What is RPA and How Does It Help in Subcontracting? Everything You Will Need To Know
Robotic Process Automation enables any enterprise to streamline their operations and reduce costs. If you have always been intrigued by its process and wish to learn more, you have stumbled upon the right page. With our comprehensive guide on the A to Z working of RPA you will be able to take a closer look as to how align this strategy with your overall business goals and achieve maximum benefit.
What is Robot Process Automation (RPA)?
Robot Process Automation or RPA is a technological application that aims to automatize all business processing units. With the use of RPA tools, your company would be able to configure highly complicated softwares, can analyze and interpret application processing transactions, data manipulation and a smooth communication system with other multiple digital channels.
In simpler words, RPA tools through screen scraping and other latest technologies can create special agents that can replace clerical tasks. It works as an artificial intelligence software and is currently the most popular application used by companies to help them automate their workflows.
Why Would My Company Need Robot Process Automation (RPA)?
To transform your monotonous office tasks into highly automated and efficient tasks, Robot Process Automation (RPA) plays a huge role.
From generating a simple automatic response to an email to a more complex profile like deploying and coding thousands of bots that are specifically programmed for specific tasks, RPAs can be used for almost any programming ability. They are used to collect and maintain policy and company’s management data and transform it into a processing application, thus saving human effort of typing it out.
We give you the two major reasons why your company needs Robot Process Automation (RPA) today:
1. Need For More Tools
These days in order to keep pace with the digital world and improve efficiency, workplaces are using more and more tools every day. These tools cannot be feasibly automated or integrated. Even with the availability of API, not every developer company provides an open access to their API. Without an API access, users use other channels of export like complex CSVs. this is coupled with a massive technological gap that does not seem to be reducing.
Robot Process Automation (RPA) acts as a bridge between the systems by providing business logic processing and automated bots.
2. Outsourcing is Not Viable Anymore
Outsourcing has ceased to be viable as most of the benefits provided by outsourcing have been reaped. Unlike earlier, where it was beneficial for companies to simple outsource their overhead projects at a similar cost; the costs have in increasing exponentially these days.
Many companies are looking to hire RPA consulting firms to earn a edge in the market as most of their competitors are still burdening themselves under the pain of outsourcing. This puts the companies without using Robot Process Automation (RPA) at a massive disadvantage as they are not going with the flow rather than attempting to against the stream.
Along with this, RPA provides the following benefits to your company:
- RPA increases overall speed and reduces possibility of errors in customer-oriented processes. This leads to an increase in customer satisfaction.
- RPA allows all employees to shift their focus on higher and important management activities that have immense value. This improves the level of efficiency in the business.
- RPA reduces manual data risks. With an increase in quality of data, you can be reducing compliance risks.
So, How Does It Work Exactly?
Robot Process Automation (RPA) bots do not have a very complicated working unlike other industrial robots and can be easily used to transform data transfer. These bots are programmed to replicate the employee’s action including opening of files, data input, copy and pasting in an automated manner.
The four ways to set up an RPA system is as follows:-
1. Programming Interface
Owing to its requirement of heavy technical competence, a programming bots that interfaces the programming language, is only advises to be used by experts. A basic programming interface programs instructs the bots which programs are to be used and in what manner and capacity to interact with those programs.
2. Graphic Interface
As the name suggests, these pods are programmed using the drag and drop interface. Using a graphic interface anyone in the enterprise would be capable of setting up simple bots of their own that would help them reach better efficiency in their work.
The Robot Process Automation (RPA) bots are capable of completing recorded actions. These recorded actions involve multiple enterprise software solution like it can undertake the entire process of registering data from sales force, then merging it with a subsequent report on excel and identifying which customer range to target during its routine a customer oriented SMS alert marketing campaign. It is an important software tool as it facilitates a rapid bot programming.
