Robotic Process Automation (RPA) technology is attacking a point that is preventing companies of all sizes from increasing process efficiency: Internal software systems have not kept pace with the evolution of the business. There are also digitalisation gaps in the collaboration with external partners. Now there is a lack of interfaces and functions that enable an automated workflow. Transactions that would be completed in seconds via an interface take hours: valuable time that your employees could use more productively. How can you unleash this potential with Robotic Process Automation? We provide an overview.
What is RPA?
If data cannot be transferred automatically from one system to another, manual work is the result. This has some disadvantages: For routine activities with low complexity, the error rate of human users increases. In addition, data processing takes place with a time lag.
Software robots offer new possibilities for workflow optimisation because they bridge the gaps between IT systems. They can often be installed with little or no programming. They interact with software systems in a similar way to a human user. For example, they transfer data from a spreadsheet or an electronically recorded incoming invoice into the ERP system. This robotic process automation does not involve artificial intelligence (AI) for the time being. The software robot follows defined routines and is guided by fixed decision rules. If it does not know what to do, it can forward exceptions to an employee.
In contrast to chatbots, RPA is mainly used for internal processes. However, both systems can also work hand in hand. This is shown by our examples of RPA applications:
- Human resources: Transfer travel expense report or hourly booking from a form into the time management system. Check data for plausibility.
- Finance: Minimise manual transmission errors through electronic invoice capture.
- Purchasing: Monitoring of incoming goods in order to automatically evaluate delivery reliability. Generate order forms for small orders automatically.
- Service: Accept customer enquiries and assign them to agents. Automatically send status updates to the customer.
Crucial for the successful introduction of RPA tools: Internal communication
A study by the auditing firm PwC showed that by 2020, more than 50 per cent of the companies surveyed were already using RPA. However, the survey focused mainly on larger companies with turnovers in the three-digit million range. Like all users of robotic process automation solutions, however, they are confronted with reservations on the part of the workforce: software robots could replace human workers. The introduction of such systems is therefore aimed at job cuts. In fact, in the PwC study, only 28 per cent said they wanted to release employees through the introduction of RPA.
It won't work without the support of the workforce. Therefore, the communication skills of the decision-makers are in demand. For a successful introduction of Robotic Process Automation, you need to transform reservations into willingness to change. Mistakes in internal communication can significantly damage the acceptance of Robotic Process Automation. The most important thing is to inform your employees about the project at an early stage. You should also explain the advantages and motivations. Experience shows that at the end of an actively managed process for RPA implementation, there is often even increased employee satisfaction. After all, they are relieved of tiring standard tasks.
Robotic Process Automation as a pragmatic solution for support processes
RPA is a pragmatic approach to workflow optimisation. Due to the favourable cost-benefit ratio, more and more users are opting for the solution. In a demo, we will show you how you can already use MEXS to network existing systems to Workflows and also integrate conversations.