Understand RPA and how to implement it in your business

No, don’t worry, we’re not talking about humanoid robots running around your company!

What happens is that with digital transformation generating real business revolutions, a focus for organizations has become getting their employees to use their time and energy to the fullest to accomplish tasks that are truly important and require a “human touch.”

It’s necessary to commit your team to dedicate themselves to everything that really makes a difference in their respective roles when it is performed by people.

RPA – Robotic Process Automation – has appeared as a technological innovation to automate processes that previously could only be performed with human intervention, to increase company productivity.

Thus, some repetitive tasks that could not yet be performed by systems (because they needed continuous learning and decision making, for example), are carried out in this way (and with fewer errors).

Officials dedicated to them now have more free time for other activities which – for now – only humans can do properly.

In this way, we add more value to both the business and the final delivery to the customer.

Now that you know you won’t need to greet Android workmates when you get to work, find out how to streamline operations, cut costs, and revolutionize your company’s day-to-day business with RPA.

Know more: Who and which areas are involved in digital transformation?

What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?

RPA, or Robotic Process Automation, is a technological application of process automation which uses “robot” software.

Its purpose is to replace very repetitive, low-key or operational company tasks.

RPA “imitates” the performance of a human being performing activities on a computer.

It has an intuitive task-building interface with drag-and-drop capabilities, so you can define the sequence of clicks and commands a person would use while automating the software. Here’s an example in AutoMate:

bpa automation

Source: AutoMate

In this way, the software can repeat these processes on its own, at a high speed and as many times as necessary.

With this, employees will be able to dedicate themselves to tasks that are really important to the organization’s business.

What are the differentials in relation to other forms of automation?

RPA (Robotic Process Automation) has features that set it apart from other types of business automation tools.

One of the main reasons is that RPA has greater flexibility and adaptability to different types of processes.

Everything can be automated without the need for human intervention.

Thus, “robot” software is able to solve problems without interruption.

In addition, other more traditional forms of automation require constant follow-up from a collaborator.

RPA (Robotic Process Automation) – Usage examples

RPA – Robotic Process Automation – has quite broad use examples in an organization, and can be applied to a variety of processes.

Options can vary from basic, such as sending an automated email, to more complex, through the adoption of thousands of bots, each with a specific function.

One of the most commonly used examples of RPA – Robotic Process Automation – is customer service platforms.

In a call center, technology is responsible for registering updates, verifying orders, opening customer data histories, etc.

In addition, RPA can also assist in activities such as:

  1. Accounts receivable
  2. Order Processing
  3. Sending notifications
  4. Updating customer and employee profiles
  5. Closing fraudulent accounts
  6. Generating compliance reports
  7. Operating applications
  8. Doing complex calculations
  9. Managing HR Talent database
  10. Registering, modifying, validating and analyzing company data
  11. Monitoring automated tasks

Also see: What is a help desk? How do you improve this process?

How to implement it?

It’s important to note that RPA is a comprehensive technology and can be used in several types of companies, it’s not exclusively for large businesses, it’s also used in small and medium-sized businesses.

To implement this new technology, you have to follow 4 steps:

1- List the needs of the company

First, it’s necessary to analyze which processes of your company can benefit from the implementation of the tool.

It’s important to note that robotization will occur at some points in your process. It can be used to start a work process or to implement a service or demand.

Identify those processes that have human tasks of low added value or that have a large number of occurrences whose human execution is inefficient or puts the process at risk.

2- Choose the provider

Establish the criteria and requirements for choosing the RPA supplier that best fits your business.

You can consider issues such as technical specifications, differentiated features or prices that fit your revenue.

It’s worth requesting presentations of the product, so you can implement the best fit.

3- Implement the software

Having chosen the most appropriate vendor, it is time to put the software into action.

At this stage, it’s necessary to ensure that your employees are trained to use the RPA.

After all, it’s no use hiring software that nobody knows how to use.

For this, you’ll need to prepare your IT staff.

In addition, it’s essential that initial software application activities are documented to generate records which you can analyze.

Therefore, it’s through these statements, possible problems, needs for changes or additional requirements will be detected.

So this third step is the time to test it yourself, make mistakes, and solve them.

4- Manage the RPA life cycle

After the previous test step, it’s time to deploy the RPA solution you consider successful.

This is the step-by-step way to put into practice established strategies and change management.

You should do all this planning to ensure the results you expect when you implement the software.

Check out: ITIL change management: employ best practices

What are the advantages?

1- Automating everyday tasks

By having an RPA, your employees won’t waste any more time and energy on activities that aren’t very important or are repetitive.

For example: When updating customer records, imagine how much time an employee wastes checking each item to ensure no data is missing and then entering information manually.

RPA indicates the fields that are missing for each profile.

Thus, employees will know exactly what they need to do and will spend much less time to complete the task.

2-Employees more focused on what really matters

By allowing “robot” software to perform mundane tasks, employees can devote themselves to activities that really matter in their jobs, tasks that require more of their intellect and personal skills.

Those are activities that demand creativity, innovation and which have a great impact on your business.

3- Increased motivation and productivity

Employees who can spend less time on repetitive and dull activities tend to be more motivated and productive, demonstrating a greater engagement with their work.

4- Fewer errors in processes

Human errors are much more common and frequent when compared to the performance of new technologies.

It’s no different with RPA: It doesn’t forget data, and it doesn’t copy it in the wrong way.

5- Facilitated and well-structured analyzes

RPA is able to act almost like a person in respect to analysis.

It can compile and interpret data stored in real time as it generates information.

RPA stores and records, in detail, every activity.

Thus, managers will have a more concrete and robust database to analyze company processes, having a better view of what is happening in the organization.

6- Cost reduction

By automating processes, RPA reduces the need for more employees or outsourcing services.

Therefore, the team becomes “leaner”, you reduce your operating costs and the team carries out activities quicker.

Forecasts from Gartner suggest that by 2020, automation systems will reduce the need for employees in Shared Services Centers by 65%.

7- Improvement in communication

You can use this technology to manage a company’s interaction with customers and other stakeholders.

It can help, for example, control the agenda of customer contacts and send automatic messages, offering products or alerting about promotions.

8- Integration with other tools and systems

Concerned about the systems your team is already accustomed to working with?

It’s not necessary: RPA Robotic Process Automation provides good integration with other systems, such as ERP, cloud applications, BPM and others.

Helpful Tips

Implementing an innovative technology such as RPA requires investments

Employing RPA is not exactly cheap.

But, RPA Robotic Process Automation has the advantage of reducing costs.

So, consider the cost reductions and make a comparison with the amount you will have to invest.

Usually, these cost savings outweigh the higher price of this technology.

But first, study the changes and organizational culture that you will employ in your business and whether you will be willing to make these necessary changes.

Don’t just think about the cost reductions

Reducing costs is a concern of virtually every business. And RPA effectiveness links closely with this factor.

However, this should not be the sole focus for deploying this technology in your business.

In order to decide to adopt the software, it’s essential to have as a real objective the need to improve the results of your organization.

Experts point out that by 2019, automation processes will have a low impact on the growth of 50% of those companies that adopt them with a focus on cost reduction.

Update your team

The software demands training and knowledge about its operation.

So be aware that you will need to invest in this area to get the right results.

Promote constant improvement

You can increase the scope of RPA Robotic Process Automation as you see fit.

Therefore, don’t remain static: continue evaluating the results and even automating more activities in a gradual way.

So, what did you think of all this information about RPA?

Do you already use this technology in any way in your company? What do you think will influence your work in the future?

And, what about business productivity?

Leave your opinions in the comments!

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