In these fast-paced, ever-changing times, we have faced with an endless parade of new technology, innovations, and procedures, most of them characterized as “essential” for today’s businesses to stay competitive. Along with these new tech developments comes a never-ending stream of acronyms to keep track of.
Well, take a deep breath and brace yourself, because we have another acronym (and tech development) for you, and this one’s going to get a lot more exposure in the days to come. We’re talking about RPA. Your business needs it, and we’re going to show you why.
What is RPA?
Let’s start with the basics. RPA stands for Robotic Process Automation. RPA is a type of business process technology, controlled by structured inputs and business logic, to automate those repetitive and rule-based tasks that are usually done by humans. By employing either a combination of user interface interactions, or connectors to mainframes, client servers, or HTML code, RPA can imitate actions that people take through applications.
Yes, here it is at last: the robots have come for our jobs.
Actually, no, not really. Robots don’t want our jobs.
In reality, RPA is here to complement daily work routines, enhancing employees’ capabilities, not replacing them. Read on and see why this is a good thing for your business.
RPA’s versatility is only starting to be recognized. Businesses can use RPA in several tasks, like generating mass emails, extracting data from media such as PDFs and scanned documents, creating and sending invoices, employee history verification, and payroll automation.
Since the whole point of a business is to generate revenue, RPA can help in quote-to-cash by automating sales operations, thereby not only executing transactions faster but also with a higher degree of accuracy. The entire series of sales-oriented operational activities can be taken over by RPA, resulting in higher customer satisfaction.
RPA also really shines in the field of data management. Considering the sheer volume of data out there (and it doesn’t seem to show any signs of letting up!), it’s a tremendous advantage to have RPA to collect, integrate, analyze, and process the torrents of data generated in today’s commercial world.
Lastly, RPA can be used to improve customer service operations. We’re not talking about RPA replacing human service reps; there are enough disgruntled people out there who complain about not being able to talk to an actual living person! No sense in alienating them any further. Instead, RPA can be used to tackle the repetitive, easy tasks that plague customer service representatives, thereby freeing the latter to deliver a better experience to customers. RPA can update customer profiles, pull up billing data, and other mundane tasks that would otherwise consume customer service reps’ time.
Advantages of RPA
Alright, so we have a partial list of fields where RPA can be of great help. But what specific benefits does RPA bring?
RPA reduces human errors, generally associated with repeating the same task over and over by rote. Inevitably, mistakes creep in.
Furthermore, RPA can reduce staffing costs while increasing productivity and efficiency. RPA applications that take care of the redundant grunt work free up employees to do other tasks that may ultimately prove more interesting and challenging.
RPA works faster than humans doing the same tasks, which means quicker turnarounds when dealing with clients. This is also handy when higher-ups on the corporate ladder want certain things done “yesterday!”
Also, businesses don’t need fancy software or deep system integration to have RPA tools work with their existing legacy systems. Businesses can further boost their RPA by adding elements such as speech recognition and natural language processing. RPA is an extremely scalable asset, and the robotic workforce can be adjusted to accommodate the peaks and valleys of the company’s workflow.
So, businesses bringing in RPA do so to increase efficiency and speed, cut costs without sacrificing quality, boost productivity, and bring in a measure of flexibility and agility. That all sounds very nice, but are there any disadvantages to RPA?