RPA stands for Robotic Process Automation; We all know it. But things that have remained untouched for many users about RPA implementation requirements, practices worth knowing about, and ways to implement RPA in a business-centric manner. So, in this post, we intend to walk you through:
- Why businesses need to adopt RPA
- What is the feasibility of RPA implementation – how soon organizations can deploy it provided they have a clear roadmap
- Advantages of using RPA
- Rule based automation and cognitive automation
- Identifying the processes that can be automated
- Use case Identification – Involving key stakeholders – develop process profile – create a workflow diagram
- RPA pre and post Implementation process
- RPA Use Cases – Common processes that many organizations are automating include the below
- Choosing the right RPA Implementation Partner
Why businesses need to adopt RPA
RPA can benefit businesses in the following ways:
- Improvement in ROI figures
- Better productivity
- Employee retention
- Zero-error processes
- Intuitive process planning
- AI and ML supported data processing
So, let us explore these reasons one by one!
Improvement in ROI figures
Every process is designed keeping returns in mind. RPA is not an exception either. Businesses aim to capture the largest possible chunk of market share. It can become possible only when the processes streamline the workflow, reduce wastage, and adopt an automated format. The final outcomes are better productivity, more orders per year, and eventually, more profits per work cycle.
Employees’ time that goes into repetitive processes may be used to better quality jobs with RPA implementation. RPA can perform operations five times faster and with no deviation from pre-fed instructions. Thus, nil error helps complete more process cycles any given workday.
Employees do feel frustrated when they are evaluated based on jobs that do not complement their expertise. Repetitive processes and those which involve only following certain instructions cannot provide any employee job satisfaction. RPA implementation offers employers the correct environment for using the workforce as per their expertise. It reflects the deepened loyalty of the employees to their organizations.
RPA implementation can help achieve higher accuracy in rule-based processes. A typical rule-based process flow can be automated up to 70-80% with RPA. Since there are no repetitions and rechecks required, the manufacturers can roll out applications in the market faster than in previous instances.
Intuitive process planning
Planning must have an element of intuition in the processes. In sectors like banking and insurance, RPA supports intuitive processes’ planning. Digitization was introduced with an aim to ease the processes and give quicker services. With the help of intuitive process planning empowered by RPA, the businesses involved in public dealing can give a seamless user experience to the customers.
What is the feasibility of RPA implementation
How soon organizations can deploy it provided they have a clear roadmap
It is a common experience that any upgrade can be included in the work ecosystem only when it is most easy to do so. RPA implementation exhibits the same requirement.
Quick-to-roll and easily employable by all, the RPA solutions take no more than a couple of weeks to implement. Cygnet Infotech which is designing and delivering RPA solutions makes the following observations as regards to the feasibility of RPA implementation:
- Processes should be repetitive, rule-based and are most likely to get badly affected by manual interventions.
- RPA makes most sense when large batches of entries are to be made. Or the users require processing the same command multiple times with a focus on sticking to compliance on every single instance.
- RPA should make a difference to the way of working of organizations; also, there should be a scope for adopting innovation on a large scale.
Other points to consider while analyzing the feasibility of RPA are:
- Alignment with business goal: RPA implementation proves to be a wise decision when it supports accomplishing business goals faster. Also, it should continue to prove its worth even when the business goals change in accordance with the change in business phase.
- Supportive of improvement in product offering: Like any technological enhancement, RPA implementation should help in improving the quality of product offering and strategy.
- Ease of method implementation: The RPA implementation can become feasible when it does not require too intrinsic procedures or complex technological training. Anything possible to learn and implement becomes easy to include in the work ecosystem, RPAs are designed keeping this factor in mind. Good News is that RPA does not require any programming knowledge (Lacity et al., 2016)
To sum up,
Businesses are familiar with Business Process Re-engineering. And, feel that this is it. The feasibility of RPA becomes easy to achieve and proves to be a practical process when it is seen as an activity that complements the benefits of BPR. If it is looked upon as a replacement for BPR, the initial reaction may be that of not adopting the process.
Advantages of using RPA
Businesses felt the need to supplement BPR with something more quick, seamless, advanced, and feasible. RPAs characteristically fulfill all these criteria. Of the various advantages, the biggest plus is that the RPA helps reduce human efforts and does not require too many changes in the existing process framework.
The other commendable advantages of implementing RPA are:
- Human behavior mimicking: Human-like interactions become possible to achieve between the machines and people, and interpersonally too. These interactions are entirely free from the manual errors too.
For example, in the sectors such as retail and real estate, the RPAs are fed with the questions that form the part of natural interactions between entities internal and external to businesses. The chatbots resolving sales enquiries, and managing customers and visitors in an intuitive tone are classic examples of CRM RPAs.
- Better security level: RPA designers ensure that they are fully accustomed with all security requirements. The RPAs make processes quick but never at the cost of compliance and safety. Best-quality encryptions, in-depth knowledge of all possible sources of security loopholes and automated ways of offering security upgradation solutions ensure that the data or information and processes remain functional within the aegis of required safety policies like data protection, process patenting, etc.
- Heavily reduced process time: The process time is heavily reduced when RPA implementation supports it. With the focus on process clarity, and understanding of cycle repetition requirements, the designers can employ RPAs to bring seamlessness in processes like employee or customer onboarding, automating performance builds, supply chain management, equipment and raw material reordering and several others. Thus, processes are run optimally and the equipment idle time is reduced drastically too. Since process and application logic remains intact, the RPA offers a seamless approach for quickening the processes in complete alignment with anticipated results.
