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What is Robotic Process Automation and how it can be used in your organisation
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software automates repetitive, rules-based processes that are usually performed by people. By interacting with applications just like a human, robots (‘bots’) can perform many manual tasks such as recording and re-keying data. Making RPA tools extremely useful to help streamline business processes and improve customer satisfaction.
Your business is filled with small jobs that take time away from your workers – tasks that clog up calendars, push deadlines back and delay valuable projects. Your staff are experts in what they do. However, they continually find themselves having to focus on manual tasks and processes that could be easily automated.
There are three main areas where RPA can help:
- Automation of tasks that would otherwise require manual operation
- Automating time-consuming, repetitive, mundane tasks
- Automation that simulates human activity
What do you want to know?
Robotic Process Automation can be split into two key areas:
Following a set of predefined repetitive activities against a set of rules, where there are:
- Structured and logical tasks
- Structured data
- High stability with low variability
- Rules-based processes
- High volumes
Invoice and expense processing; staff process management such as joiners and leavers; data migration or cleansing and resetting of passwords; renewals, change of address, opening or closing accounts
Automation that mimics human behaviour, best used:
- Where there are repetitive, manual, situational and decision-oriented tasks
- When there is unstructured data
- For machine learning – training based on analysis of historical and ongoing data
- For natural language processing
- For decisions that can be made by bots or escalated for human input
Mismatches between contracts and invoices; Chatbots; customer screening, automated claims decisions; underwriting; loan processing, customer relationship management
Maximising the potential of RPA software means freeing up your workforce’s time to concentrate on more high-value strategic, creative, or collaborative working.
Identifying your process flows and finding automation opportunities
Many businesses know the benefits of RPA but are unsure how it can be utilised in their organisation. You may read case studies or news reports about how other businesses have applied RPA tools, but every company’s system architecture is different. What tasks in your company could be automated? And if RPA is so powerful and transformative, where should you apply it inside your organisation?
Here are just some of the jobs, tasks, and processes that RPA can make more efficient in different industries:
- Compliance checks
- Searching databases
- Report filing
- Reviewing case information
- Procure to pay (P2P)
- Accounts receivable (AR)
- General accounting
- Tax accounting and compliance
- Financial planning and reporting
- Invoice processing
- Inventory management
- Product categorisation
- Supply chain management
- Sales analysis
- Store planning
- Administrative data entry
- Patient appointment scheduling and management
- Regulatory compliance
- Bills and claims processing
- Document digitalisation
- E-signature verification
- Document uploads
- Information verification for approvals or rejections
- Account information checks and password resets
- Organisation payroll
- Time/attendance management
- On-boarding and off-boarding
- Compliance maintenance
How does RPA affect the culture of your organisation?
Some members of your workforce may be hesitant to adopt RPA software as part of their work. Employees sometimes worry that automation is being used to replace them – taking tasks away from them and having the tasks automated in a cost-effective manner that threatens their job security. It’s understandable, which is why it’s essential to explain that Robtic Process Automation can be used to make their jobs easier, not to take them away.
It starts with discussing the difference between attended and unattended RPA.
Attended Robotic Process Automation
Attended bots run on a user’s workstation and are triggered by user actions. They automate small repetitive, tedious tasks to increase speed and efficiency and are sometimes known as personal assistant bots or virtual assistants.
Unattended Robotic Process Automation
Unattended bots run on servers behind the scenes with little or no human intervention. They’re built to be run on pre-determined schedules or workflow triggers and can be used to automate wider back-office functions and processes at scale.
Attended and unattended RPA can be implemented in various ways to help your teams complete more meaningful work. Consider a Customer Service team and the many repetitive actions they may need to complete:
- Data entry
- Processing documentation
- Sending email notifications on issue resolution
These are all tasks that can be automated using unattended automation – helping your organisation and its customers log and resolve issues faster. Attended automation can be implemented through a chatbot, meaning the majority of straightforward tasks are carried out automatically, but complex issues that require personal review are elevated to a Customer Service team member.
Consider the automation assistance commonly used on banking websites:
- Bots help customers who are looking for frequently asked questions or completing common tasks by pushing them through to relevant website pages.
- Customers who need personal assistance are elevated into a chat with a Customer Service Assistant.
This shows how automation can be used in various forms to help workers complete more meaningful work. If you’re considering implementing RPA software but other members of your organisation are hesitant to embrace it, there are steps you can take:
Increase your communication
Speak with the employees that will be affected by the implementation of automation and explain how it can benefit them.
Do this as early as possible in the process of exploring RPA and honestly show that you’re looking for ways to improve how they work.
Some workers are wary of automation because they fear it requires technical knowledge they just don’t have. Address this head-on by explaining the training and guidance that would come with your implementation of RPA.
Showing how this training ties into their existing workplace performance and targets will help your staff become confident that RPA is used to help them succeed.
