Robotics By DevTechToday March 16, 2023

Robotic Process Automation (RPA): How Does It Lead to Process Improvement?

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has been the talk of the town for quite some time. And for a good reason. Almost 70% of organizations today are adopting automation technologies, and one of the most important among them is RPA. 

This is because RPA focuses on automating repetitive tasks and streamlining business processes for better efficiency. 

But is it the next big thing in process improvement? Let’s find out. 

Below we have listed some vital aspects of how RPA works, its impact on process improvement, and some of its most popular use cases. Let’s dig in.

How Does ‘RPA’ Works?

In simpler words, Robotic Process Automation RPA is a process that involves instructing software robots to execute mundane, data-intensive, or repetitive tasks. 

But it’s not that simple. 

Here’s how an RPA implementation typically works: 

  • Discovery: The first step is to identify which tasks can be automated. Usually, companies implement RPA for automating repetitive, rule-based, and time-consuming tasks. But you should think deeply about which processes carry massive business value and focus on automating them first.
  • Define success criteria: It is crucial to note that you must have an end goal in mind. So having well-defined success criteria with clear inputs and outputs is vital to ensure that you achieve the desired outcomes. 
  • Choose a vendor: Finding reputed software vendors is vital for creating and deploying software robots. While selecting a vendor, you must think long-term and look for industry experts who offer scalable solutions with a comprehensive support model.
  • Creating an implementation plan: After task identification, you need to work with your vendor and craft an implementation plan that includes proof-of-concept, design and testing requirements, success benchmarks, and other crucial aspects. 
  • Deployment: If your implementation plan is ready, it’s time to think about deployment. Most companies establish an RPA center of excellence unit (CoE) dedicated to fine-tuning and deploying the technology across business areas. It will also help monitor the technology for performance issues. For instance, if a security issue is detected, it can be addressed by making changes to the software programming.
  • Expansion: This phase is about scaling automation across all areas of the organization. It includes identifying potential business processes for automation, establishing best practices, and growing resources to ensure rapid scaling. 

Impact of RPA on Process Improvement

With advancements in AI, Machine Learning, and RPA (Robotic Process Automation), process transformation has never been more accessible. But understanding the nuances is crucial to realize its value. 

Here’s an overview of how RPA will impact process improvement:  

  • Efficiency: Reports have shown that RPA can manage almost 60% of business processes. By automating routine tasks, the technology can increase productivity and efficiency, allowing employees to focus on high-value activities. 
  • Accuracy: Since all the programs are rule-based, RPA bots operate with 100% accuracy and precision. These bots are programmed to complete tasks consistently and without errors, reducing the likelihood of mistakes or inaccuracies in data entry, data processing, and data transfer. 
  • Speed: Research shows that 90% of employees are burdened with repetitive tasks, slowing their ability to perform higher-value tasks. RPA bots can perform such tasks faster, ultimately reducing lead times. This can help businesses meet customer demands more quickly and improve overall responsiveness. For example, in the customer service department, RPA can automate responses to customer inquiries, improving response times and customer satisfaction.
  • Cost savings: When implemented correctly, RPA has helped companies achieve an ROI of 250%. This is because it helps businesses reduce inefficiencies and enhance customer experiences, improving their bottom line and optimizing their resources.
  • Scalability: RPA can easily scale up or down depending on business needs. It can help businesses adjust to customer demands and market fluctuations. For example, if there is an increase in customer inquiries, you can scale up the technology to handle the additional workload.
  • Data analytics: The biggest problem with legacy systems and processes is is lack of visibility. And this makes it difficult for businesses to make informed decisions. With RPA, you get real-time data and insights about task completion times, error rates, and other performance metrics to help you improve the process further. The best part is that you can also integrate the bots with advanced technologies like AI and Machine Learning for granular analysis.  

How Are Companies Using RPA to Improve Bottom Line?

There are several ways companies can use RPA to improve their bottom line. Let’s explore a few examples:  

  1. Heineken Uses Intelligent Automation to Scale Its Operations

According to a recent case study published by UiPath, Dutch brewing company ‘Heineken’ launched intelligent automation initiatives that include the infusion of AI and RPA to automate various business processes across departments such as finance, procurement and commerce, IT, sales, and more. 

The company started its plan by developing a roadmap and creating interdependent teams to ensure end-to-end automation. In doing so, the company successfully saved 14,000 hours each month. By 2025, the company is set to achieve hyper-automation and save a million hours. 

  1. Mantrac Group Achieving 85% Efficiency With RPA

As one of the largest Caterpillar dealers of heavy equipment, Mantrac Group was able to accelerate its labor-intensive manual data entry processes and achieved 85% efficiency. As the influx of new suppliers and dealers increased, the company was able to integrate its financial processes with RPA bots and make the invoicing and data entry process fuss-free. 

Since the bots were running 24/7, and almost 50% of multi-brand invoices were processed outside business hours, it helped the company save more than 1000+ employee hours. 

The Future of RPA in the Business World

RPA has made significant inroads globally, but its future looks even more promising. The industry will grow to $16 Billion by 2025, and many niche industries are adopting RPA solutions to maximize capacities. 

Here are some potential developments that could shape the future of RPA:

  • Intelligent automation: RPA is well-equipped to automate routine tasks, but the next step is to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to create intelligent automation. This would enable RPA to handle more complex tasks that require decision-making, natural language processing, and contextual understanding.
  • Cloud-based RPA: Cloud-based RPA platforms offer several advantages over traditional on-premises RPA solutions. It allows better scalability, faster deployment, and greater accessibility. As cloud transformation is gaining massive momentum, we can expect more businesses to adopt cloud-based RPA.
  • Improved security and compliance: As data thefts, frauds, and compliance become increasingly rampant, we can expect to see more businesses adopt RPA solutions to make data secure. It can help companies automate critical tasks such as data encryption, access control, and regulatory compliance. 

Start Your RPA Journey Today!

As customer expectations keep growing, businesses must look for new ways to deliver results. Thankfully, RPA is no longer something that seems futuristic. The technology is accessible to organizations of all sizes and guarantees many tangible benefits. So if you haven’t started your RPA journey yet, it’s time to buckle down. 

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