Robotic Process Automation (RPA):
RPA is increasingly becoming a key element of future Digital Transformation journeys.
RPA is a process where routine, mundane, or repetitive and boring tasks are undertaken by a software called robots, replicating the humans executing tasks. It frees up people to work on what they expected to do i.e. more complicated jobs that keep the business running efficiently. It also allows people more free time to focus on delivering great customer service.
RPA captures how a task is executed through existing applications and systems, understands and processes data and integrates with other enterprise systems as necessary, in an automated way. It’s a virtual workforce based on set of rules and will connect with your company’s systems in the same fashion as your existing users. With RPA robots, you will be able to automate and build an automation platform across enterprise i.e. from front office, back office to back end support functions.
Did you realise that an RPA implementation is quick & costs less as compared to typical major IT platform implementations, a huge advantage to a business?
The trend was clear when CxOs especially CFOs & CIOs started implementing Robotic Process Automation to different processes to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and minimize errors in business processes. Many enterprises are progressed now from “if the RPA process is worth implementing”, to thinking “how they can adapt RPA to their business”.
Most enterprises typically have sub-processes customized to their own unique insight, consolidation and reporting requirements. RPA robots can take care of those monthly, quarterly and year-end or custom repetitive tasks. More over an RPA can automate the processes that don’t have the volume to justify the costs, resources, and risks for a typical ERP system.
I will explain some benefits scenarios in Utilities and Finance sectors below.
RPA in Utilities:
Robots will monitor a Water utility network for faults that could disrupt supply at peak times. The software robots monitor signals and alerts from the water network and automatically inform engineers to issues so that they can locate them and more efficiently fix them before they affect customers. There is a potential for a range of applications, including:
- Helping to monitor reservoir levels, and water pressure in the network.
- Significantly speeding up free home meter applications.
- Introducing text messaging appointment reminders for customers.
- Scheduling of daily domestic water samples from houses, to ensure the company continues to meet compliance obligations.
The systems can efficiently monitor the entire network of a utility company at peak times, ensuring the customers benefit from the best possible service a provider can provide.
The RPA tools will enable a company to respond very quickly to problems in the network which will reduce incidents of breaks in supply and any other issues that may cause inconvenience to the customers.
RPA in Finance:
RPA plays a major role in transforming Finance and accounting functions of an enterprise. As you will notice RPA will play a significant support in each of these key business challenges of an enterprise – deliver quality insights faster from huge data collected, by improving size, scale and quality of information processed, reduce costs and uplift tight margins. It can help in Account Receivables, Account Payables, Reconciliation, General Ledger etc functions.
Few key scenarios are as below:
An RPA solution can automatically extract invoices, attaches the required billing documentation and uploads this information to a customer’s portal in seconds or minutes, as compared to traditional days or weeks.
Account receivables – RPA can help the teams save time on generating sales quotes, share invoices, veryfying orders data, monitor customer credits, and finally match and process the payments after required validations.
Reconciliation – This is a huge time taking process to find various data/information sources about the money spent and received to balance the final figures. RPA helps reduce the time taken by matching the payment details with bank reports and other data records. The records are reconciled if the details match else any unmatched or suspicious transactions found, then the RPA software sends the records for further validation.
RPA also helps in preparing various internal and external reports for business/ management’s analysis by collating and integrating information from multiple sources and organizes it to be shared with needy teams automatically.
RPA enables greater flexibility and faster go to market for the enterprises. An RPA automation solution can lead to more than just greater accuracy and scalability, delivering 3X faster cycle times and more than 50% cost reduction in a business.