Everything You Should Know About Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
Automation is everywhere, isn’t ? Right from receiving the automated message from your doctor reminding you of your appointment on Thursday morning, and getting confirmation messages from your online store along with the expected date of delivery, our whole life is kind of automated nowadays.
What if we say all these can be done by the software itself, without having the intervention from humans. That exactly is what Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is all about! For example, generating mass emails for your business is a tedious task if done by a human. If we can automate it using RPA, the same work can be completed in a fraction of the time.
All this does is to mimic human actions, so that the tasks are done by the software itself, with less or zero human intervention. When we think about automation, the first phrase that comes to our mind is Artificial Intelligence (AI). The difference is that AI mimics human intelligence, while RPA mimics human actions.
What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA) ?
To give you a brief introduction about RPA, it is a software technology that automates redundant and repetitive activities using bots to reduce human intervention. Be it data entry, data extraction, report making, invoice processing, all these activities can be automated using RPA.
More often RPA is misunderstood as a robot replacing humans! Fact is RPA can never replace humans, as it actually helps humans by reducing their time consuming tasks. RPA mimics human actions to perform a particular process, that too without any human intervention. All it does is to automate your workflows and operations of your organization, so that you can use your human resource for better meaningful work. It is said that businesses which implement RPA in their organization experience 20 to 30% cost savings.
History & Evolution Of RPA
Although ‘automation’ is everywhere and is not a new word for everyone, the question of how and when RPA evolved can be answered by going back to history. RPA is actually the result of numerous technologies brought together to fulfil the need for numerous automation tasks. Hence, the creation of RPA was subsequently the advent of Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Using Machine Learning (ML), the complex language based tasks such as translation and text summarization were done with ease. And then came Natural Language Processing (NLP) which helped computers to handle and understand human language. RPA incorporates all these technologies and was established in 1990’s. The major development of RPA is considered as the ‘Screen Scraping Software’ which was used to extract data from websites and programs, which is similar to what RPA does. All these developments led to the formation of RPA in 2000’s and it came into mainstream in the year of 2015 onwards.
How is RPA Used In Various Industries ?
Multiple and complex tasks in the healthcare industry can be simplified and automated using RPA. It helps hospitals to provide better patient care and also to improve the operational efficiency. Be it simplifying appointment schedules by streamlining using RPA bots, accurately settling hospital bills, automating discharge procedures for the patient, and completing data processing to avoid human errors, RPA has tremendous applications in the healthcare sector. RPA can also be used to generate analytics to provide accurate diagnosis and personalized treatments via RPA bots.
Retail industry is changing due to the increased customer demands and high rise in competition. From planning of production to selling, there are a range of activities to be done, such as inventory management, invoice processing, customer relationship management, generating business reports etc. Sales analytics is one of the major applications of RPA where huge chunks of sales data is analysed for decision making related to new product innovations, customer preferences and also to forecast sales.
It is predicted that by 2023 online sales will account for a quarter of the overall retail industry. Hence, technology-enabled retail is the right solution to manage the upcoming customer demands. RPA facilitates retailers to understand customer preferences which will guide them in-store planning. RPA bots are after and more accurate than humans such that they will ease marketing processes, product categorisation, new product launches etc. It also helps in tracking product delivery by sending real-time shipment updates to the customer.
Banking and financial services are the top industries where RPA is implemented. RPA automates all the repetitive tasks in banking such as data entry and customer service, thereby reducing operating expenses, turnaround times and human errors, so that employees can focus on other important activities. For example, RPA simplifies data transfers between systems and automates loan processing which can reduce the processing time by 85%. RPA can automate repetitive tasks and improve customer experience, compared to a fraction of a time.
Education institutes are usually paper-heavy. RPA helps educators and administrators by automating high volume tasks such as student enrollments, scheduling meetings and sending reminders, managing online attendance, grading assignments, tracking course progress etc. Using RPA activities can be carried out round the clock without any errors, thereby helping you save money and time tremendously.
Have a look at White Cloud’s E-learning Application specially built with advanced features to automate your education business.
Implementing RPA can save upto 40% time for human resource sectors. It helps in faster employee boarding that results in 10-20% savings in the overall costs. Using RPA you don’t have to go through a multitude of data as it can automate resume screening, employee data management, attendance tracking, payroll management etc.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is transforming every sector by streamlining manual processes and reducing burden on human employees. It is predicted that RPA will replace up to 16% of repetitive tasks and 90% of enterprises will be automated by 2025, reducing the operational costs by nearly 30%. The future of RPA is extremely bright and implementing a robust RPA solution will grow your enterprise journey forward.