- Unification of processes and reduction in human errors
- Accurate processing and collecting data, improved analytics
- Compatibility with existing systems
- Increased productivity and higher efficiency
- Better regulatory compliance
- Improved customer experience
- Increased employee satisfaction
- RPA in business is a way to boost your productivity while decreasing costs
About 60% of industries have at least a third of activities and tasks running manually, but many can be automated thanks to the adoption of robotic process automation (RPA). The percentage for individual industries differs. According to the McKinsey Executive summary, automation potential in manufacturing is one of the highest — 60%, in the fintech industry — 43%, in the healthcare branch — 36%, among educational services — 27%. One thing is sure, automation is one of the software solutions shaping the future of all industries. What are the common benefits of RPA technologies adoption? Let’s investigate how automation may become an indispensable constituent of your business’s success.
Unification of processes and reduction in human errors
If your organization has offices in many countries, can you guarantee that employees in every office will follow rigorous rules for each process without exception? People tend to modify processes to their own liking and make them easier. For example, if some procedures begin to seem unimportant over time, they may skip them entirely. Such an approach leads to disastrous consequences when it comes to security. For instance, skipping the stage of the sandbox check for all the emails an employee receives increases your company’s vulnerability to social engineering attacks. In contrast, RPA is a program that follows an algorithm, ensuring that security checks are always followed as settled across locations.
Accurate processing and collecting data, improved analytics
Collecting and processing information can take up a lot of working time. On the bright side, they also have the highest automation potential compared with other time-consuming activities.
Other operations that relate to data, such as data entry, verification, management, sorting, cleansing, integration, and migration can also be simplified thanks to the process automation.
For instance, during data collection, the main advantages of RPA are accuracy and elimination of human error. At the stage of data cleansing, RPA helps automate data deduplication, data monitoring for anomalies, and data migration between disparate enterprise applications.
Here’s an example of how RPA can be used to improve the analytics of an e-commerce solution:
Bots collect information about the customers, such as the amount of money being spent, buying habits, etc. to help you personalize customer experience. During the stages that follow data processing, automation can be used to analyze the data, build reports, and compare information from them with the store’s product inventory. Such an approach will help facilitate and accelerate the work of the sales and marketing teams.
RPA technologies also provide organizations with a bonus benefit — task execution data that can enhance analytics. It’s useful for uncovering hidden patterns and drawbacks in your business processes to find an appropriate way to optimize the supply chain. Also, bots notify you about the exceptions they cannot handle within their algorithm during task execution so that you can more efficiently develop the BPM strategy.
Compatibility with existing systems
Let’s take a real-life example from the healthcare industry. Clinics have Electronic Medical Records (EMR) with patients’ medical history and treatment. They also have Clinical Decision Support (CDS) systems that help doctors predict drug interactions and prepare diagnoses for patients by analyzing data from various systems, including EMR. So it’s crucial to organize an error-free data flow between these systems. RPA technology handles this task faster and more efficiently than a human, who can make mistakes when copying data from EMR to CDS.
A bot copies human actions. This means it acts just like a human would. With one difference, the technology operates according to a well-designed algorithm and doesn’t make mistakes. It’s also important to acknowledge that it completes these operations even outside business hours. As a result, organizations process data faster and don’t need to replace or reengineer existing systems when implementing RPA because this technology isn’t built into them but layered on them — you can adjust processes in a blink of an eye, and start taking advantage of their agility and efficiency straight away. Such an approach allows companies to adopt process automation in a non-interruptive way, which makes RPA unique among other types of automation.
Increased productivity and higher efficiency
Productivity is the most noticeable benefit of RPA implementation in any industry, which is not surprising at all. Bots can complete operations more quickly than people, and often at a lower cost.
It’s hard for humans to compete with a technology that doesn’t need sick days and vacations and works 24/7. Luckily, there’s no need to measure up. Instead, your staff can use their time and talent for tasks that robots can’t handle. Combine the capabilities of people and machines to obtain better outcomes. The PwC Finance Benchmarking Report reveals that you can save up to 40% of working time thanks to automation. Take eBay with its complicated accounts system as an example. Creating a month-end financial close report manually took up to 10 days, and after RPA adoption this time decreased to three days.
When the robotic part of the work is done, the document is reviewed by the person responsible for its preparation. So, adopting automation doesn’t mean you can fully replace an employee with an RPA technology. However, it allows you to free your staff from boring, monotonous operations and use their abilities for advanced tasks where RPA fails.
