In this article, we will introduce you to the newest kid on the block, which is none other than Robotic Process Automation (RPA). However, each implementation of the RPA software is no different than the others in specific but ends up being the same, and just that, makes it difficult for you to decide if it is deemed fit for your Organization. To give you a brief introduction to RPA, it is a software technology based on software robots to perform certain AI tasks allowing them to control Desktop applications, collect or gather data, feed data to other applications, manipulate data.
As per the applications that it is targeted to, RPA tends to operate only on the UI level instead of the API interface level of an orthodox IT system. It is more or less the same what an employee does through his own hands is being automated to be done through coordinates and precision timing, as these boring tasks can now be automated – all thanks to Robotic Process Automation tools. In a very broad range, RPA software is actually being distributed by a varied number of vendors like – Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism, UIPath, ProcessRobot, Kofax, OpenSpan (which is now acquired by Pegasystems), and in addition to this list of organizations, the budding organizations who are trying to mark their name in the RPA space.
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Automation is the demand from most of the individuals if they are thrown a question at them “Whether or not would you be fine with those boring tasks off of your hands”. RPA enables organizations to make use of these software robots to finish all these repetitive, time-consuming work for improved customer satisfaction. In addition to that, employees can now look into many pressing matters than the same old boring tasks which could be automated. This also helps them ensure that they can develop their skills and experience for the betterment of the Organization.
Robotic Process Automation is well suited for processes that are clearly defined and well documented, repeatable without many changes, and also if they are rules-based. Based on the criteria mentioned, it helps organizations across numerous industries automate the completion of a wide variety of tasks.
So now that you’ve decided automation is a good idea, where do you start? What are the types of processes that can be automated? Here’s a categorized list of 30+ examples to get you started:
RPA software is the perfect choice to put them into implementation for these specific use-cases as the data that needs to be collected or scraped off the websites are already known – for example, stock trading websites, futures trading websites, commodities trading websites, news, and media sites (based on keywords). These websites can comfortably be scraped for the specific information of interest, summarize, and later can be presented to the required stakeholders for a call on what to do next with this information.
Orders placed on many of the e-commerce websites may then have to be placed on the actual repositories for the actual dispatch and also to maintain the inventory recordings different than the customer-facing orders. Such data entry processes can be handed over to the RPA solutions as the whole process of order placement will be automated from end to end. This can be maintained better than having any manual errors that could be caused by misunderstandings.
If you are a support Organization that needs to answer those thousands of emails that get bombarded at your inboxes for responses, you could definitely get away from that situation and have RPA look after them for you. Common issues or emails can be segregated into groups and responses to such emails can be given by the RPA solution whereas the critical ones which are not ascertained into a group can be handled by the respective personnel.
Irrespective of the causes why Organizations do not spend enough time to manage their data for backups or restorations, these processes can be fully automated with the RPA solutions by providing them with the required credentials, source, and destination details for the whole task to be automated. Monitoring the whole process can also be handled by the RPA solution, the human task can be generated if there is a requirement for human intervention.
Call centers to any type of organization would like to have all the information about a customer on a single screen instead of looking into different applications to gain access to various kinds of details. RPA can pitch in well to do the website scraping and get all the intended information to a single place and do the required manipulation (if any) for the call center executive, giving them the only one view with all the required details.
Payroll processing is one such example that needs manual intervention month after month, every year. RPA system can be used instead to extract the details that are required from hand-written timesheets and calculate the pay from their stipulated CTC’s and pay them as well (by making the necessary bank transactions as well).
Many of the Organization have to process forms for an initial process to trigger in their system and which also forms the paper-based proof that can be saved for further use in investigations. Processes as like these can be automated such that the forms can be read by an RPA solution and then the manual data entry to the applications where these forms are processed, can be done by the RPA solution.
Organizations like Facebook and the like might have to face such issues, where the client-base is spread across all the geographies and also frequent calls to the back-end databases can also cause issues in the whole application processing. Such requests are then taken control of by RPA based solutions which can process these requests in batches instead of one after the other, as and when they are received to stipulate the load on the back-end systems and also to ensure better performance to the whole application.
