Why Robotic Process Automation?

Why Robotic Process Automation?

Imagine having a task that is tedious and repetitive but requires accurate actions. You decide that you’ll hire a few people to do these tasks. You train them and, for a time, you free up more time to run the other parts of your business. But you are too successful, or your business has typical, cyclical ups and downs. There are times when the few people you hired to do these tasks are overwhelmed. Mistakes crop up and these workers are demoralized and burnt out from the workload. You can (and do) hire more, but the new workers take time to learn. Then, when the business cycle slows down, you need to manage what to do with the larger number of such employees – keep them on and find something else for them to do, or lay them off and repeat the same process when the business picks up?

The following characteristics can be helpful in understanding what aspects of a business RPA is best suited for automating:

 

Repeatability:

The activity must be a series of well-defined, repetitive steps.

Volume:

There should be sufficient volume of such activities to get the largest efficiency gains and cost savings from automating these;

Consistency:

The activities to automate should have little or no variations in the steps taken. Ideally, the activity has been carried out repeatedly in the past by human employees and any inefficiency corrected. It is important to remember that RPA does not deal with cognitive decision making. A RPA-based robot does one job and does it well, without deviation.

Complexity:

The activities should have low complexity such that human intervention for exception handling is minimal (ideally zero);

Stability:

The applications with which the RPA robot interacts should offer stable presentation interfaces. However, if and when an interface changes, the RPA software is more easily and quickly updated than would be the case with an API level integration.

Multi-application coordination:

Information gathering/updating across multiple screens is error prone and time consuming when done by humans, and this is where RPA-based robots shine.

Multi-skilled:

Robots can be programmed to do different tasks, so that if the workload demands it, or if a particular task is completed, it can be deployed to do another task. Such job switching on demand can be difficult with humans as they need time to learn new skills or adjust to new tasks.

The reasons for productivity gain and cost savings using RPA-based robots are obvious: they work at all time, and they do not have the usual employee overheads – offices, desks, vacations, overtime pay, fatigue, etc.

To summarize, the business benefits of RPA are:
  • Reducing employee headcount for repetitive and dull tasks
  • Diverting employees to parts of the business requiring human skills (cognition, intuition, empathy, etc.)
  • Always available and scalable workforce that can be diverted to activities where or when there is the greatest demand
  • Faster, consistent and error-free work

RPA applied to the correct activity can show dramatic improvements in operation efficiency and cost savings. Thus, it is important for a business to evaluate all opportunities where RPA is the correct tool for automating aspects of its business processes. 12th Wonder is ready to help you identify those which might be ripe for a RPA-based solution.

Type of business
process
Sample use caseSmart digital
workforce
Business outcomes
TransactionalValidating customer
information in Know
Your Customer (KYC)
process
RPA bots, humans for
exceptions
􀁺 Cost reduction
􀁺 Increased workforce
productivity
􀁺 Increased process efficiency
􀁺 Regulatory compliance
TransactionalSelf-service: Answering
FAQs in interactive chat
Chatbots, RPA bots,
and human agents
for exceptions
􀁺 Enhanced customer
experience
􀁺 Increased process efficiency
􀁺 Improved agility
TransactionalCustomer onboardingRPA bots with OCR
for forms screening,
and human agents
and cognitive bots
for exceptions
􀁺 Cost reduction
􀁺 Improved quality and
process efficiency
􀁺 Enhanced customer
experience
Knowledge-basedCustomer servicing:
Answering complex
customer queries
Chat-assist bots and
human agents
􀁺 Increased workforce
productivity
􀁺 Increased process efficiency
􀁺 Enhanced customer
experience
Knowledge-basedSentiment analysis:
Predicting the emotions
of customers
Cognitive bots and
human agents for
actions
􀁺 Increased customer
satisfaction
􀁺 Increased workforce
productivity
Knowledge-basedFraud detection in
banking and financial
services
Cognitive bots and
human agents
􀁺 Better management and
control
􀁺 Increased process efficiency
􀁺 Regulatory compliance

What are the pitfalls of RPA? How can one avoid these?

RPA is best suited for repetitive, well-defined and understood, rules-based activities. By failing to take into account certain key characteristics of RPA, businesses may find that they are unable to achieve its full benefit.These include:

Volume:

There should be sufficient volume of an activity to get the mostvisible efficiency gain and cost savings by automating it;

Stability:

The activities to automate should have little or no variations in the steps taken. It is important to remember that RPA does not deal with cognitive decision making. A RPA-based robot does one job and does it well without deviation.

Consistency:

The activities should have low complexity such that human intervention for exception handling is minimal (ideally zero);

Stability:

The applications with which the RPA robot interacts should offer stable presentation interfaces. However, if and when an interface changes, the RPA software is more easily and quickly updated than would be the case with an API level integration.

If business processes within an enterprise are likely to change, a RPA-based solution may be premature.
Similarly, if it depends on the employee assigned to it (e.g., the use of shortcuts developed over time, or personal intuition on what should be the next step), it may be worthwhile to carefully document the work patterns of multiple employees before formulating the definitive steps governing the subsequent automation.
Also, if an activity requires interactions with an external application provided by a 3rd party over which one has little control, an RPA-based interface to that may be brittle.

From our experience at 12th Wonder, using RPA for tasks for which it is not suited can lead to failure to achieve the anticipated benefits. One unfortunate consequence of a poorly-chosen automation project is that other worthwhile projects which could benefit from RPA are tarnished by those failed expectations. Thus, it is important to choose one’s first RPA project with care so that it serves as an example of the promise of this technology.

For a free quote, Please let us know by filling this form:

GET A QUOTE


Leave a Reply