Robotic Process Automation (RPA): Top Benefits and Use Cases for Businesses
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a new kind of technology that leverages software robots and, sometimes together with AI (Artificial Intelligence) technologies, enables businesses to automate different processes and tasks which usually are carried out by employees manually.
RPA system, therefore, offers companies the ability to reduce staffing overheads and eliminate various human errors.
RPA can be applied across industries, platforms, and business units. In many cases, RPA systems are already compatible and can integrate into the processes operating by existing business applications systems. This results in many companies believing that Robotic Process Automation plays an important role in their organizations’ digital transformation - where companies are increasingly investing in automating repetitive tasks to improve productivity and drive business growth.
According to a report by fortunebusinessinsights.com, the global market size for robotic process automation (RPA) was USD 1.39 billion in 2018 and is predicted to grow to USD 6.81 billion by 2026. Such figures suggest that RPA is primed for mainstream adoption in the near future.
And contrary to popular myths of robots replacing human jobs, experts highlight the positive effects of RPA driving processes digitization and enhancing business efficiencies through collaboration between human discretion and robotic processing power.
Here are several popular areas of business where RPA is worth considering:
Sales operations are essential for all businesses, regardless of size and industry. Today, RPA solutions can be leveraged to digitize a wide variety of sales-related processes, including invoice processing and subsequent auto email delivery, as well as other background activities.
RPA is also capable of performing other sales-related activities such as data entry by using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology to extract data from different sources (e.g. scanned documents in .pdf format) and automatically enter it into your organization’s CRM system.
More and more, executives are being assigned with tasks and projects that generate revenue for their companies. Being able to automate sales processes can help increase the likelihood of success.
Returning to the example above, a bot can process invoices and deliver to customers, vendors faster and more efficiently than its human counterparts. They can also automate the transfer of data between systems, on an end-to-end basis.
If you are planning to implement RPA into your organization’s sales activities, consider the followings:
- Is it compatible with your organization’s IT infrastructure?
- Is it interoperable with your existing CRM solution?
- Is it compliant with security standards and regulations?
- What is the key challenge that can be solved using RPA?
Customer service operations
As mentioned above, RPA can extend human capabilities instead of replacing people. When it comes to customer service, RPA systems can automate several tasks that are labor-intensive and time-consuming.
Coordinating between RPA and humans can greatly improve customer service efficiency.
Specifically, adopting RPA to automate customer service tasks can help reduce time spent on identifying customers' profiles and their information, thus allowing customer reps to provide better customer support through a holistic customer view. Shorter customers’ waiting time ultimately increases productivity while also improving customer satisfaction.
Besides, with RPA, companies can also allow their chatbot to automatically complete customer’s requests right away, instead of having to wait for manual interaction with a human rep.
By automating many low-value tasks, RPA provides companies with the opportunity to let their human agents focus on building stronger relationships with their customers. Using an RPA empowered system can also help business organizations significantly reduce costs while achieving a lower average case handling time.
When planning to adopt RPA for customer service, it’s important to consider the followings:
- Which areas of customer service can RPA improve?
- How is the new system going to retrieve customers’ profiles and data?
- How to bring human reps on board adopting the new system;
Due to its nature of being repetitive, and rules-based, payroll is a business area that offers attractive opportunities for RPA transformation, helping businesses to reduce costs and improve performance simultaneously. RPA payroll solutions can be relatively simple to deploy and run across businesses.
One advantage of RPA powered payroll solutions is that it does not require many changes in the existing IT infrastructure of businesses. Some of the use cases of RPA in Payroll Automation include:
- New hires set-up: companies can onboard their new hires in the payroll system by using a virtual agent to automatically updating the new employee’s information across systems, informing stakeholders, ensuring new hires are paid on-time. Besides, RPA bots can perform an employee’s data validation check and then report on any discrepancy for corrections.
- Repetitive HR activities handling: By applying RPA for payroll, companies can schedule and complete repetitive HR tasks conveniently through a click of the mouse - such as pay-slip generation, data transfer, and format to a standardized version;
RPA allows businesses to set-up their work-flow once, and then run everywhere, which lead to a significant reduction of duplications manual efforts;
Furthermore, RPA implementation is also very effective for companies with data stored across multiple, silos systems. Synchronizing data between virtual agents can prove to be much faster, more efficient, and reliable than human interactions
There is no one size fit all solution when it comes to RPA adoption for businesses. The new technology offers endless possibilities, while also playing the role of the key driver in digitizing and optimizing business processes.
Whether your business is planning to adopt RPA or has already been implementing it, the three areas of sales, customer service operations, and Payrolls are worth considering for light-house projects and pilot testings, as they offer attractive opportunities with proven successes in such areas.
However, it’s also worth noting that RPA implementation is a long-term endeavor and requires proper planning and execution to ensure success.