Robotic Process Automation: 6 common misconceptions
What false expectations does RPA increase in firms?
The advantage of Robotic Course of Automation (RPA) is that repetitive remedial actions are automated and staff are free to work on higher-value duties. Nevertheless, many firms imagine that RPA will permit them to automate even essentially the most complicated Enterprise Course of Administration (BPM) actions, though there are way more appropriate options. The next overview reveals which different misunderstandings firms typically use to counter RPA options.
Misunderstanding # 1: RPA fully automates processes from A to Z.
Automating structured, repetitive duties with RPA is the precise choice as it’s the finest software for this objective. It reveals its power particularly in shorter, repetitive actions of often a couple of minutes. This consists of, for instance, getting knowledge from one system and storing it in one other.
RPA is finest for actions that require a number of repetitions of the identical sequence and may be performed in parallel for better effectivity. For instance, B2B firms typically must evaluate a number of portals or suppliers with a view to purchase stock at the very best worth. An worker must work by way of all of the steps in every portal one after the opposite. In RPA, nonetheless, the software program robots act as “digital colleagues”. They monitor product costs and commonly inform staff of modifications, whereas concurrently calling up figures from all portals.
In distinction to BPM platforms, RPA will not be in a position to constantly handle processes over a protracted time period. An instance: a buyer desires to order one thing, complain or obtain data. Accordingly, a course of is triggered within the firm. Typically it may take as much as 14 days for the request to finish. Though the digital colleague can assist the worker by retrieving buyer knowledge, selections are nonetheless made by the particular person. Because of this, a BPM resolution is a a lot better alternative, because the system can combine staff into the method relying on their availability and expertise. A mixed resolution of BPM and RPA proves to be notably environment friendly. On this case, the BPM system takes over the administration and controls staff and digital colleagues as required.
False impression # 2: RPA fully replaces different options
Conceptually, RPA can be utilized in nearly all processes. Nevertheless, typically industrial commonplace software program (COTS) is a more sensible choice. For instance, firms have been utilizing bill processing software program for a few years. Over time, these options have improved considerably as suggestions and course of expertise have been integrated.
Changing these instruments is impractical. It might take a very long time to map all present features with RPA – and it will not assist firms obtain their aim of end-to-end automation. Nonetheless, many firms nonetheless have to mix RPA with these legacy options in order that software program robots can fill the system with the required knowledge or, if obligatory, synchronize it with different functions. Nevertheless, this solely works if firms select an RPA resolution that has the suitable software programming interfaces (APIs) in order that they’ll simply join programs.
False impression No. three: RPA automates processes finest by way of person interfaces
Though in lots of instances it is sensible to make use of present instruments and never merely change them with RPA, RPA positively has its raison d’être – integrating totally different programs with each other. It is a main problem for a lot of firms. The mixing is time-consuming and costly, as some purchasers, the online browser or older system functions are troublesome to combine into trendy applied sciences.
With RPA, nonetheless, it’s simple to arrange integration between programs in a short time by way of person interfaces (UI). Direct interfaces corresponding to APIs or internet providers are usually most popular as a result of these are often quicker and don’t change as typically as person interfaces. If the person interface modifications as a result of an replace, some software program robots will now not be capable of carry out their service and an adjustment will likely be required. Nevertheless, good RPA options work each methods: they permit simple integration of direct interfaces and the usage of person interfaces with out writing a line of code.
False impression # four: RPA will change staff
The worry that staff will likely be changed by an automation software like RPA is rising on a regular basis, particularly as clever automation platforms have gotten the discuss of the city. RPA alone can not course of unstructured knowledge corresponding to paperwork as a result of it lacks the required “intelligence”. Nevertheless, clever automation combines RPA and synthetic intelligence features, making it attainable to simply inform the distinction between an bill and a letter of grievance with out consulting a human.
Whereas software program is getting smarter, it does not imply it is going to change individuals. Quite the opposite, clever automation relieves staff of monotonous duties and offers them helpful time again.
In keeping with a world Forbes Perception survey, 92 p.c of firms say that their staff are a lot happier after implementing RPA as a result of it makes them extra environment friendly. As an alternative of spending time answering routine buyer complaints, they’ll give attention to larger worth work like fixing complicated buyer issues.
Misunderstanding # 5: RPA within the again workplace has no impression on buyer satisfaction
Since RPA is generally used for less complicated actions, one may suppose that it has no impression on buyer satisfaction. However that is not right. When digital colleagues tackle repetitive duties, not solely are queries processed quicker, however staff spend extra time constructing relationships with clients.
One other advantage of RPA is the advance in knowledge high quality. It’s estimated that round 5 p.c of a corporation’s knowledge is inaccurate, both as a result of data is misplaced whereas copying or as a result of knowledge is entered incorrectly. For instance, an worker of an power firm can learn the electrical energy meter after which unintentionally assign the standing to a different buyer when he enters it into the system. When the shopper receives their bill, the quantity due could also be considerably larger or decrease than earlier than. Buyer satisfaction will increase because the buyer now has to complain to the utility firm, which might take quite a lot of effort and time.
Nevertheless, if a robotic is requested to repeat or save the info, errors are virtually eradicated. A robotic may rapidly and simply examine that the info entered is legitimate – one other means to enhance knowledge high quality.
False impression # 6: RPA can be utilized for complicated processes and instantly throughout the corporate
Firms acknowledge that RPA gives huge potential for optimization. It’s attainable to deploy RPA company-wide and even use it for some complicated processes. Nevertheless, firms typically make the error of believing that RPA might help them obtain end-to-end automation. Even so, RPA is extra appropriate for automating duties than processes.
The easiest way to attain end-to-end automation is to arrange a “Heart of Excellence”. It’s particularly essential to incorporate enterprise homeowners on this mission staff. You’re closest to the processes and perceive what every entails. You’re additionally notably good at assessing how a lot time staff spend on duties.
It’s advisable to begin your RPA initiative by automating and gaining expertise with smaller duties first. Firms typically begin with the finance division, the place the robots do the very time-consuming report era. After that, they’ll broaden RPA to extra areas and automate more and more complicated actions.
With this strategy, firms scale back threat and may even obtain a short-term ROI as small duties are automated. As they achieve extra expertise, they’ll scale their RPA efforts and work as we speak and tomorrow.