Robotic Process Automation
Robotic process automation technology automates repetitive and rule-based tasks performed across the enterprise. Process areas that were earlier difficult to automate are now seeing newer possibilities, thanks to RPA. The RPA technology eliminates human efforts (FTE savings), improves turn-around time and quality. It results in higher efficiencies and greater profitability across different departments. Developments in the fields of artificial intelligence and machine learning have furthered the cause of RPA.
The difference between RPA and traditional IT automation is the ability to be aware and adapt to changes and exceptions. Once RPA software has been skilled to capture and understand the actions of specific processes in existing software applications, it can then manipulate data, trigger and initiate tasks/activities and communicate with other systems unconventionally. RPA benefits not just large and medium bust also small-scale organizations. It can speed up tasks in a wide range of industries such as insurance, HR, finance, banking, CRM, BPO/KPO services, etc. Across these industries, organizations usually outsource such tasks to third parties/vendors. Outsourcing helps them mitigate risks in quality, time and employee-shortage.
RPA helps not just in eliminating repetitious tasks but allows employees to spend more time and effort in valuable & logical work. RPA helps with repetitive tasks that demand quality processing at any time of the day in a quick and inexpensive way.
As organizations gear up to embrace RPA, there are technologies already in play such as Bots that are facilitating this transition and making decisions easier with proven capabilities.
RPA technology offers companies a more profitable alternative to outsourcing. It results in lower operating costs, decreased time cycles and increased productivity. It also helps companies become more audit- and regulatory-compliant, as the technology monitors all the tasks that it automates.
A widely held belief is that automation is going to replace full-time employees. But, a number of high-quality jobs will be created for those skilled in the areas of RPA.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM):
CRM is a set of practices, strategies and technologies used to manage customer interactions and data. CRM operates across the customer lifecycle to improve customer relationships, loyalty and sales. CRM systems compile information on customers across different channels or points of contact. These channels include company’s website, telephone, live chat, direct mail, marketing materials and social media.
In recent times, CRM systems have become mandatory to stay connected with customers. In spite of the advantages, organizations are finding them investment-heavy. Besides, managing a CRM requires a pool of skilled employees – which also sometime deters companies from investing in a CRM.
This is the area where the employees would usually have the simple, repetitious & rule-based tasks with moderate or high volumes making this a case for use of RPA, where a BOT replaces human effort.
Productivity rates for enterprises have been flat in the past few years, across industries. As a result, business leaders are on the lookout for improving productivity with CRMs. It is important to ensure swiftness in customer processes that demand quick, consistent and accurate service.
Now let’s understand the compatibility between CRM & RPA
Users of a CRM perform tasks that are repetitive, rule-based and high in volume – with a structured input and few exceptions. Such tasks are cut-out for an RPA system. An RPA process can easily handle repetitive, rule-based and high-volume tasks.
So, should the logical conclusion be to introduce RPA into CRM suit to reduce human efforts?
Yes, That’s a right answer. Just refer the image below.
By their very nature, RPA projects have clear benefits. You are replacing specific human effort by automation. It is common for a bot to replace the equivalent of three to four FTEs when it takes over a process. You can calculate how long it takes to complete a simple, repetitive task that uses known business rules and structured data. From this, you get a clear estimate of man-hour savings.
Having a Proof of concept (POC) developed before project kick off is always advisable.
You’ll also need to identify allies and resistors in your organization to complete the stakeholder analysis. Your allies will include those who want better legal or regulatory compliance. RPA bots chug away at nearly 100% accuracy. That means fewer errors that cause trouble.
It is common for any RPA proposal to face resistance from the employees owning that piece of work. Leadership teams must keep employees aligned with the organization’s long-term vision towards technology.
Possible Business Restrictions:
- Monetary Expenses: Budget restrictions are among the biggest reasons why businesses do not install RPA. Even though RPA becomes profitable faster, the initial investments are higher.
- Fear of job loss – Many fear that RPA enables robots taking over human jobs. But the main purpose of RPA is to support humans in the workplace.
- Technical Ability – Many firms believe that leveraging RPA needs significant technical skills. This misconception often holds them back from implementing RPA.
- Major Change – Adopting any new technology requires change. The impact of that change is much less noticeable which is rarely understood.
- Technology standards – In the competition of RPA automations, very few of the available tools in the market have failed in the stability factor that resulted in the fear to change
As we established, it is much easier to use machines for all the repetitive tasks. They are not only cheaper but also more efficient.
There are already fully functional RPA systems in use. Using cognitive technology, they can complete any repetitive task a human being does in smarter ways. Due to huge benefits offered by RPA in cost and operations management, a radical shift is expected to take place in business processes very soon.