Robotic Process Automation

An Ultimate Guide to Robotic Process Automation

Automation has been a part of the workforce since the times of the industrial revolution. As work processes evolved and became more complex, automating tasks was a natural approach to overcome challenges. 

Robotics was a great tool to achieve automation. They offered various advantages like handling multiple tasks, eliminating errors, improving efficiency, and increasing productivity. As more and more industries realized the power of automation, robotics began to be used as a catalyst for improving business processes. 

Robotic process automation (RPA) is an approach that aims to use robotics to automate tasks just like humans would do. The goal of RPA is to completely hand over certain process executions from humans to robots. 

What is Robotic Process Automation

Robotic process automation is the method of configuring a software to perform business processes precisely like humans. This software or robots observe human actions, learn from them, and mimic their behavior to carry out business activities. 

RPA software is distinct from other automation methods for the minimal human intervention it requires. Once a set of instructions are defined for a robot or bot, they handle the rest with ease and efficiency. 

It usually finds usage in automating repetitive and mundane tasks- both manual and computer-based. The best thing about robotic process automation is that it has a dynamic nature. The software learns from changes and adapts to business processes modifications to give flexible responses, just like humans. 

how Does Robotic Process Automation Work 

Robotic process automation works on the principle that if a task follows a logical step-by-step process, it can be recreated by bots. With that principle at its core, it tries to reproduce most of the human tasks. 

There are numerous ways in which RPA can work with a business system. It can be integrated with your existing business application to enable automation. RPA can carry out tasks like

  • Log in to applications
  • Perform read and write operations to databases
  • Copy and paste of data
  • Move files and folders
  • Access emails and attachments
  • Do calculations
  • Connect to system APIs
  • Order content into a structured and unstructured format
  • Extract data from web, documents, pdf, etc. 

Thus, RPA streamlines business processes and improves overall efficiency to achieve accurate and cost-effective results. 

What are the Benefits of Robotic Process Automation

Intelligent automation is the need of the future. 

RPA is one of the promising digital transformation technologies with excellent capability for automation. Its potential is very promising, and the benefits are many.

  1. Improved accuracy 

A primary advantage of automation is the accuracy it brings. They are less susceptible to human errors and more consistent in work processes. Thus, routine tasks like copying information, registering log-ins, etc., can be done with increased accuracy.

       2.Faster implementation

Studies have shown that tasks that human employees take months to perform, RPA can do in a matter of days. It brings more than 90% automation into operations and reduces processing time by nearly 80%.  

        3.Work around the clock

Bots do not get tired, need rest, or sleep. Thus they can work at all times without any interruptions. Further, RPA does not need frequent human intervention. 

          4.No technical hurdles

To configure an RPA, technical expertise is not compulsory. It uses a simple interface like drag and drop, which enables even non-technical employees to handle RPA and assign tasks to it. 

           5.Achieve ROI fast

RPA ensures that processes can be completed at a faster rate than compared to manual undertaking. Reduced process cycle increases productivity and helps organizations to achieve ROI fast. 

           6.Maintain compliance standards

Bots provide end-to-end automation according to its configuration. And it also maintains an audit history for each of its processes. It is an excellent benefit for industries that have to meet strict compliance requirements.

          7.Easy to integrate

RPA can easily be integrated with existing enterprise systems. It does not require a massive reconfiguration or breaking down of your legacy systems. Thus, easy integration is a huge advantage of RPA for organizations that want to achieve automation without completely rebuilding their business processes.

           8.Improved employee satisfaction

When mundane and time consuming tasks are set aside for bots, employees can focus better on tasks that require their skill and intelligence. This improves their work efficiency, helps them become more productive, and thus increases their satisfaction.

          9.Highly scalable

RPA can perform various processes across several domains. So, according to workload, bots can be scaled up and down with minimal costs. They can also perform operations in parallel. Scalability is indeed a valuable benefit of digital transformation. 

          10.Cost savings

Several organizations report that their processing costs reduced by upto 80% after implementing RPA solutions. With RPA in place, fast cost savings can be achieved in a matter of months. 

