It was Bill Gates that said, “the first rule of technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency.” According to Forbes, Artificial Intelligence and machine learning automation will transform our world over the next decade. The benefits that automation technology will bring to businesses should not be underestimated. Given this, if you are in Business, here are 11 things you should know about Robotic Process Automation (RPA) solutions.
You won’t need to find space for robots
Though you’ll hear lots about robots (bots), they are not physical robots like Pixar. In the case of RPA, they are software programs that mimic human actions. That means you won’t need to find space for them or have awkward electronic conversations over a sandwich.
Bots don’t stop
When it comes to bots, there are no holidays, no weekends, and no breaks. Implementing RPA in your business can mean 24/7 processing. Every step they take is planned and documented. As more and more enterprises adopt RPA, processes will become slicker, quicker, and more trusted. That’s good news for your customers and your bottom line.
RPA will enhance rather than replace your current systems
RPA takes on the tasks your people don’t relish, like data entry. It will replace the mundane repeatable and error-prone jobs that are often prone to keying errors. A manual process requiring 13 steps will be replicated by a robot, only much faster, with fewer mistakes. Automation also presents a perfect opportunity to review every one of those steps and optimize the process.
RPA can provide reliable shortcuts along the way. For example, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) allows robots to ‘scrape’ the information from a screen and complete pre-existing templates. Not only does that reduce the amount of time it takes to enter the data into a different system, but it also avoids keystroke errors.
Bots won’t replace your team; they’ll set them free
From an employee perspective, one of the issues with RPA is the potential impact of replacing to replace jobs otherwise performed by humans. But that’s a myth; bots are not here to take away jobs—they are here to enrich them. Give your team a choice between mundane data entry and finding significant cost savings, and they’ll choose the latter.
RPA is already used in many medium and large organizations
Because RPA is cloud-based, it doesn’t come with the kind of capital investment only Fortune 500 companies can afford. However, it’s easy to install and quick to deliver ROI: the combination of freeing the team up to focus on true, value-add work; the validation of bills; and the elimination of processing errors can bring an annual return on investment up to 200 percent.
So, no matter the size of your organization, the benefits of RPA will bring quick returns.
The next step for RPA is Intelligent Process Automation
Where RPA is capable of mechanical or predetermined responses, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the power to develop and act instantly on insights. When the two are brought together, it’s called Intelligent Process Automation (IPA). IPA brings the capacity to process what can be predicted and learn from what cannot. In the near future, bots are likely to be analyzing, refining, and improving processes.
RPA process is transparent
Through RPA, platforms like Bill Identity’s Utility Management deliver total visibility of usage and spend at the touch of a button; it makes them perfect for situations where you need to have confidence in the data, oversight, and control, management, and sustainability reporting. More than half of senior procurement executives say that RPA would improve efficiency, transparency, and control over purchasing.
RPA can lead to cost savings
Robotic process automation can reduce total invoice processing time down from 21 days to just 4. Built-in data validation, quality assurance, and invoice controls mean that any billing errors or faults can be identified quickly and well before the potential cost of fixing them spirals out of control. It can also mean the end of missed payment deadlines and any subsequent penalties.
To illustrate the point, a global oil and gas company implemented Utility Bill Management – automated their utility bill collection and processing and saved more than $200,000 per annum through better processing of costs and eliminating data errors.
33% of employees aren’t keen on RPA adoption
Almost a third of employees are resistant to RPA, mainly because they fear what it will do to their jobs. But bots are not here to replace anyone—in fact, it has been shown that businesses achieve the best results when people, AI, and robots work together. Employees have also been more engaged when the repetitive tasks they do each day—sometimes, as much as a quarter of their total workload are automated.
RPA can be used to analyze data
At month-end, analysts across the organization are usually scrambling to produce reports and dashboards. Just as RPA speeds up the execution of processes, it can also make creating reports simple. RPA has access to vast quantities of validated, accurate data. Using it to populate report templates that run automatically at set periods—or on-demand—is an analyst’s dream.
RPA platforms can help you streamline the process
If you’re thinking of implementing RPA, there are two main approaches. The hard way is to have the organization’s finest technical minds and subject matter experts sit in meeting after meeting and scratch their heads about an economical way to solve their particular process problems. The easy way is to chat with us. We can show you how effective and efficient a Utility Bill Management platform underpinned by RPA technology can be.