Robotic Process Automation
With robotic process automation, you can automate your routine tasks quickly and cost effectively. RPA bots can easily integrate with your broader automation tasks—such as process and decision automation, or data capture initiatives — to expand the value of your automation program. ·
Accelerate time to value.
Create, test and deploy new automation schemes in hours, instead of days or months.·
Reduce human error.
Virtually eliminate all copy-and-paste mistakes that result from entering the same data into multiple systems.·
Complete automation tasks in seconds or minutes, around the clock, to deliver higher value for your customers.Learn about the benefits of robotic process automation and how leading organizations are using the technology.
RPA use cases
Common business processes and activities
Since procure-to-pay process involves extracting invoice and payment data from multiple systems like enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), banks,vendors, logistics companies and since not all these systems provide easy integration methods they generally involve some form of manual labor. RPA bot scan fill integration gaps. Since they work on the front-end, they can provide an easy way to automate integrations. With a fully automated procure-to-pay, you can ensure that procurement best practices are followed and there’s a single source of truth for all transactions.
Every business needs to sell to survive. issues in the operations side of selling can result in customer complaints or selling at reduced prices due to clerical errors.Automating complete sales operations process eliminates these errors and provides fast service to your customers.Since automation processes sales faster than manual processes, customers will receive invoices earlier, leading to earlier payments and improved cash flow.This can also be simpler process to automate since it mostly relies on company's structured data to generate invoices to be sent to customers.
- Customer on boarding
Most B2C businesses have a customer on boarding process that is critical to reduce churn and get customers to start using the product. Using OCR and cognitive automation, most customer on boarding actions can be completed instantaneously even in companies that rely on legacy systems, greatly improving customer experience.
- Data migration and entry
Legacy systems still perform critical functions at companies. For example legacy billing systems need to interface with other systems and such systems may not have the capability to pull relevant data from APIs. In such cases, employees manually migrate data using formats like CSV. RPA can prevent such manual labor and potential clerical errors it brings.Furthermore such systems that keep data up to data enable improved analysis and decision making. We are living in a day when even marketing has 5000 applications to choose from. RPA can help integrate applications and allow for more holistic analyses.
- Data updates
Most departments including HR, customer service and marketing routinely need to update customer/personnel data which is constantly changing. Setting up bots for auto updating relevant data from forms or email can ensure that departments can access fresh and correct data.
- Data validation
Most data validation controls can be embedded in databases. However, there’s data validation tasks such as crosschecking data against publicly available data, for which RPA automation is more suitable than other tools.
- Extracting data from PDFs,scanned documents and other formats
Screen scraping, OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and basic pattern recognition technologies enable data extraction from almost any format, reducing the need for keying in data.
- Periodic report preparation and dissemination
Every business requires regular reports to inform managers and ensure team are aware of their progress. Preparing such reports and sending them over every week or month is not labor intensive but it distracts employees. RPA solutions can easily auto-generate reports, analyze their contents and based on the contents, email them to relevant stakeholders.For example, a report of a telecom operator showing areas with connectivity issues has different recipients based on its severity. CTO should be copied in reports with critical issues and head of network should be copied in reports with major issues. RPA bots can analyze reports to modify recipients according to provided criteria.
- Generating mass emails
Mass emails relying on data from multiple systems are painful to produce manually. Especially if you are sending them frequently,consider automating the process.
- Lead nurturing
Leads arrive through a myriad of channels such as Linkedin, lead collection forms and vendors
- Creating and delivering invoices
This is a case of data replication.Same sales data needs to exist in both CRM and accounting systems. Instead of manual data replication, bots can update accounting records, prepare and deliver invoices from the right email accounts.
- Opening up internal tools to customers or employees
Almost all customer service or tech support departments have internal tools with advanced functionality. They rely on service reps to use those tools and serve internal or external customers.Especially if those tools are in legacy systems, it is difficult to expose them directly to customers or employees without training. However RPA offers a solution.Frequency of usage of most functionality follows the pare to principle. A few functionality are quite commonly used while the rest are almost never used.After identifying the popular functionalities of an internal tool, it is possible to write simple web interfaces that complete those functionalities with the help of bots. This saves users time while reducing burden of support teams.
- Software installations
RPA can enable single click installations of complex systems with interdependent components.
