After implementing Robotic Process Automation (RPA), a renowned bank was able to reduce consumer loan-processing time from 30 minutes to just ten minutes and expedite the process of customer verification from a few days to a few seconds. The reason being the technology obviates the need to copy-and-paste customer information from one banking system to another and enables automatic validation of customer data on government websites such as tax payment, DMV, or property-appraisal sites.
Digitization and RPA Made for Each Other
Like the bank, digitization is taking over every corner of the business world. To retain a competitive edge, it’s important for businesses to comply with this new order. However, adopting a single technology to digital transformation is not enough. Businesses need a set of tools to automate a range of activities traditionally assigned to workers. This would help them create a digital workforce across applications and systems. As Robotic Process Automation makes this possible, adopting RPA as a part of digital transformation strategy has become an imperative.
RPA is the Way Forward
Robotic process automation is one of the technologies that can help companies across all industries to undergo digital transformation. While on the one hand it empowers organizations to tackle operational challenges, such as carrying out large amounts of back-office activities, on the other hand it enables businesses to gain knowledge about their business performance and workflow patterns. Companies can leverage this information build on their digital strategies and transform operations to make it more lean and agile.
How RPA Supports Digital Transformation Initiatives
Increase Customer Experience
Great brands have one secret tool for success – customer experience. And customer experience, as it stands today, is just not about delivering what you promised. It’s more about surprising your customer with extra care and support. With RPA it is possible to increase process speed and efficiency, provide instant response to customers, and handle multiple questions in less time. This makes your customers feel so valued and they turn into a community of advocates for your brand.
The insurance industry stands out as a stellar example. With the help of chat bots, insurance carriers provide instant responses to customer queries and seamlessly handle the ever changing regulatory rules of the industry. Likewise RPA has enabled all-time customer support in the retail industry. From order payments to delivery, bots can send updates to customers to keep them in the loop and their worries at bay.
Digitalize Products and Services
One thing common to industries such as insurance, finance, mortgage, legal, hospitality utilities etc. is high volume, mundane, and time consuming processes. These activities are detrimental to the streamlined operation of business. RPA works to automate these activities. In other words, robotic processes take over these simple tasks like cut-and-paste and data migration, to more complex work like invoicing and automate them end-to-end thus maximizing visibility and productivity. In many environments, RPA assists to redesign the existing process to make it more fast, continuous and highly accurate.
Mortgage loan processing for instance is a time consuming and error prone task primarily because of human intervention. Fetching and compiling data from multiple sources, and comparing data has involved extraordinary levels of manual involvement. RPA based mortgage processing tools enable automated data mining and can transform unstructured data to structured digital data in a matter of seconds. The digitization of this service has led to expedited processes, reduced time and costs and complete accuracy.
Digitally Optimized Operations
To best understand this benefit let’s take a peek into the supply chain industry. Maintaining effective communication between customers, suppliers, and manufacturers is critical to the smooth running of this industry. However, chaos and confusion caused by delays and obstacles to order fulfilment has always been the bane of this industry. Robotic process management has eliminated all these drawbacks by automating the communication process. As a result errors and duplicity in the process, manual input of purchase order, delay in response to requests and proposals, communication gap with suppliers etc. are a matter of the past. RPA has automated the process of supply and demand planning; vendor selection and procurement; order processing and payments and order traceability.
Like the supply chain industry RPA has helped digitalization across a range of industries such as financial sector with overall improvement in transparency and risk management; healthcare sector with higher throughput and improved quality and consistency; insurance sector with enhanced claims processing and underwriting; mortgage with improved compliance and origination and so on.
Digital Skilling and Upskilling
The advent of digital transformation has significantly amplified the need for a rapid pace of innovation. While the debate over RPA replacing the human workforce will continue for some time to come, the fact that cannot be disputed is that it will create more jobs for people with relevant skill sets. This is because, the technology has triggered the need for up-skilling and re-skilling of the existing workforce in order to stay relevant in a fast changing ecosystem. Employees will drive themselves to imbibe skills to adapt to the demands of RPA, thereby acquiring strong problem solving and analytical skills.
In the days ahead, employees will catch up with technological skills such as design thinking, analytics, robotics, autonomics,) and soft skills such as pattern-recognition, problem solving, intuition and leadership. With the change in learning, employees will be evaluated by quality of outcome than overall output.
IOT and Digitally Connected Products
IoT is a revolutionary concept of connecting a device with a virtual switch to the Internet. A company can leverage this technology to track the real-time movements of customers in a retail store or even to track products within a supply chain. As a platform, Robotic Process Automation has the abilities to help manage all of these capabilities. The collaboration between RPA and IoT can help to improve data management – turn unstructured data to structured data; optimize operations to improve the quality and speed of output; and execute routine tasks without human intervention like responding to unforeseen developments.
The connection between RPA and IoT will grow with time as the two technologies perfectly complement each other – while one connects an object, the other uses the data produced by the object to identify issues. Manufacturers can leverage this combination to decrease asset repair and maintenance costs; improve compliance with regulatory standards; and enhance monitoring of efficiency.
Getting started with RPA can be a daunting task for any business. The only thing that can make businesses conquer the daunt is collaboration. Each business is an expert in its own field, and only partnerships can help them get the right start and scale thereafter. Businesses will collaborate to initiate the transition; set and measure out metrics and goals and analyze the outcomes.
In this new age of digital collaboration, IT and businesses will work closely together than ever before. Similarly, collaboration between employees and customers will reach new heights and foster relationships. Even employees who never previously collaborated will come together to improve productivity together. So many employees will collaborate with BOTs to bring human judgement into the picture.
The ability of RPA to relate to a number of different functions in an organization across industries will lead to the creation of a thriving digital workforce. The fact that RPA software can be used as an effective tool to tackle tasks for purchasing, accounts receivable, compliance, reconciliations, and meeting due diligence requirements or as data scraping bots for sorting, and scooping data from competitor sites, will lead to the creation of an automated and diverse digital work force that will work more efficiently towards meeting goals.
It is estimated that by the end of 2030, there will be 4 million robots carrying out monotonous office tasks. In other words businesses will adopt RPA as an integral part of their workforce to ensure they face no issues with flexibility and scalability.
While Robotic Process Automation is the future, your first step towards the transition, should be to prepare your business for the changeover. Going for staged transitions, picking the right processes for automation; training and onboarding employees and setting up the right expectations are critical to your business’s transition to RPA. Only when you have these prerequisites rightly aligned, your business can have a smooth transition to the new age necessity.