What are the Risks Involved in Robotic Process Automation

While discussing the benefits offered by RPA solutions, it is important to acknowledge the risks involved in robotic process automation. Like all digitization processes, RPA also has some disadvantages. However, with proper planning, these can be taken care of. 

  1. RPA strategy risks

When RPA solutions are implemented without a proper strategy and no defined goals, it creates a risk of not being utilized to its full potential. In such cases, businesses fail to gain the full value of RPA and result in loss of time, money, and reputation.

  1. RPA sourcing risks

If an organization selects wrong consulting partners, chooses non-expert advisors, or tries to implement RPA with existing inefficient resources, it can lead to failure in RPA execution. Even incorporating external advice late into the implementation process can lead to risks. 

  1. RPA tool selection risks

There are several RPA tools offered by various vendors in the market. Selecting the wrong tool can result in several risks. Some vendors offer unreliable tools with false claims; hence organizations should take care in RPA tool selection. 

  1. Stakeholder buy-in risks

Active participation of all stakeholders is vital for the complete success of RPA. Non-cooperation from IT departments, resistance from employees, etc., are common risks associated with RPA implementation that can delay or halt its fulfillment. 

  1. Operational risks

When bots are properly configured before deployment or do not have a proper operating model, operational risks will occur. Then, bots will fail to operate as expected or stop working. 

  1. Change management risks

The introduction of RPA involves a tremendous change for employees from the usual work process. Resistance to this change can be expected if there is no proper communication or guidance given to the employees. 

10 Tips for Effective Robotic Process Automation

We saw implementing RPA solutions has some risk associated with it. How to take care of those risks? Here, we will discuss ten tips for effective robotic process automation. By administering these tips in your RPA execution, you will be able to take care of any challenges. 

  • Define your expectations

An organization can only utilize the best out of an RPA system when they know what their expectations or goals are. So it’s necessary to define the expectations and plan a strategy that helps everyone involved to meet the desired outcome. Otherwise, the efficiency of the robotic process automation will not be one hundred percent. 

  • Plan long term

It is vital to ensure that the RPA solution is developed as a part of the entire development life cycle of organizations. Otherwise, it might get displaced or become irrelevant during some big organizational changes. Thus it calls for long-term planning. 

  • Think of customer experience

Often, RPA is looked at as a digital transformation trend that will help enterprises to cut costs and increase ROI. Though these are significant benefits of RPA, it has to be kept in mind that the goal of all digitization measures is to improve the customer experience. Therefore it’s crucial to consider not just the business impact but also the customer impact. 

  • Stick to your goals

Since digital transformation measures are interconnected, sometimes, a project that started off as an RPA project might end up being used for data acquisition or analysis. This unsettles the RPA solution and deviates it from its original purpose. It can lead to failure in meeting goals, waste of resources, etc. 

  • Advanced design management

Poor design management can create havoc in operation. Every nook and corner of the operating model needs to be considered before the implementation of RPA. How bots will work together, how they will behave in an unexpected scenario- all such cases should be thought about and planned well in advance.

  • Plan for bottlenecks

It is important to check for all bottlenecks or roadblocks before launching an RPA solution. Otherwise, it will result in disasters such as loss of data or uncontrolled scenarios. Each use case must be tested, and control and command over RPA have to be ensured. 

  • Maintain compliance

There are several government compliances when it comes to the usage of bots. Maintaining the compliances have several challenges. However, it is a must-do practice for effective robotic process automation.

  • Involve IT

It is a common practice in organizations while implementing RPA that IT people are involved only if there is an issue or troubleshooting. Often, people without much technical expertise are at the front end of implementation. While this is not problematic, it is best practice to involve IT early on to ensure smooth implementation.

  • People first

While going after the latest digital transformation trends, people should be given as importance as the technologies. Since robotic process automation will result in a complete change in business processes, its effect on employees’ daily work process and the shift in management duties for the HR department must also be considered.

  • Create an RPA center of excellence

It is a great idea to have an RPA center of excellence, that is, a small group of people who are responsible for the RPA implementation of that organization. They can monitor growth, look out for new opportunities, and develop transformative strategies for their business. 

