by most of the organization. The analyst believes that RPA software will be combined with machine learning and cognitive computing to perform even better.
Benefits of RPA
RPA software can be used in all industries like retail, telecoms, IT, financial, manufacturing and so on. It has numerous benefits.
1. Advanced use of resources
To accomplish high effectiveness in business tasks, you have to reduce the risk of errors. This hazard is essentially raised with typical work as people will, in general, can make some errors while completing tasks. These activities are frequently attempted with less intrigue and in this manner, employees make errors when they have to repeat the same tasks multiple times. RPA can be utilized in these cases to replace people and allot them assignments that are deserving of their time and experience.
2. Decrease the errors in data entry
Data entry is a laborious task to perform. An excel sheet with thousands of entries can be boring at a time and humans can make the error to complete the task. With the use of RPA, the employee will not make any manual error as RPA will perform this type of task automatically. But keep in mind that it does not necessary that RPA software cannot make any mistake, it can also. The employee must check time-to-time to ensure that all the processes are working properly and correctly as instructed.
3. Business analytics
Data analysis offers the way to understanding market patterns, arranging and analyzing deals techniques, making exact gauges, just as settling issues brought by clients up in an auspicious way. Features of RPA include arranging and rendering information in a way that can be used to analyze the business. It can perform this task in a couple of minutes while a human can take several weeks to accomplish that. RPA software acts as an asset for the growth of business in terms of planning and achieving the goals.
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4. Helps in improving communication
RPA replace the documentation tasks like creating an invoice, spreadsheet, sending mails, removing errors in word documents, making changes in large excel file and so on. The software helps by updating the documents and make tiny edits as per the requirements with the help of its automation feature. This releases the pressure from the human employee and saves time by updating a single document and changes will affect all the other files related to that. This reduces the chances of errors and improves the speed of communication with the end-users.
RPA apparatuses alongside work process devices can end up being a distinct advantage for organizations. The two devices don’t contend with one another similar to the well-known idea rather, complete one another. The program anticipates a sign from the work process instrument to do a particular activity, and after accepting the message, the software performs the task and feeds the procedure back to the work process device. Fundamentally, RPA and work process devices adjust one another and complete the circuit required and result in cost-effectiveness.
6. Improves quality
It does not matter how experienced and talented employees you are, after all, you are a human. A human can make mistakes and sometimes mistakes can waste the time of an organization. These errors can lead to losing your client who provides business to you. At that place, RPA not only performs the tasks but also saves time. It is one of the important benefits to use RPA in an organization. If the software is instructed properly many tasks can be completed in minimum time.
7. Does not replace the existing system
RPA doesn’t supplant your current IT frameworks. It is the greatest favorable position of utilizing RPA is that it tends to be adjusted to use your current frameworks. It works as an assistant for any human which follow the instructions and speaks with different frameworks similarly as people do and also performs the task easily and quickly. Not only this chances of committing errors are practically none and it’s fast. RPA is the thing which one should use in the business and take benefits for performing task rapidly and saves time of your employee.
What industry can apply it?
RPA is an emerging technology in the present era that helps industries to reduce the amount of work done manually. RPA does the tasks automatically and saves the time of the employee. There is no limitation on any industry to use the RPA software. Any industry can use it like healthcare, finance, bank, government, manufacturing and so on. In areas that require concentrated and massive activities, RPA can be utilized as a virtual specialist, supplanting people every day and tedious assignments. Mechanical procedure computerization permits various industry to fulfill their high needs for perceptibility, security, and information quality, while likewise improving operational proficiency.
Application of RPA in business operations
RPA can be used in business operations to perform various tasks such as creating an invoice, sales orders, accounting tasks, data entry, answer the system queries, download reports and so on. Also, RPA is useful in many industry sectors and save time.
Retail is a sector that has to deal with lots of inventory, customers, sales analytics. RPA software can be very beneficial in this sector.
Following are cases where RPA is used in this sector
- Inventory management
- Customer behavior
- Sales analytics
- Invoice processing
Banking is an industry that involves lots of paperwork, files, etc whether the customer wants to open a bank account or applying for a loan. Back office staff needs to work day and night to ensure proper paperwork and in case there is any human mistake then it can halt commercial banking processes. This issue has been now solved with RPA implementation in commercial banking operations. It has also reduced the cost of human and has eradicated any human mistake as well.
Earlier RPA application was limited to core system integration but now it has gone further by going to presentation level. Id RPA is utilized properly it can help to bring multiple core fields together and that too without any architectural change. What RPA does in banking is not decision-taking but it helps to automate something which is very clerical and repetitive.
Following are cases where RPA is used in commercial banking
- Operations of Deposit
- Loan processing for new and old clients
- Processing of payments
- Cash management and treasury operations.
The following are a few practical cases where RPA is being utilized in this field.
- Bank in the USA have been utilizing RPA for all kinds of account opening process and bank have been successfully been able to reduce repetitive job, it has also reduced its bank account opening process by 30%.