- Automated testing
RPA tools evolved from testing tools that mimic user interactions. While tests can be built into software, it is important to test from a user perspective. Such tests are time consuming when performed manually. However, they can be lightning fast when they are automated.Common test scenarios are automated with RPA tools and these tests are run after every version, ensuring that new bugs are not introduced to the code. Obviously, more creative manual tests are required based on the specific feature developed in each new version. However, automated testing with RPA tools can facilitate testing and improve software quality. Since these tests tend to be simple,no code RPA solutions are ideal in such scenarios.
- Financial planning
Financial planning involves the unexciting exercise of processing and merging financial statements from numerous departments in a Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) system which can be at least partially automated.
- Bank statement reconciliation
Extracting data from bank statements for reconciling records and comparing them against the company’s own records was manually done via complex spreadsheets. However, this is a process that can relatively easily be automated. An important point to pay attention to is that rules based automation could break when company changes the banks it is working with. It is best to test initial outputs of the bots after your company changes its banking service providers.
- Daily P&L preparation
Large financial services companies, especially those in the trading business, track P&L and risk exposures daily. While some companies have automated these processes, there are still companies that rely on excel, legacy tools and manual effort to complete these reports.
- Candidate sourcing
Companies relying on legacy HR systems can use bots to automate aggregating CVs, assessment results and interview notes using bots. However, most modern HR systems take care of these functionality reducing the need for custom solutions
- Employment history verification
This process includes numerous routine steps such as arranging interviews, maintaining records.
- Hiring & on boarding & headcount reduction
Especially for growing or shrinking firms hiring and firing brings significant burden on HR and other support functions like IT, security, facilities management. While it is costly to build a solution that encompasses all these functions and completes the necessary tasks for new or leaving employees, RPA bots can be deployed relatively fast and effectively. Automating part of the process and measuring its progress on the RPA bot management module brings speed and transparency to the whole process.
- Absence management
Your personnel will be notoriously bad at recording their absences and vacations. Personnel can be genuinely confused about or unaware of the absence management system. Second, they will not want to learn or remember how to use the system because once they do that, they will be required to fill in all their absences and no one wants that. The problem is that while it is not ethical to hide someone’s absences, it is also not a major crime like embezzlement. It is something that can easily be forgotten by the absentee,therefore easily forgiven.Easiest solution: Let people decide their vacations as long as they get their work done. It’s called unlimited vacation policy and could increase autonomy of your team while saving the ma lot of bureaucratic hassle. Slightly harder solution: Set up a simple RPA bot to cross check absentee reports against time logged in the corporate network and let your teams fill in the absences they had. You could also use another simple bot to simplify filling in absence information so your personnel does not forget to notify the system when they have an absence.
- Payroll automation
Payroll function requires repetitive processing of payroll taking into myriad regulations and company rules. While modern payroll software provides a good solution for this process,some companies rely too much on legacy systems to be able to make the switch to a modern payroll software. They can rely on bots to increase automation in the pay roll management process.
- Worker’s compensation claims
As Blue Prism explain in their case study about their work with Walgreen, workers’ absence due to injury or sickness needs robe reported to the claims management service provider to manage worker’s compensation claims. This is a relatively simple and automatable process.
- Expense management
Though there are sophisticated dedicated expense management solutions, most companies still use outdated systems that require employees to provide details on their expenses. Most of those details such as expense amount, date or location are already available in the receipts provided by employees.An OCR capable RPA solution can extract important fields from receipts automatically, allowing employees to waste much less time with expenses. This can also save them from carrying around receipts as simply taking pictures of their receipts would be enough to extract the relevant data from receipts and fill important fields in the expense form.
- HR virtual assistants
Putting all of these services together for employees is also possible. A chat bot that authenticates customers and serves all their HR related needs would help HR departments to focus on higher value added activities. Such a bot could help employees register sick leave and vacation time, request information about their work contract and submit expense reimbursements.
- Updating inventory records
Inventory management typically involves reconciliation across multiple systems as companies find it challenging to bring all inventory management features under one system. RPA bots can automate such inter-system reconciliation and communication with ease.
- Issuing refunds
Process of issuing refunds is far less optimized than more frequent processes at a company, leading to significant delays and customer dissatisfaction. This is a concern because customers requesting refunds are already dissatisfied customers and making them more dissatisfied can lead them to share their complaints with others, hurting your company's image.
- Updating vendor records
Vendor master file is important to keep up-to-date to ensure that different departments or units can coordinate their spending. Updating such files with bots can relieve procurement professionals from simple tasks to focus on managing vendor relationships.