Read this blog to find out how organizations can increase productivity, boost the employee experience, and streamline processes with robotic process automation.
10 minute read
Jan 18, 2024
Robotic process automation (RPA) is a type of business technology that uses programmable bots capable of executing repetitive, high-volume tasks.
RPA technology is incredibly useful for organizations looking to increase efficiency and improve the employee experience. Delegating repetitive high-volume tasks, like data entry, to an automated bot allows your staff to focus on more valuable daily workflows that drive business growth.
In addition to freeing up bandwidth throughout your staff, implementing robotic process automation solutions into your workflows increases the speed and accuracy with which simple repetitive tasks can be completed.
While implementing new technology can be exciting for any organization, it rarely comes without growing pains. Read Impact’s eBook, Fast-Tracking Your Digital Transformation to learn how to make your transformation as seamless as possible.
What Is RPA?
Robotic process automation is officially defined as: software technology that makes it easy for users to build and deploy robots with a defined function. The main value rooted in RPA solutions comes from the speed and accuracy with which these bots can complete their tasks.
The following sections examine 7 of the most common functions RPA solutions support which include:
1. Customer Service
In the context of customer service, RPA changes how businesses manage customer relationships. Namely, it makes ticket resolution significantly faster.
One of the common RPA solutions that organizations deploy in customer service is data entry.
90% of employees are burdened with menial tasks that can be easily automated, which essentially translates to a lot of lost time and money.
Rather than having an employee manually fill out customer profiles one at a time, businesses are more frequently using RPA to automate this process so employees can focus on servicing the customers to the best of their ability.
By deploying an RPA solution in this fashion, employees don’t have to go hunting for customer information and can rely on the accuracy of the software, instead.
Customer Service RPA in Action
A company is receiving a stream of complaints, but until now has been dealing with them manually, one at a time, with a human agent.
After deploying an RPA solution programmed to sort and process the information gathered from the complaints into determined categories, though, they were able to streamline this process and free up the bandwidth of the employee previously charged with this task.
RPA can take this a step further by determining If complaints fall into defined categories with actionable follow-up processes. If simple enough, these actions can also be executed by the RPA solution, doubling down on work and time saved.
2. Invoice Processing
Financial processes are crucially important to the everyday functions of any company.
However, invoices can be a migraine in the making. In a manual invoice processing workflow, you may have to deal with disparate file formats or awkward email attachments—these routine tasks start to take up a lot of time and energy.
An automated RPA bot can help by recognizing files and pulling data from them without any human input.
The rule-based nature of the invoicing process makes it a prime candidate for automation.
Invoice RPA in action
When an invoice file is submitted, the RPA bot is alerted and proceeds to read and document all the relevant data which it then pulls and transfers to the appropriate place.
This vastly reduces the time it takes for a customer to receive the information they need, in turn, improving their satisfaction. It also removes the need for an employee to sift through invoices month-after-month.
3. Boost Productivity
The principal advantage of automation with RPA is that you’re taking the burden of repetitive tasks off the shoulders of your staff. Instead, you’re freeing them up to focus on more complicated workflows while bots handle repetitive high-volume tasks.
These bots never have to take a break, never make a mistake, and have a wide range of versatility.
With RPA solutions, employees can now spend their time focused on tasks that require their specialized skillset, critical thinking, and creative human-powered problem-solving.
A Deloitte survey found that 86% of respondents agreed that RPA improved productivity within their workplaces.
There is also the additional advantage of making your employees happier and improving their job satisfaction. No one wants to spend their time doing manual data entry, especially not when automation alternatives are readily available.
In these instances, RPA really pays for itself by removing the labor cost of paying an employee to do a task that can be automated.
4. Employee Onboarding
Onboarding is often littered with mundane, repetitive administrative tasks.
Robotic process automation solutions can be used to generate and send offers to candidates. Additionally, RPA bots can trigger an automated workflow when a new employee’s account is created.
RPA in onboarding can also be used to reduce the amount of paperwork you have to process, with an electronic capture system, you can manage employee paperwork completely digitally.
Of course, you’ll additionally make your HR team a lot happier by reducing the amount of time and resources it takes to onboard employees by as much as ten times.
5. Payroll Processes
Most HR employees understand how tedious and time-consuming payroll processing can be. In a similar vein to invoice processing, RPA bots can be used extensively to help your payroll team by standardizing and automating your processes.
Instead of studiously looking over spreadsheets and writing out checks by hand, build a bot that does it for you. An automated payroll can be designed to handle a large swathe of payments, like salaries, overtime, commissions, bonuses, raises, wage deductions, and expenses.
Your HR staff will be better served with an automated system in place designed to help them so they can focus on recruiting and culture.
Payroll RPA in Action
RPA solutions can be used in a variety of payroll-related functions.
Attendance management, for example, can automatically track employee hours and adjust earnings accordingly with absolutely zero human input.
In addition to this, you have automated payroll administration, processing, deductions, and more.
Many of these processes are considered low-hanging fruit—in other words, common, automatable processes in a workflow, which can be resolved easily and result in immediate benefit.
6. Data Storage
Big data is a huge aspect of modern business. Businesses preside over more data now than ever before, and the volume of data is growing exponentially. In fact, there are currently 64 zettabytes of data circulating the world.
As such, effectively sorting through your mountains of data is vital.
RPA is invaluable to organizations because it can sift through large amounts of data tirelessly, with no errors, 24/7. This is where RPA is at its best—it can automate and streamline processes that would take a human a lot longer, increasing productivity, efficiency, and employee satisfaction.
Automation like this is most successful in situations where the task is predictable, repetitive, and high-volume as bots can be specifically designed to carry out a single task over and over again.
As the amount of data continues to increase, businesses will need to deploy RPA solutions so they don’t drown in the sheer volume of data they’re processing and analyzing on a daily basis.
From an IT perspective, RPA solutions can help improve network monitoring and oversight.
For example, robotic process automation will monitor, collect, and store relevant data flagging any concerns that the IT needs to investigate along the way.
This makes troubleshooting for tens, sometimes hundreds of devices, a much simpler and more effective task than previously possible.
7. Data Analytics
Removing the human element from data gathering is also important when it comes to providing you with data analytics and insights.
The amount of data in business provides great opportunities for valuable insights into what can be improved within your processes. For decision-makers, quality data is crucial. Unfortunately, because of human error, businesses can run into low-quality data sets.
With RPA solutions in place, however, the accuracy and quality of data are much higher than when processed manually. Bots excel at data entry and analytics, and using RPA solutions in this way ensures that the data you have is high quality and meets your needs.
When it comes to data entry and analytics, robotic process automation tools are nearly unmatched.
Final Thoughts on RPA
Robotic process automation is an incredibly powerful tool for organizations and businesses across industries and market segments. By creating bots dedicated to repetitive and high-volume tasks, you can effectively increase productivity and efficiency, enhance the employee experience, and free up staff bandwidth.
Not only will you see an increase in productivity and efficiency, but by deploying RPA bots, the data you collect will be much more accurate and reliable, which is absolutely critical for informed decision-making.
Robotic process automation helps companies achieve and maintain a competitive advantage in their industry. Learn how you can start automating workflows in your business in Impact’s eBook, Fast-Tracking Your Digital Transformation.