Which Industries Mainly Use Robotic Process Automation

For industries that involve a lot of manual work or need to follow strict compliance regulations, implementing RPA solutions is a great approach. Many industries have achieved amazing results with the implementation of RPA. Some of them are:

  • Healthcare: In healthcare, RPA helps to improve the quality of care and provide a better patient experience. It finds application in tasks like patient data entry, claims, billings, etc. 
  • Banking: With the implementation of RPA, the banking industry can easily work towards strengthening compliance, streamlining tasks, improving customer service, and reducing costs and risks. Card activation, false claims, etc., can be digitized with digital transformation in banking. 
  • Retail: RPA has a lot to offer to the retail industry. It can help automate tasks such as sales calculation, order updates, handling order replacements, invoice management, etc.
  • Insurance: In insurance, faster claim processing, improved fraud detection, etc., can be achieved with the aid of RPA. It provides exceptional ease of use and makes data management seamless. 
  • Manufacturing: Supply chain management can be enhanced by the use of RPA in the manufacturing industry. It can also be used to keep systems connected in real-time and reduce back-office costs. Digital transformation in manufacturing through RPA helps to increase productivity and decrease errors. 
  • Government service: In the public sector, RPA can find various applications to provide better service to citizens. By modernizing government operations, introducing inter-operativity, and improving service delivery, intelligent automation can be used to transform public service. 
  • Travel: RPA can significantly enhance the efficiency of the travel industry by aiding processes like ticket booking, cancellation, improved customer service, etc.
  • Telecommunications: Through services such as excellent monitoring, data management, fraud detection, etc. RPA finds much application in the telecommunication industry. 

What are the Different Robotic Process Automation Tools

Depending on their business requirements, organizations choose robotic process automation tools. There are several tools classified according to factors such as type of tasks, interoperability, ease of data handling, AI support, etc. 

Let’s take a look at five popular RPA tools.

  1. Blue Prism

Blue Prism is a popular RPA tool used by medium and large organizations. It is a platform-independent tool and is renowned for its high-speed execution. It provides many excellent features and has a user-friendly interface for developers. It supports multi-environment deployment and has great security features. 

However, to use the Blue prism, the users should have some programming skills. It is also a bit costly. 

  1. UiPath

One of the strongest tools for robotic process automation, UiPath is suitable for businesses of all scales. It requires no programming skills and can be used even by non-developers. A great feature of UiPath is that it can handle any number of processes, even if they are complex in nature. 

UiPath is an open platform that provides great features without any cost. Faster automation, high security are some good features of this tool. Its one disadvantage is that it has limited coding capacity. 

  1. Automation Anywhere

Automation Anywhere is a user-friendly RPA tool that provides on-premise and cloud services. It is a platform-independent tool that provides excellent security features. One of the most sought-after features provided by this tool is the real-time reports and analytics it gives. 

It provides conventional RPA with intellectual features like reading unstructured data, intelligent automation of complex tasks, task distribution to multiple devices, etc. 

  1. EggPlant

An award-winning RPA tool, EggPlant is a favorite of RPA solution providers. It provides end-to-end automation and easy multiple device communication. Its capability to resolve issues with real-time analytics and universal testing support for mobiles to mainframes makes it a valuable tool. It is a leading RPA tool approved by Gartner and Forrester. 

  1. Power Automate

Power automate is an RPA tool from Microsoft that aims to boost organizations’ productivity. Previously known as Microsoft Flow, it provides a simple way for automating business processes. Integration with other apps like Microsoft 365, Azure, Dynamic 365, etc., is a great advantage of Power automate. 

Power automate has AI support and is well known for its accuracy and efficiency. Further, it is protected by MS security technology, which is a great bonus. 

How to Choose the Best Company to Implement RPA 

The best company to implement your RPA solution is one that meets your business goals. So keeping your objectives in mind, choose the right RPA solution that has all the features you require and satisfies your conditions like budget, technicality, etc. Hire experienced digital transformation consulting services to meet your robotic process automation needs successfully. 

Mindster DX is a leading digital transformation company that provides best in class digital transformation services. Contact us now and talk to our experts and let us help you on your digital transformation journey.