4. Self-Learning Bots
Highly intelligent, Robot Process Automation (RPA) bots watch and imitate employee activities and thus learn automatable tasks. While these are the easiest bots to employ they have quite a lot of shortcomings as well. Since they rely merely on learning through picture recognition their learning outcome is still not perfect. However, this is avoided as bots are able to understand a case they do not have skills to complete, and then we contact the employees for guidance.
How Do I Install RPA in my Workplace?
Despite an overall simple process, installation of RPA has a lot of planned detailing that goes in it. To give you a preview- first you need to select the best possible candidate RPA processor, built your management and team implementation, run a pilot test on it, and then go live!
Seems simple right?
Well, it is not quite so. But don’t worry us here will give you a step by step process that will help you in your entire process:
The best selection choice for any workplace is to choose an automate process that is easy to operate yet impactful. The key deciding factors should be to maximize the overall impact of your Robot Process Automation (RPA) system through impacting cost and revenue generation, high volume, having a low fault tolerance, error prone, speed-sensitive processes. Your selected process should be able to be easily automated with RPA that is based on a strict policy or rule, specific to your company’s profile, and is not on the roadmap for any new system in sight.
The next task is to convince your organization about the benefits of a Robot Process Automation (RPA) processor. A management and a team buy-in is absolutely essential for you to set up RPA in your company. An established governance structure that is reading to sanction and monitoring the entire process is equally important.
After selection and successfully convincing the stakeholders, now is the time to finally implement your task. The implementation process is the most complex process and includes various tasks under it.
a. The Right Kind of RPA Tool
It is very crucial to choose the right kind of Robot Process Automation (RPA) tool that best suits your needs. There are currently 3 such tools in the market-
- Programmable RPA Bots: These bots are driven to suit the needs of programmers who need to understand and advise a basic code of rules that govern the basic functioning of a RPA bot.
- Self Learning Bots: These solutions rely on history and currently available data to monitor an employee’s average hour of working to get a sense of the tasks completed by them and undertake those tasks themselves after learning.
- Cognitive Automation Bots: Cognitive automation bots or as they are even called smart or intelligent automation bots learn and deal with structured as well as unstructured data on their own.
Thus, it is better to opt for smart or cognitive automation bots owing to their attractive features. However, the choice might be different according to the needs and requirements of your company.
b. Decision Regarding The Nature of the Implementation Team
The next step involves deciding whether your company has enough technical skills and personnel to facilitate an in-house implementation or would rather have an outsourced team look over the process. In case your company lacks the skill, time or finance to undertake the task then it is always recommended to hire an outside implementation body that performs the activity for you.
If you are in need of help, then business services providers like Infosys or Accenture can be of help. They offer a basic and a thorough RPA setup support system for enterprises that are willing to work with a hands on partner.
c. Choose The Right Partner
As we told you earlier, there are many different kinds of RPA Vendors available in the internet domain. The different kinds include- Established tech providers, 1st Wave RPA Focus providers, 2nd Wave RPA Focus providers and the Business Process Outsourcing or the BPO providers.
While it is entirely up to your organization’s discretion to choose your partner, we provide you with a criterion list to check by:
- The overall cost of the ownership process. This includes the cost incurred during the initial setup, the vendor license fees and other maintenance cost.
- Another thing to keep in mind is to see whether the vendor processor is easy to use or not.
- Most people forget about the security aspect and thus we encourage users to manage the security features of your chosen RPA partner.
- No software is complete without its feature list. An ideal RPA must have smooth integration, quick screen scraping skill, cognitive automation system, among others.
- A well functioning support system is also beneficial for both the new as well as experienced users.
d. Running A Pilot
Before you actually go live with your project, it is always recommended to run a pilot test to analyze the workings. In your pilot test, you will be required to configure the RPA bot as per requirement. This will be followed by an examination of your RPA bot and then you will be asked to run your pilot live. Based on its performance, you should notice and evaluate the future changes or modifications required in its performance
e. What are you waiting for? Go Live
Based on the changes required after the pilot test you’ll be handed over a newly designed and a bot driven processor free from glitches. You are required to clarify its roles and responsibilities before it makes any important business decision. You are now ready to go live!
