Data entry can be a tedious, mundane task, requiring the re-entry of the same information over and over again, or the constant copying and pasting of data from one application to another. Robotic process automation (RPA) is revolutionising the way we interact with our business systems through the use of software robots that can automate many of these repetitive tasks.
As implemented today, RPA robots can mimic many human user actions, such as moving digital files and folders, copying and pasting data, and filling out digital forms. In large organisations that formerly required the manual completion of high-volume, rules-driven tasks, RPA robots can play an important role in saving time, improving accuracy, and increasing productivity.
There are two types of RPA robots: attended and unattended.
Attended robots are those that must be triggered by a human in order to perform their task. Once triggered, they are then able to complete tasks up to a certain stage before human intervention is needed.
As an example of an attended robot at work, imagine a call centre. While the operator is busy ascertaining the customers’ problem, the attended robot could assist by locating the customer’s data in another application and displaying it on the operator’s screen during the live call.
Unattended bots, on the other hand, are designed to carry out predictable, repetitive tasks which require no human intervention and which can be fully automated from end-to-end at preset times (including overnight). Like attended robots, unattended robots are able to carry out checks on data using predetermined business rules to support an organisation’s quality control and compliance.
For an example of an unattended bot in a live setting, consider a records management environment. When new batches of customer details are received, data from the spreadsheets may need to be entered into a number of other applications. An unattended bot can be programmed to transfer this information, without the need for human involvement.
The most successful RPA integrations think of both attended and unattended robots as their own digital workforce; as virtual ‘people’ within the organisation. RPA robots may have their own logins, and may even report to people within the company. Allowing human workers and RPA robots to work together as teammates produces the best outcomes for RPA adopters.
Certainly, one of the biggest benefits associated with RPA is the potential for productivity improvements, as well as related cost reductions. When you consider that an attended RPA robot can save a human user up to 20% of their time - and then multiply that across hundreds, if not thousands, of users in large organisations - the efficiency gains become easy to appreciate, as robots never get tired, never get bored, never get sick, and can work continuously 24/7. Robots also will never make errors or have a typo, this in turn reduces risk to the organisation by minimising the potential for human error and ensuring better compliance.
Further, the improvement in conditions for human workers that robotic process automation facilitates should not be underestimated. Because RPA makes their jobs easier, workers are able to recoup lost administrative time in order to concentrate on more rewarding, customer-focused tasks. This has the potential to result in greater employee and customer satisfaction levels for the organisation overall.
If you’re planning to introduce RPA into your organisation, the following tips will help ensure you achieve maximum ROI, in the shortest possible amount of time:
Robotic process automation allows your team to capture and configure key back office processes so that they can be performed more efficiently and accurately by attended or unattended robots.
That said, implementing RPA is not as complicated as it may sound. Today’s RPA integrations take advantage of user-friendly drag-and-drop methodology that can be implemented across systems, with no additional software required.
If you are interested in RPA, but are not sure how to proceed, look to a trusted partner like Converga. Our ‘Robots as a Service’ (RaaS) model allows organisations to start with a small automation experiment, assess the opportunity, and scale up gradually without the risk and investment required for a large rollout.
Converga partners with technology partner UiPath who are the Leader in the 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Robotic Process Automation. Reach out to the team at Converga today to see how this innovative technology can cut costs, improve employee morale, and boost overall business efficiency.
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