- Bank in the UK have utilized it for all kind of sweep operations and have been able to slash manual labor by almost one third. It has also helped the bank to increase its productivity by more than 20%.
Following are steps to implement RPA in banking operations
- Finding a practical case where RPA can be implemented, and it is where most of the job is repetitive.
- The second step is to do Cost-benefit analysis as to whether the implementation of RPA id beneficial and if yes then how much of cost will be saved in operations.
- RPA implementation cases need to be made and it needs to go down till click level.
- Standardizing process of banking operations and it needs to be done either before implementation or during it.
- Dialogues shall be made with lab for implementation of RPA, this is about a classic case of make versus buy.
The healthcare industry throughout the world carries multiple tasks that are repetitive like management of claims, invoicing, onboarding of patients, report collection, etc. There are many healthcare regulations as well, in case it is not followed then it can lead to hefty fines and also the closure of institutions in extreme cases.
By leveraging RPA for medicine there can bring a feasible solution for many concerns. RPA can help to automate tasks that are rule-based and with high volumes. Bots can help to store data and manipulate it, process any transaction, communicate with digital systems and also can trigger any necessary response.
There are several processes where RPA has been helpful in the field of medicine, all of these are explained in detail below.
- Implementation of discharge guidelines
Normally patients are provided prescriptions, medications and they need to follow certain guidelines as well. It is also the responsibility of medical professionals that their patients do follow their prescriptions, however, it is almost impossible to do so. In this case, what bots can do is send reminders to patients about the prescriptions and upcoming medical tests as well. It can help patients and medical professionals as well to enhance their service and satisfy patients to the next level
- Pacing settlements of accounts
Healthcare institutions must evaluate, monitor, and calculate all bills which have been incurred during the medical treatment of each patient. The manual process takes lots of time and also many errors can creep in. This process is very critical to institutions because if not handled well it can result in revenue leakage.
RPA bots help to calculate all bills for a treatment like doctor’s fees, rent of the room, medical tests, etc. RPA also notifies patients about the total cost and will notify the institution about the payment status of the same. This way institutions can reduce payment delays which will help to pace up settlement of accounts and better service to the patient.
- Smoothening process of appointment scheduling
Nowadays mostly patients book their appointment online however hospitals need data like previous diagnosis, personal information, etc. It seems like a simple phenomenon, but it is not, for example, if the patient books an appointment with a cardiologist and doctor is unavailable then either appointment needs to be shifted or needs to be transferred to a different cardiologist.
What RPA bots can do is automate the collection of data and processing of the same. It can also schedule appointments optimally as per location, doctor’s availability, etc. Bots can also inform the patient about the status of their appointment.
As per the data, almost 87% of manual and routine jobs that are performed by laborers can be automated. Rules-based administrative occupations associated with assembling like planning bill of materials request the executives, work request announcements, and so on can be done by smart frameworks with a proficiency that rivals human capacities. Innovations like Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can haul human workers out of dull, strenuous and regularly commonplace undertakings by taking care of robots.
The following are points on how RPA has been helping the manufacturing industry.
- Extension in manufacturing ability
An individual chatbot can deal with many inquiries in a small amount of a period that in any case would require three to four individual laborers. Likewise, their machine memory and quick processors guarantee that the data gave is precisely zero chance of mistakes. This makes RPA a flexible framework that can be scaled and reached out for a few assembling capacities.
Top of the line RPAs empowered with optical sensors and calculations can peruse message just as integrate visuals of materials. They can incorporate the constant data gathered into the assembling work process empowering human specialists to take unconstrained activities. This assists in quickening the creation course of events.
As much as RPAs can be sent for assembling utilities, they can likewise be conveyed for a few other daily practice and rules-based exercises. To refer to a model, an RPA framework can be customized to filter through several stock order notes and characterize them on a departmental premise. The frameworks can likewise be furthermore coordinated to the backend of a stock administration framework or an ERP to bring constant stock levels. Because of the accessibility of stock, the prompt creation plan can be executed or crisp stock arranged for. The feature is that an RPA can do every one of these exercises at the same time and quicker than people.
- Increase in accuracy and efficiency
One of the difficulties that each producer faces is to monitor mistakes and stock wastage. Regularly, to guarantee that delivered units are of first-class quality and conform to quality benchmarks, a devoted quality confirmation group is locked in. This adds a layer of cost to the whole assembling activity. Likewise, physical work is inclined to irregularities. Subsequently, there is stock wastage, which regularly winds up as lost sunk expenses.
Mechanical Process Automation in assembling can scatter both these basic difficulties in a single shot. The modified and rules-based working of RPA frameworks guarantees that blunders are diminished to an absolute minimum, or if nothing else they are insignificant.
Thus, wastage rates likewise decay fundamentally.
Insurance companies provide several different types of insurances like car insurance, life insurance, etc. The process of insurance is very dependent on the back office. Insurance companies do several claim processing, sharing quotes of insurance every day. This points towards the direction that these processes are high volume and repetitive.
The following are points on how RPA helps the insurance industry.