Higher security level
Speed is the cornerstone of successful defence against cyberattacks. The faster you identify an invasion of your system, the faster you’ll deal with it and minimize its influence. CISOs and security leaders who were the respondents of the EY Global Information Security Survey stated that they’d seen a clear rise in attacks over the previous 12 months. RPA implementation is a way to cope with this situation because the technology speeds up threat identification and response processes.
Even if an attack occurs, RPA helps mitigate its impact, creating backup copies of core processes in case of the system’s shutdown is another function that bots perform. They record even small actions with data, so that you always have complete audit trails with every click logged. This way, later it’s easier to find out which part of the system was the weak link and strengthen it.
RPA contributes to improving security, but human experts still play a key role as most organization would prefer their security analysts to make the final calls about security issues, not a machine. When it comes to shutting down a critical server, who would you trust with the final decision-making — an RPA bot or a person?
Better regulatory compliance
For some industries, being compliant with regulations is vital. For example, high compliance level is a compulsory condition for healthcare where organizations should meet a variety of standards, such as HIPAA, HITECH act, PSQIA, etc. as it’s a matter of profitability, reputation, and legality. In these cases, working without specific software that ensures all the requirements are met is impossible.
The undeniable RPA advantage is that it facilitates business processes in heavily regulated environments. RPA bots are worth looking into as you can hard-code compliance checks in their logic to prevent the possibility of data breaches. The collateral damage for HIPAA violations that vary from $1,000 per mild accident to $100,000 for serious breaches.
Improved customer experience
Customer experience is one of the main areas of competition right now. If you failed to attract a client via a couple of touch-points, then consider you missed them. RPA is exceedingly important in retail, where 63% of consumers expect businesses to know their unique needs and expectations.
For claims processing, the results of automation adoption are tangible indeed. The faster the reaction to a claim is, the higher customer satisfaction level will be. Think of it in numbers:
Simply checking the claim’s status takes about 85 seconds of the employee’s time. And how many claims do you get every day? Multiply those 85 seconds by the number of requests — that’s how much time your staff waste on a primitive mechanical task. What if you automate this part of the operation to speed up claim processing and give the employees more time to get to the bottom of things and meet customers’ expectations? Care1st Health Plan Arizona also thought about it and decided to use RPA advantages in their practice. The technology allowed the organization to process 20 requests in 1 minute. On a workday scale, such an approach reduced 8-10-hour work to 1 hour. With this approach to improving customer experience, clients get the information they need quickly and easily, and become loyal customers who can recommend your organization.
If it comes to the financial benefits of RPA implementation, McKinsey states that replacing humans with bots for 60-70% of operations related to claims processing leads to a 30% reduction in claims processing costs.
RPA also helps you personalize the customer experience. For example, in the education sector, you can use robotic algorithms to determine which teaching methods are likely to work on each student.
Increased employee satisfaction
When your staff is engaged in high-value work, which requires a deep dive into the issues surrounding the topic, switching to small routine tasks can give the brain a break — no one can be equally efficient all day long. But what if dealing with those mundane operations takes up most of your employees’ time, slowing them down and hindering their productivity? Will they be satisfied with groundhog-day-like work? Deloitte’s report indicates that 42% of employees who plan to leave their current employer don’t believe their talents and abilities are being used effectively and don’t find their work worthwhile. And being buried under the flurry of repetitive mechanical actions is one of the reasons for it. RPA takes over mundane repetitive operations and helps to keep highly-qualified employees focused on meaningful tasks.
Since RPA software is user-friendly and flexible enough to allow non-technical employees to adjust the software to their needs, you gain one more advantage of the RPA adoption — it decreases the workload of your IT department.
RPA in business is a way to boost your productivity while decreasing costs
Robotic process automation is a key enabler for digital transformation initiatives within any industry. Implementing RPA you kill two birds with one stone —speed up routine operations and keep your employees engaged in meaningful tasks. The business value of such changes is also obvious — cost savings by industry vary from 40% for operational tasks in manufacturing to 30-70% for processing activities in the banking sector. The general trend is clear — RPA adoptions meet or even exceed expectations in cost reduction for 81% of organizations that have implemented the technology.
Wondering how far you can go by adopting RPA in your business?
If you think you don’t need RPA, it means you are ready to give up on a number of opportunities this technology offers. RPA helps achieve process standardization, higher efficiency, better security level and regulatory compliance, increased customer experience and improved staff satisfaction. The cherry on top of the cake is cost reduction. If you want to get more by spending less then you need RPA.
RPA plays an essential role for organizations that want to streamline their processes while reducing their costs. But adopting robotic process automation is especially valuable for industries that have to meet regulatory requirements, such as healthcare and fintech.