Rule-based vs cognitive automation
As an RPA user, you must know about both rule-based and cognitive automation. The rules-based automation process is designed to reduce complications, remove human error, and to ensure industry-governed procedures. With the help of rules-based RPA models, the implementation experts can provide reliable support for:
- Big-sized batch processing in minimal time
- Compliance with the safety and quality norms
- Quicker resolution of queries and fast settlement processes
- Uniform output from manufacturing processes involved in B2B industry
In essence, wherever intelligence and decision-making are not required, one can adopt rules-based RPA models and achieve better performance in terms of quality, speed, usability, and compliance.
Cognitive RPA models take the processes beyond rules-based. The RPAs with cognitive abilities are empowered with tools like AI, Machine Learning, Deep Thinking, Text Analytics, Natural Language Processing, Optical Character Recognition, etc.
So, cognitive RPAs work for those areas where intelligence is a prerequisite for better quality outputs.
The following requirements are ought to be fulfilled for implementing cognitive RPAs:
- Teaching chatbots the ways to converse human-like with data mining, etc.
- Capture all situations and use cases where automation can be done. Develop intelligent solutions to supplement those use cases as well.
- Deployment requires strategic planning and prioritizing areas of implementation.
- Testing and performance analysis followed by redesigning and introducing user-centric features.
Rule-based and cognitive automation have a divided patronage. Some experts call cognitive automation the future and have already got the names for it – hyper-automation, intelligent automation, AI process automation, etc. There is still a chunk of experts that say that rule-based automation is the only practically feasible form of RPA and that cognitive automation is too futuristic. It is believed to be still in its nascent stage and adoption needs a lot of shifts of perspectives and technology upgrades.
Identifying the processes that can be automated
Since the implementation of RPA will receive welcome gestures only when the process is simple and effortless, the experts have stipulated that one should go for RPA implementation only when the processes have the following characteristics.
Rule-based: The process must be based on a specific set of rules. For example, in the insurance claims settlement process, the considerations are constant. Hence, as soon as the specifications are met, the process initiates automatically when RPA is implemented.
High volume: RPA implementation serves the needs most correctly when the process to be automated requires handling large volumes of orders concurrently.
Error-Prone: A minuscule typo or shuffling of digits can cause huge losses especially when money is involved. Hence, RPA should be employed in those cases where erroneous entries need to be avoided.
Speed sensitive: Customer experience is one of the main objectives of RPA implementation. This experience can be created in a high-quality manner when it carries an element of immediacy. RPAs in customer service or in the form of CRM chatbots can give quick resolution, collect consents for order processing and provide order status instantly. It helps provide customers the assurance they need.
Requiring temporary workers: Replacing humans with machines works best when the project is not of constant nature. If the staff is required only for a specific time period, businesses can reduce employee expenses by assigning such jobs to automated machines.
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Use case Identification
Involving key stakeholders – develop process profile – create a workflow diagram
To make RPA implementation possible, the experts suggest the following workflow:
- Identify the use case where RPA implementation can create maximum impact and provide ease of working.
- Develop RPA user profiles that means process, user authority and their priorities should be defined.
- Develop use cases to understand the process flow, post automation impacts and also input resource needs.
- Prepare a priority plan to select the starting point and the ensuing flow of RPA implementation.
Defining institutional protocols is another important process of use case identification. The requirements to define and implement protocols while defining implementation workflow are:
- Ensuring that all users have document workflows
- Have at least five processes ready for robotic automation
- Identifying scope for target workflow improvement areas
- Identifying and evaluating all impact metrics’ potential
RPA Pre and Post Implementation Process
As a part of the pre-and post-implementation process, the RPA experts need to perform some crucial analyses. These points of analysis include (mentioned on the basis of priority attached):
From RPA to DPA – Pega
RPA Use Cases
Every industry now has conditions that are conducive to the successful implementation of RPA. Some of the proven use cases are:
- Quick and easy processing of orders and the fastest possible query resolution.
- Invoice processing: Teach the robots how to read data fields, place values in correct slots and finally feed those with the data files. You can get uncountable invoices processed throughout the day with minimal to nil errors.
- Bank Statement Reconciliation: (Extracted from automation edge), this activity is huge and quite critical. All the issues like human-generated data errors, discrepancies of date and time, etc. can cause audit issues and frauds that can even sabotage the image of the brand. RPA enables users to avoid these critical errors and get processes done real quick.
Choosing the right RPA Implementation Partner
While selecting the right RPA implementation partner, the business owners/managers must evaluate the following points:
While selecting the right RPA implementation partner, the business owners & managers must evaluate the following points:
- Level of expertise in RPA implementation
- Futuristic approach
- Dedicated client management team
- Expertise in business processes and ability to understand and evaluate the position of RPA in the current infrastructure ecosystem
- Training staff availability to let workers understand and be familiar with the RPA and its role
- Technical expertise and knowledge is important for proper business transformation
- Ask for risk-free costing that is transparent as well for licensing, maintenance, and support
RPA implementation is one of the best things happening around. Businesses are required to be digitally transformed and they have a lot of opportunities to explore with the correct tools in hand.
However, it really depends on the complexity involved in business processes. Along with cost factors, small and medium enterprises may find it difficult to design an ideal RPA journey.
Hence, using the RPA implementation partner is a correct and wise decision. They can identify the RPA implementation needs and areas, and help businesses make decisions which are in the best interest of the businesses.