The scope of automation is increasing every day. In a recent study “State of operations and outsourcing, 2018”, RPA was ranked first in the investment priority by enterprise buyers and according to this McKinsey Report, it is estimated that half of the jobs that are being executed by humans now will be automatable by leveraging the technologies we already have now. But automation does not just replace jobs but also enhances the human capabilities to work better.
There are tasks that can be automated in your organization which will make it super efficient. This article is for giving you insights on finding the right tasks to automate.
If you still don’t get what RPA is all about, here is a scenario that can explain better about where RPA comes in. If you already know, then skip to identifying tasks. Imagine you are running a million dollar company. As the online support system has become mandatory, customers expect immediate response to address their queries and issues.
When you see the big picture, millions of users have the same expectation and it can be even at the same time. How to cope up with their expectations? And at the same time deliver a good customer experience? Well, RPA can fix this issue. This process which requires huge labor and hard work can be done with just a click using RPA.
Implementing RPA in your organization will make manual complex processes manageable and effortless. There are several similar scenarios like this where RPA can help you obtain desired outcomes. And it does not require programming skills to create the process workflow, as it can be deployed with drag and drop interface.
Before I explain the processes that can be automated, we will see how to identify the tasks that can be automated so that you can come out with innovative ideas with automation.
- Processes involving a lot of calculations
- Working with an overabundance of the data resources
- Processes with higher error rates
- Compliance management
- Validation processes
- Work overload in managing data
- Processes involving large labor
- Highly time-consuming
Here is a list of processes that can be automated in each department in your organization.
HR department plays a significant role which has an impact on all the members in the organization. A HR spends countless hours on repetitive tasks dealing with recruitment, management, pay benefits and compliance issues.
RPA helps in reducing the time and effort involved with these processes. Apps like Buffer and HootSuite for scheduling posts on LinkedIn and other social media platforms for talent acquisition are already in existence. Automation can be used for internal communication within the team, sending emails, setting reminders and time off requests.
It is believed by the HR executives that RPA will save 10-20% in HR and overall business process. (Source : 2017 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends ). Other processes where RPA can help in HR are
- Careers and learning
- Recruitment, induction, and training
- Talent acquisition
- Employee experience
- Performance management
- Augmented workforce
- Handling HR data tasks
- Mergers and acquisitions
One of the efficient outputs you can receive by implementing RPA is data management. Using RPA, you can automate the process of data cleansing, normalization to data wrangling to metadata management.
Originally based on screen scraping from 3270 terminals, RPA’s growth has become more sophisticated. RPA benefits housekeeping big data and artificial intelligence. RPA is customized to automate data-intensive tasks across a large range of deployments.
Applying RPA to large data repositories and data handling processes makes them more efficient. As all of these tasks are highly repetitive and also tend to be unique, the manual process may incur errors and largely time-consuming. But RPA delivers fast and efficient work.
RPA can be used to extract data from documents, create metadata and reduce content to a usable format for big data or machine learning processes. Here are added information of RPA in data management.
- Basic operations like data input, transfer, delete, alter etc.
- Replacing manual keying or file submission
- Data combination
- Screening for irregularities
- Improving data quality through repetitive tasks
- Enabling input verification of manual processes
- Data deduplication and data extraction
- Mining RPA Logs
- Data back-up
Customer Service management#
Managing customer service is the most crucial part of a business. The way your customer support team handles a customer query or requirement builds a reputation for your business. So it is crucial to handle it with care and ensure a high level of customer service.
Customers look for online support or assistance before or after making a purchase for getting information regarding the service or product. If the waiting time for receiving the information gets prolonged, you have chances of losing your potential customers. RPA helps in reducing the waiting time. It can communicate between different systems and provide the customer with the required data instantly and thereby delivers a smooth customer experience.
You can do effective customer on-boarding from websites using automation. As the company website is the first place the customer visits, you can use chatbots which allows them to ask questions about the company, product or service. Though this trend has already gained popularity, the results are highly profitable and will also improve the lead conversion rates from the website.
Next thing RPA can help with customer service management is processing information. Processing information and complying with compliances requirement is an intensive task for organizations. With the implementation of robotic process automation, the entire steps involved with data processing can be automated with significant efficiencies and decreased timelines.
RPA can also be implemented to automatically process structured as well as unstructured data and perform operations like identifying and recording customer information, merge, copy, fill forms, update information. Tasks like billing customers, sending shipping information, detecting and closing fraudulent accounts, updating customer details, can be automated. This enables increased operational speed by bots and agents and thereby delivering an improved customer experience.
