RPA: Reshaping the Business Landscape

RPA: Reshaping the Business Landscape

Nicholas works for a famous clothing store. Amongst his many tasks, one task is processing online customer orders. As a diligent employee, every day he collects data regarding the orders, records them in an appropriate platform and sends a daily report to his superiors. This simple, repetitive and tedious task is time consuming and takes its toll on Nicholas.

What if Nicholas could teach the task to someone else? If he could find someone to imitate this task, then he could focus his valuable time elsewhere for a better task. Hiring someone specifically for this task would be a waste of precious human resources and seems futile as nothing prevents the problem from arising again. However, a simple solution can be provided to this problem by using Robotic Process Automation (RPA) technology. 

Understanding RPA
RPA is a software technology that allows its users to create a robot which enable them to automate their digital tasks. By observing human digital tasks, these robots study, mimic and implement processes that revolve around specific set of rules and instructions. Simply, if you show the robot what to do, they can continue to do the work repetitively and periodically as required. 

The manner in which RPA software robots interact with applications or systems is similar to the way people do, except these robots can work nonstop, with more efficiency and precision and with unmatched reliability. In other words, RPA technology has removed the possibility of “human error” from the equation. This software is being distributed by organizations such as Automation Anywhere, Kofax, Blue Prism, ProcessRobot, UIPath, etc. and it would provide the perfect solution to Nicholas’s dilemma.

Many are under the misconception that RPA technology employs humanoid robots. This is not true. RPA employs a software robot that does not have a physical form or any resemblance to humans. This technology cannot replace humans or replicate human cognitive function. These robots lack brains of their own and therefore they cannot perform logical or critical thinking. They can merely copy and paste data, move files and folders, extract structured and semi-structured data from various documents, etc.

RPA for Business Operations
RPA can be used to handle clearly defined, well documented, repetitive, rules-based processes that were previously performed by humans. Accordingly, it helps in automation of a wide variety of tasks including website scraping, customer order processing, payroll processing and forms processing. Businesses can use RPA software for mundane rules-based tasks, enabling employees to devote more time to serving customers or other higher-value work. RPA would generate many benefits for a business such as,

Better Accuracy- RPA employ robots instead of humans. They would always adhere to rules and would not get tired of repeating the same tasks again and again. They eliminate the human error and hence tasks can be performed more accurately and with precision.

Higher Efficiency and Productivity- As these robots eliminate mundane needs such as rest and have enhanced levels of speed by accelerating workflows, they increase efficiency and productivity of businesses.

Cost Saving- RPA brings about an error-free business environment and in industries such as healthcare, this is a crucial factor when it comes to cost reduction. In addition, it allows organizations to minimize staffing costs.

Increased Customer Satisfaction- With RPA, business operations run smoothly, error-free. Efficiency and productivity are enhanced and this in turn increase customer satisfaction.

Changing the business landscape
RPA is slowly reshaping the business landscape, bringing about numerous irrevocable changes. More and more organizations are embracing the RPA software and significant changes can already be observed in those businesses.  

Improved job satisfaction- The implementation of RPA has the potential to enhance morale within a workforce because robots are completing the monotonous and repetitive tasks that we humans hate. Now employees are free to focus on more stimulating, creative tasks that they may enjoy and this would help in boosting work satisfaction levels and productivity.    

Smarter marketing- Overall, this technology enables smarter marketing. RPA, makes marketing a cost-effective process by automating many lengthy processes. Robots can be used to monitor customer activities and identify opportunities or pinpoint potential partner preferences allowing you to restructure your emails and increase the chance of a positive response. Hence, marketing is better-targeted, quicker, and far more fruitful than traditional marketing.

Prediction and preparation- Attempting to guess what might happen in the future and preparing accordingly is one of the most difficult burdens of running a business. There are no guarantees in life and fortune plays a major role in making accurate predictions. But at least with RPA, we can easily calculate the probabilities and the possibilities. We can observe and analyze trends in the market easily and predict the future more accurately while spending as less time on guesswork as possible.  

By Thisari Andria

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Savaram, R. (2020, April 20). 30 Robotic Process Automation Examples. Mindmajix. https://mindmajix.com/30-rpa-examples

Simplilearn. (2020, May 20). RPA In 5 Minutes | What Is RPA - Robotic Process Automation? | RPA Explained | Simplilearn. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9URSbTOE4YI

Image Reference
Cover Photo : Photo by Alex Knight on Unsplash