Get To Know Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

While it sounds futuristic, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) doesn’t involve any actual robots. Except for the efficiency part, the “robot” in robotic process automation is software robots running on a physical or virtual machine. RPA is about automating some of the most mundane and repetitive computer-based tasks and processes in the workplace.

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RPA is a form of business process automation that allows anyone to define a set of instructions for a robot or ‘bot’ to perform. The bots can mimic most human-computer interactions to perform numerous error-free tasks at high volume and speed. RPA automates everyday processes that once required human performance in a time-consuming fashion and now efficiently performs them.

So how do we uncover a process that is a match for RPA? The idea behind RPA is reducing drudge work in day-to-day jobs and helping businesses improve productivity for their users, customers, and employees. We work with our clients to evaluate internal processes and workflows that could be good candidates by starting with rule-based processes that repeat at regular intervals or having a pre-defined prompt. The process should also have defined inputs, outputs, and sufficient volume.

An example of a solution we developed using RPA is our OCR tool. This software takes an invoice from an invoicing email account into a web application, examines it to ensure the crucial information is provided and approved, then moves it to a client management database. If the invoice is missing a piece of pertinent information, it is simply emailed back to the client requesting the data, then cycled back through the software application.

There are a lot of areas businesses have that use repetitive processes in their everyday functions that are good candidates for RPA. Areas such as finance, customer service, and human resources could greatly benefit from RPA. Receivables and payables also required tons of manual, repetitive effort by skilled workers. Customer service also has data-intensive, rules-based, and repetitive processes. And specific industries such as insurance and financial services also would be a good fit for RPA.

Automating using RPA allows employees to switch their focus to more thoughtful and meaningful work while also eliminating data-entry errors that can slow processing times, compliance, and the overall customer experience. Rather than taking away jobs, RPA frees up employees for more meaningful work. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you get set up for RPA, contact us at 502.907.6593 to learn more.

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