Improved Backend Tasks#
Implementation of robotic process automation leads to technical efficiency. The key selling point of RPA is backend as it involves a lot of repetitive and routine tasks. The list of tasks that can be automated at the backend is
- Server backups
- Time and attendance management
- Email processing
- Record maintenance
- Data monitoring
- Inventory management
All these tasks can be done 24*7 with multitasking ability, zero errors and risk-free. RPA can shift employees to do more fulfilling work operations and free up time for performing customer-centric activities. Using RPA you can track every step of the organization thereby complying it with regulatory compliance and maintain the industry standard. Provided regular monitoring and maintenance of RPA processes is mandatory.
Accounts and finance#
Finance also deals with massive data. RPA in finance can automate operational accounting, transactional data management, accounts receivables, billings, collections efficiently with 100% accuracy. RPA completely eliminated human activity from the company’s AP process allowing it to take full usage of the SAP system.
Streamline Invoicing with Portal Integration, Increase the speed of processing Incoming Purchase Orders and Using single platform redefine automation possibilities. Improving audit coverage and automating many routine audit tasks allows auditors to operate at a much higher level. Tax activities like calculating book-tax differences, tax return preparation can be successfully automated using RPA.
RPA can automatically transfer files between various portals and your ERP eliminating the manual delay, streamlines reconciliations and accounts payable, optimizes the end of month accounting with 0% error rate, 75% manual effort saved and 65% faster processing.
Implementing RPA can improve the process like procure-to-pay, order-to-cash, and record-to-report and provide solutions to finance and accounting problems. In just a few months of implementation of RPA, 650,000 annualized hours was saved in 200 operations. Similarly, you can reuse the automation block for similar processes in finance and accounting thereby increasing the ROI.
Auto-generation of reports#
Report generation is something everyone hates to do repeatedly. But RPA can help you accomplish it and as an add-on, it distributes the reports to the specified users to ensure a smooth business workflow, so that you can spend time in framing strategies for your business and allow the software robots to collect and compile your data.
Industries like health care, e-commerce, finance, and insurance largely require report generation. RPA can easily generate reports by going through multiple data sources. In e-commerce, performing the end of the month/year sales calculation and generating the report is a tedious process. But RPA can do it easily. Similarly in other industries as well, report generation can be seamlessly removing the inabilities in the manual process.
The project management team has already started implementing RPA because of its scalability, its capability of handling complex situations and interacting with multiple systems simultaneously.
Here is an example of how RPA inputs invoice data into third-party software. This will help you understand how RPA is implemented in the project management process better:
- Create an RPA bot to receive emails with standardized excel invoice request form
- The bot filters and receives the specified emails.
- Logs into enterprise resource planning software SAP.
- Extracts the data from the excel sheet and loads it into SAP.
- The bot creates the invoice in the SAP
- It automatically sends the invoices to the requesters along with a confirmation email saying that the invoice has been created and sent.
You can deploy to similar scenarios which will reduce costs, increase the process completion rate and spare time for employees to do creative work.
Marketing and sales#
Marketing and sales are the highest sources of revenue generators. RPA removes the blockages in the processes and uplifts the revenue. Instead of manually monitoring your competitor’s website to know about the pricing and other details you can automate this process using RPA and get notified in case of changes and use it while you set pricing for your product. You can set your own time interval for receiving information. RPA bots can also be used for generating business intelligence reports, sales quote automation, invoice creation, distribution and so on. It can notify you in case of new entries in the market, track events, campaigns, webinars and so on. The information needed for lead generation can also be collected, extracted and downloaded by deploying RPA. This way sales employees can spend more time with the clients instead of doing market research.
Many internal tasks can be automated which saves a lot of time for the project managers.
- Fixing deadlines and follow up
- Automatically collecting project details and storing them.
- Performance monitoring and generate results
- Reminders for scheduling meetings, sending invites and so on
- Streamlining the process in each team
- Ensuring every work that is mentioned is done without missing out anything.
- Keeping track on the deliverables.
- Distributing the data across the team
- Auto synchronization of data
- Gathering information on meetings, events, employees for reference.
- Compare and generate NPS score, etc
Program management can be done effectively using RPA. It can also be used to ensure every workflow is carried out right.
Moreover, RPA requires Smart implementation strategy. Don’t hurry, implement it step by step, start implementing it over a simple process, be sure that everyone is aware of how it works, how it should be carried out further and keep them updated about the changes. Find the areas which are susceptible to mistakes and check them regularly to avoid errors. Monitor and evaluate the performance of the software bots to ensure proper implementation and working.