RPA Basics

Use automation to improve performance

What is RPA?
The process of automating business processes using software bots (or robots) is called as Robotic Process Automation. These bots can mimic human actions like cutting, copying, pasting data from one application to another, doing calculations, logging into and navigating various systems, submitting forms etc. Generally, the bots can perform majority of simple, logic-based activities and are able to automate transactions leaving the human workforce to deal with more complex transactions or exceptions that typically require working with other groups, or people to gather more information.
Benefits of RPA?

The industry has adopted RPA due to its promise of multiple value and quick ROI realization in 9 to 12 months. Key benefits from RPA adoption has been –
  1. Improve productivity and augment human capabilities: Bots operate 24×7 and work 2 to 5x faster than humans, hugely improving productivity. As a result, mix of human workers and robotic workforce augment productivity, with the bots handling the routine and mundane transactions while the humans handle the more complex transactions.
  2. Improve turn-around times and accuracy: Bots help pick-up and process requests in the form of emails, service management tool tickets etc instantaneously and help improve turn-around time and customer experience. They also eliminate manual errors in routine and rule-based
  3. Enhance Compliance and Reporting: Bots help enhance compliance by reporting process data and metrics more granularly enabling greater checks and scrutiny of processes to improve process execution.
  4. Increased Scalability: Processes where volume of transactions fluctuates due to seasonal considerations, market demand factors, or events, bots allow tremendous scalability at a much quicker pace and smaller cost.
Flexible cost models: Bots allow flexible cost models instead of fixed cost models.
Where is RPA being applied today?
RPA is being applied across industries in a variety of functions to improve productivity, some of the key areas being Customer Service, Finance & Accounting, Supply Chain, HR etc.
Everest Group highlights RPA Market Potential & Opportunity (Embed Link: https://www.nice.com/websites/rpa/robotic-automation.html)
What are the key capabilities that are increasing the automation potential of processes?
  • Advanced OCR capabilities – Ability to scan and digitize data from unstructured data sources like scanned documents, images like customer KYC information, invoices from suppliers etc.
  • Cognitive Capabilities – Cognitive capabilities to interact using NLP and extract meaningful inferences from unstructured data sources
  • Machine Learning Capabilities – Ability to learn from data patterns and take decisions through machine learning algorithms
 
Best Practices for RPA Implementations (a glimpse from our automation experiences)
  1. Discovery is key to understanding the potential of automation and business value it can unlock
  2. Process changes are key to unlocking the full benefits of automation – being open and receptive to process changes is critical
  3. Defining an organization structure and operating model is critical to success and generating support behind automation initiatives
  4. Understanding the risks to bot operations, potential failures and compliance issues and designing around those are key to bot stability and better operating performance
  5. Target the easy parts of the process to automate first and then standardize and automate as you go
  6. A skilled COE team that understands the technical landscape and NICE toolset key to designing and implementing successful bots.

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