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What Is Robotic Process Automation in 2021 and How Will It Transform Our Future

The earliest robots invented in the 50s by George Devol didn’t succeed when the inventor tried to sell his products to the industry. There is now a big change because robots are becoming an important trend for automation.

Imagine, employees are involved in transferring data from one program to another. Suppose, they copy the data from incoming invoices and enter it into the accounting program. This is low-skilled work, and everyone can cope with it without any problems. But it would be nice if this process was automated. It is these actions that the RPA can perform on its own. At the same time, the robot is deprived of the human factor. He will do all the actions faster, without errors and 24/7 without holidays and sick leaves.

Robotic process automation (RPA) is known as a technology that is capable of mimicking human activities and their communication with machines. Along with RPA, companies are implementing other cognitive solutions like natural language processing (NLP), speech recognition, and machine learning (ML). These digital advancements can automate a lot of operational processes and help businesses become more productive.

Benefits of RPA Implementation

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Why is RPA worth considering for your company? Software solutions built to automate can reduce repetitive tasks and human errors. Such solutions can automatically fill in different forms, open attachments, record necessary data, and perform other activities aimed at simplifying workflows. Robots are now under consideration to become a possible new virtual workforce that could someday replace more human jobs.

RPA benefits are diverse. Below are the most critical advantages:

  • Cost reduction
  • Errors elimination
  • Turnaround time reduction
  • High scalability
  • Improved compliance

When implemented successfully, RPA solutions can interact with legacy software. For RPA to succeed, a deep business analysis should be conducted before the implementation. It is needed to find out how better to build new features in the existing systems without disrupting them.

Although the market of robotic process automation solutions is not so large as it is desired, the automation trend is gaining popularity as the best tool to reduce operational costs in any industry. RPA tools together with cognitive technologies can execute different tasks adhering to the precise rules. It means that RPA alone can’t be used to automate the processes that require human judgment. Ultimately, RPA should be integrated accurately to work alongside humans.

How Can You Apply RPA in Your Company?

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Areas of RPA application are manifold. Below are the most popular use cases.

Case 1 – Sales activities

In sales, RPA solutions are applied to replicate data, prepare invoices, and deliver updates to CRM systems. Whether your company is large or small, you will find automation beneficial for all sorts of sales activities. Robots will work for you to ensure consistent customer relationship management, accounting, and reporting. By automating various sales-related processes, you could improve productivity, customer satisfaction, and profitability of your business.

Case 2 – Data extraction

Entering data manually today is like sending a written letter via regular post. Nobody wants to spend much time on data processing. Although RPA isn’t a panacea to all paper issues, it could help you significantly. It provides advanced patterns for recognition and can convert large parts of the text into easily editable machine-encoded content, which eliminates the need to manually make edits. All this can improve the productivity of your employees and make them feel more comfortable at the workspace.

Case 3 – Procurement

Bridge the work of your purchasing managers and those who are responsible for accounts payable activities. In procurement departments, RPA helps employees in most processes like contract management, risk management, category management, and supplier relationship management. RPA is also good at detecting breaches and potential security threats and recommendations on how to timely react to them.

Case 4 – Reporting

Any business department can’t work effectively without proper reporting and analytics. RPA software solutions can provide comprehensive reporting capabilities that will help companies get track of what goes on across the departments. Bots are able to automatically generate and share reports by putting all the required data together.

Case 5 – Customer service

Today, when businesses are shifting towards customer-centricity, the process of customer relationship management should be automated. Only then will customers be satisfied with the support they get. RPA solutions can come in handy here if you need to offer your customers instant response to their inquiries. Chatbots can’t replace human communication, however, lots of frequently asked questions could be automatically answered with the help of bots.

Industries That Benefit Most from RPA Adoption

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Depending on the industry and business cases, RPA can be exploited differently. In retail and e-commerce, for example, robotics is used to manage orders and shipping. This data is changing constantly and thus, needs to be simplified.

Banking exploits RPA to quickly confirm appointments with clients, capture data from CRM platforms to predict what financial products will be of potential interest to customers, etc. For example, you are sending an application to a bank.

It is accepted by the manager, and then instead of manual processing, the robot automatically processes the application: enters it into all the necessary accounting systems, draws up related documents. In banks with no RPA, a huge number of people are busy with these processes.

The insurance sector is known for its heavy-document processes and high paper overload. RPA helps here to simplify claims processing, underwriting, reporting, and many other insurance-related processes. In human resources, RPA can help in recruiting, onboarding, employee benefits, and claims management. By automating all these processes, companies can free up their HR managers to perform more important tasks.

Diceus experts say that according to their experience of implementing RPA, “all this gives from 30 to 60% reduction in direct costs for processing business processes. Add to this the simplicity of technology scaling: if you need to speed up business processes, you simply connect another robot, instead of hiring a new employee in the market, organizing the workplace, onboarding, training, etc.”

About Henrietta Milanovska