Make sure you periodically record its performance and analyze the strong and the weak points to improve its efficiency.
What Happens After Implementation?
As we said earlier, Robot Process Automation (RPA) is a useful process but a difficult and an exhaustive one. After a successful implementation of your software a plethora of after implementation services are required to insure it remains efficient.
We provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to go about your post-implementation service.
1. Measure Its Impact
It is important for your company to analyze the desired results of an RPA Implementation. As Peter Drucker, the famous management leader is known for saying- “If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.” This is quite true in the case of Robot Process Automation (RPA) functioning. If you effectively measure its impacts, you will be able to elevate the role of the implementation team by building a desire for future productive improvements in the software. This encourages the team to identify those areas where they need to improve still. An ideal method of analysis is to run a thorough A/B test that involves looking at the output data and size and structure of the related teams both before and after an RPA implementation. This is sure to provide you with a good idea about the direct impact your company’s working has achieved with RPA.
2. Technology Management
It is imperative to manage your technology with the prism of Robot Process Automation (RPA). In order to give non-technological teams a capable advantage to develop their own IT investments that have the potential to be long term, these RPA bots provide them with a strong set of tools to automate and maximize their tasks efficiency. There is a need nowadays, for both the tech as well as the non-tech to work together and collaborate in order to ensure that the RPA reprogramming automations are avoided in the application. This way, only a very few technical resources would be required to build changes and run applications that are not supported by RPA tools.
3. Build Your Own RPA Center of Excellence
Now that you have successfully utilized the benefits and usability of the RPA system, you can now consider having your own unit of new and upcoming RPA projects. Many large companies have an efficient and active “Centers of RPA Excellence” that helps them launch new projects, build new and efficient teams, work and improve on the existing projects. What needs to be kept in mind is the ownership. The business enterprise should themself be responsible for all the Robot Process Automation (RPA) installation otherwise the centre would take complete charge and undertake activities or projects which either they do not understand or they do not lie with the company’s overall policy. The Centre’s role is to focus all its attention towards employing the best of practices and helping other departments to benefit.
4. The Impact On Jobs
The biggest humanitarian criticism against Robot Process Automation (RPA) is that it will inevitably lead to a significant number of reductions in the overall staff requirement as the bots would take over all the human work. This criticism is unfortunately true. The only ray of hope is that you will be able to know in advance which human capital would be rendered redundant and this time can be put to a good use. The managerial committee in this time should identify new roles and job profiles to these personnel’s and also provide a training facility to help them in their transition.
Last Words on RPA
Robot Process Automation (RPA) software allows numerous business processes to flourish and reach greater heights. An RPA program allows an enterprise to reduce its mundane managerial cost through an artificial intelligence programming and rather focus on other important business related activities. RPAs have eased the application process; it has also enabled the provision to procure to-pay service. Data Migration and entry service has also been made efficient with the help of RPA. What gives RPA an utmost edge over other software’s is that it allows for a regular preparation of reports and helps in its dissemination?
Almost every industry today is being benefited by the Robot Process Automation (RPA) automation. However, there a few industries which benefit more than others. If your company uses a legacy system of working and/or has a large number of its workforce dedicated to back office, non tech tasks, chances are your industry needs RPA and would be extremely benefited by it. Industries like the banking or the insurance sector require RPA automation as it helps in sales processing, underwriting, servicing of policies, manage finance better.
In short, Robot Process Automation (RPA) allows the industries to unleash and achieve their truest potential. They are known to optimize the back office work of employees by its simplified, automated and integrated technological solution. The end result of RPA automation is to improve the customer experience and managerial excellence by delivering and constantly aiming for efficiency, performance and agility.