Improve your engagement
Of course, communication is not just about talking to your workforce – it’s also essential for you to hear and empathise with their concerns, questions and ideas.
Encourage your staff to discuss their opinions openly. They’ll feel valued and empowered, and may raise opportunities that you haven’t considered before.
Fear of change is nothing new, and opposition to automation can stem from misinformation or speculation between peers. You need to provide leadership so employees know they can get clear answers to their questions.
Remember that buy-in is important at all levels of your organisation, from senior leadership to customer-facing roles. Your leadership will inspire confidence in those who are initially resistant to making RPA a part of their role.
How our RPA Advisory and Consultants can help
Uncertain how to improve the effectiveness, stability and maintainability of your existing RPA solutions before further rollout?
Many organisations have already embarked upon their RPA journeys but with limited success and significant cost. Other organisations have completed initial RPA implementations successfully but are not sure where to go next.
Ten10’s RPA Advisory solution delivers an expert-led review of your existing RPA implementation, engaging with both business and technology stakeholders to ensure a comprehensive assessment and overall buy-in.
Our extensive RPA experience means we bring real-world, practical solutions that we know will make a difference.
We will review:
- Your existing RPA scope, strategy and approach including the wider implementation and how it is maintained and supported
- The RPA tooling implementation, scripts and configuration, the data that drives these and how they integrate with the application landscape including access/security approaches
- The methods used to automate the underlying processes and applications
- The approach to RPA development, maintenance and testing including environments to support this
- Audit, logging and exception handling processes (automated or otherwise) and common live operational support issues
- The RPA infrastructure implementation and where this fits within the wider estate
From this review, you’ll receive a pragmatic and prioritised improvement roadmap as our experts:
- Compare your working practices and processes against industry best practices
- Evaluate the effectiveness of your current implementation
- Assess the costs and benefits of improving existing solutions against implementing new ones
How our RPA Pilot service can help
Aware of the potential benefits and value of RPA but apprehensive about the potential costs and chances of success?
Anxious to find a low-cost, low-risk way to trial the value of RPA but with no long-term service or tooling commitments?
Keen to work with a trusted, industry-leading RPA partner that delivers?
Ten10’s RPA Pilot provides a low-cost, low-risk approach to introducing RPA into your organisation without longer-term commitments, helping you to gain confidence in its value and to build a robust business case.
We deliver a pilot solution using a full RPA implementation lifecycle but with no longer-term service, licence or tooling commitments. In addition, Ten10’s RPA cloud can be utilised to remove the need to implement any additional infrastructure.
Using our proven Tenology methodology, our Robotic Process Automation (RPA) consultants will work with you to deliver an RPA implementation project via the following phases:
- Opportunity analysis: Scoping and prioritisation, working with your key stakeholders to identify and define appropriate pilot processes and assessing the technology landscape and RPA tooling options.
- Business process modelling and planning: Detailed modelling and step-by-step process capture that will underpin the implementation. Then defining and agreeing the plan for implementation which includes prerequisites and dependencies including tooling, development and test environments, live operational environments and the go live and support approaches.
- Preparation: Support the preparation of the environments, tooling and access to develop, test and implement the RPA pilot solution.
- Implementation: Develop and test the RPA pilot solution using appropriate test environments and data.
- Deployment: Support the go-live of the RPA pilot solution and assess return on investment.
The result is a fully functioning RPA solution which enables you to experience the value of RPA, providing you with clear visibility of the value that can be achieved and the confidence for further investment.
Our Robotic Process Automation (RPA) services and solutions are designed to allow organisations to embrace RPA without the large-scale programmes and investments that characterise many enterprise implementations. We have expertise in a wide range of RPA tools across functionality, architecture, structure and AI, and our tool-agnostic approach means we always look to recommend the most appropriate solution to benefit our clients’ needs.
Ten10 is a trusted, industry-leading RPA partner that delivers. Our solutions are designed and delivered in an intelligent way to enhance our clients’ operational success, right-fit for now and in the future.
Our blend of experienced tech engineers and diverse talent means you choose what kind of support you need:
Working with Ten10 means receiving tailored solutions that work for your business, intelligently delivered by experts who care. We work with your goals and priorities in mind from the very beginning. We don’t push new tools or processes if they aren’t what you need – we adopt and improve what you have and make intelligent recommendations that will help you realise your goals.
Our test automation services are delivered by experienced Consultants and Engineers that ensure you can deliver your business outcomes. Our exceptional heritage in software testing and quality engineering means we have a huge breadth and depth of experience across a large variety of industries, technologies and interfaces.
This delivery model creates a blended team of Academy Engineers led by our experienced Consultants to deliver more complex projects for you. The challenge of delivering immediate solutions is addressed by our senior Consultants, who in turn lead and develop the Academy Engineers in the team, all whilst maintaining focus on your objectives.
Speak to a member of our team about RPA today
Tell us what help you need and we’ll get straight back to you.