What are Benefits of Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?
This question that is often asked. The first part of a typical response focuses on cost savings but actually there are other factors which are potentially more important.
The benefits can be categorised into two groups, Productivity and Quality.
RPA solutions are effective for processes that are repeatable and have predictable interactions with IT applications. Why not amend the IT applications and remove the need for RPA? Well such processes typically lack the scale or value to warrant automation via traditional core IT systems development. In fact where Cloud applications are involved there may not be any provision for custom development. RPA tools can improve the efficiency of performing these processes without changing the underlining IT systems.
Deployed RPA software is normally called a "Robot". These Robots do what a human can do by interacting with IT applications through a user interface and following simple rules to make decisions.
Unlike a human, Robots do not need to sleep so they can work 24 hours, as they do not have holidays or go sick they can operate 365 days a year. In reality, there will be some periods of down time to allow for software upgrades.
RPA Robots work at computer speed, typically this 10 times faster to interact with the application User Interface depending on the performance capability of the system.
Unlike a human, Robots do not get tired and slow down, do not lapse in concentration and make errors, RPA Robots deliver actions consistently which increases the quality of the outcome, human error is eliminated. Research indicates that in a typical repetitive task, humans will on average have a 4% error rate, the costs associated with correcting such errors can be significant.
An extra benefit in some circumstances, is that RPA Robots treat everybody the same so details on "VIPs" or "Sensitive information" is not leaked through a casual conversation. This confidentiality of Robots is also a benefit where there is staff change and potential for information to go with staff to competitors.
RPA Robots can easily create a log of all the actions they complete which can be used to monitor activity levels in real time. Asking a person to do a task and log all the details about the task would increase the time taken to perform the work significantly.
Where are the benefits found?
It is the following task qualities which make a process good option to automate:
- Repetitive - e.g. More than 10 times a day
- Prone to error
- Rules based - predictable outcome for a given input
- Involve digital data
- Time critical
- Suffers from seasonal peaks
Entire end-to-end processes can be performed by software Robots with very little human interaction, typically people manage the exceptions.
Ether Solutions believes that the typical 80:20 rule should be applied when considering process automation, so that manual activity is used to process exceptions and the more difficult / complex cases that occur in the processing.
Please contact us to discuss how RPA Robots could be used in your business to enhance Productivity and Quality - 0845 643 4410.