- Automating the process of claims
Claim processing is vital to every insurance company and it is always prone to errors, time-consuming. Claim processing can be done through bots (RPA) which helps to eliminate repetitive processes done by insurance employees and human mistakes as well. It helps to process claims much faster and with much better accuracy.
- Enhanced compliance
Several laws govern the insurance industry and non-adherence of the same can be put the insurance company in hot waters. RPA helps to maintain accurate data which can be fetched whenever needed. This helps insurance companies to keep vigil over adherence to laws and for external audits too.
- Easy scalability
Since the quantity of dynamic RPA programming robots can be expanded or diminished very quickly, versatility is anything but difficult to accomplish with RPA. Programming robots can be scaled up or down during specific times of year when there are countless cases or statements to be handled. While such brief scaling of RPA programming robots is basic for the time being, the number of dynamic robots can likewise be expanded for all time to fulfill long haul development needs.
RPA can assist back up plans with accomplishing expanded benefits, changeless organization development, better consistency, and improved client assistance, all at a lower cost than any time in recent memory conceivable previously. On account of the adaptability and enhancements that RPA can convey, its appropriation by insurance agencies is just expected to turn out to be progressively worldwide and inescapable. As opposed to staying only an innovative alternative to looking over, RPA will, in the long run, become a fundamental segment for protection suppliers to stay serious industry pioneers.
Disadvantages of RPA
Everything has good and bad impacts both. RPA cons are described below:
1. Job losses
If a robot works faster than human than it reduces the need for human input. As a result, the organization will hire limited employees.
2. Investment cost
It takes time to decide whether to use the software in an organization as it required investment in advance.
3. Process Selection
There are limited tasks that are performed by the RPA software and at some time human interaction is required to perform the tasks.
4. Risks of RPA
While using the RPA software also remember the risks associated with it.
5. Strategy Risk
RPA is a ground-breaking innovation that can drive advancement, improve client support and augment intensity for its hierarchical adopters. But sometimes businesses may make errors by setting the wrong goals and expectations.
6. Execution Risks
This happens when the software starts working without a proper operating model. If an organization does not define roles and responsibilities to humans during training then they can get confused and may give wrong instructions to the software.
7. Management risks
Poor communication may lead to the loss of business. This happens when a human does not check timely the tasks working properly or not in the robot bot. Then the tasks can be performed in the wrong way. Hence it is very important to check the software timely and change the instructions if required.
What should be considered before deciding to use RPA in business operations?
1. Involvement of employee
You must think about employee involvement in the task after the use of RPA. Automation of activities implies that execution will become fast and reduce errors. At the same time employee have to check the tasks timely as per the instructions.
RPA is fit for performing automating tasks like copy-paste or typing a document. The complexity of a task can be defined by how many numbers of steps are required to complete the task. RPA can perform various tasks and reduces the workload of an employee.
Ease of use must be an important point for all software to use in an organization. You should choose that RPA software that can be easily used by the employees and perform all the processes more efficient and easier. In short, the easier method of the tool will result in growth and saves them time.
This is the most important point that must be considered. RPA requires sensitive data to perform the tasks. The data that is provided must be protected. It is necessary to choose the right product according to the needs and provide security.
Vendors that provide RPA Solution
RPA is of two types attended and unattended automation. Attended automation needs human interaction so it is used in the front office in any organization. While unattended automation is used where human interaction is not required. The robot performs tasks depending on the set of instructions given back office settings. The organization has to decide which RPA, they must use according to the requirements. Many vendors provide RPA for your business. Some of them are provided below:
1. Blue Prism
It was founded in 2001 and offers a software platform to organizations that help digital completion tasks while making business operations agile, time-saving and cost-effective. It is a mix of both attended and unattended automation. This provides three solutions to an organization i.e. Cloud Hub, Cloud interacts, and cloud IADA. It provides 24*7 customer support. Pricing is every year and it is around 8,000 GBP. You can visit here: https://www.blueprism.com/
Cloud hub is responsible for managing the digital workforce and able to perform repetitive tasks, allowing the employee to work on other important tasks.
Cloud interact provide solutions as per its name. It can interact with the human to the robot and give instructions to perform the task.
An intelligent automation digital assistant (IADA) is an AI-tool that helps in maximizing the throughput of digital workers of an organization.
2. Automation anywhere
It is unattended automation was founded in 2003. It helps in the way that software bots works with the employee and do the repetitive tasks in an organization. It is designed to easily perform simple tasks such as maintaining invoices, placing orders and updating to the customers by tracking their orders. This can be used in various industries like healthcare, manufacturing, financial services, insurance and many more. It includes features like bot lifecycle management, RPA security and General data protection regulation (GDPR). Pricing of automation anywhere starts from $995. Visit for more: https://www.automationanywhere.com/
It also offers a combination of both automation attended and unattended. It works to deliver the best customer services and make smarter decisions for growth. It was founded in 2011 and it allows the user to manually interact by its feature of stops and allows. It also offers desktop automation. When the software is installed on virtual servers it handles all the tasks that are assigned. It provides complete customer satisfaction. Visit to learn more: https://www.nice.com/