Insurance-based organizations have to provide the insured the premium renewal receipts when the premium renewals are paid online or offline. Generating these premium renewals for every premium paid for each insurance policy can be handed over to an RPA solution that can do this activity 24 x 7 and without even any manual intervention during the process.
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Many of the Insurance companies have to process claims that are raised against insured members for an initial process to trigger claims processing in their system and which also forms the paper-based proof that can be saved for further use in investigations. Processes like these can be automated such that the forms can be read by a RPA solution and then the manual data entry to the applications where these claims are processed, can be done by the RPA solution.
Insurance companies maintain the details of all the customers who come to them or request details about their insurance products and these records are maintained as underwriting records until they become customers to the insurance company. The process of converting a business prospect to an actual business customer can be fully automated with all the details that are required to be provided to an RPA solution so that these can be processed without any human intervention from the insurance company side.
Insurance companies that dispense insurance policies to the insured individuals also have to take care of the issues that they face during the lifecycle of the policy, which have to be answered. These issues are usually reported to the insurance companies via emails, IVR calls which do not necessarily have to be human beings, which is a big advantage for the Insurance companies to happily replace with the RPA software robots.
Banking organizations can also handle the overdrafts over saving accounts of individuals and also organizations. Banks can define specific sets of rules on how these requests can be classified and then the human intervention can be curtailed to the minimum. Once a fair picture is decided upon, then the responsibility of handling all the incoming overdraft requests of individuals and organizations can be safely handed over to the RPA software robots. Exceptions are anyways handled in a different manner than usual and regarding the same, we can discuss this further in the below section.
Exceptions, be it in the Banking or the Insurance industries, exceptions in any line of business can also be pre-defined with a definite set of rules, and based on the rules, processing these exceptions is not a tough process for a software robot as well – does it? RPA software robots can definitely fill the void of a human being to classify the exceptions accordingly and also to process them without any problem.
Requests like statement reconciliation are a very regular and common request that an individual or an organization might have in the Banking space or the Insurance space. These kinds of requests are well handled by the RPA software robots, once when they are given all that they require to comfortably replace the human beings who would have to do these jobs. With this option, the replaced human beings can get into something pressing in the organizations that they work and can prove to be more worthy than just doing the same old monotonous jobs.
Banks can appoint RPA software robots to take up the complete responsibility of initiating a credit card application, to gather all the required documents from the individuals, make the necessary credit checks, background checks on itself, decision making whether or not an individual is eligible for a credit card based on the details that are provided in the step earlier, issue a new card if they are eligible and on the successful delivery of the card the case can be closed. The whole process is so systematic that this can be easily handed to the RPA software robots comfortably.
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Handling disputes in the Banking space has also been an area of concern where there is a numerous number of human beings involved where the rules that are already laid out can be sufficient enough for the RPA software robots to take up the responsibility and get going with the process. Banks might start working on this as a pilot with a limited number of personnel only to look after or monitor the situation and make the necessary suggestions to the existing process of dispute handling by the RPA software robots.
Hospitals surface a huge number of patients coming on a daily basis to get their health issues resolved, but having those patient registrations in manual log books or handing them out manual tokens will cause a lot of confusion when the same patient keeps coming for various other health issues. Hospitals can’t waste their resources on keeping track of these details on a manual basis for a long time, hence such patient registrations can be done by the RPA software robots which have all the information required for them to guide the patients who turn up at the Hospitals for their treatment. There is always a possibility that these software robots be monitored for ensuring the process being followed in the right manner.
e-Commerce websites and Logistics companies can reap loads of benefits from the RPA software robots as these kinds of activities can be fully automated without the intervention of any human being at all. Since these details can be fetched from the provider databases and the shipments can be tracked for delivery over GPS, this can comfortably be automated.
Banks, Insurance companies can deploy these RPA based solutions to quickly check the eligibilities of individuals, organizations for various products that they approach the banks or the insurance companies for. These processes do not necessarily require human intervention and based on this, the solutions from the banks and the insurance companies can be made available online so that they can make use of these facilities from the comfort of their home as well.
Benefits that individuals would want to redeem based on the points that they accrue, can also be automated. These solutions can be deployed for various products of banks, can be deployed for various organizations who want to appreciate their colleagues for the work that they do – and these, as usual, do not require human intervention to be present at all. The points can be redeemed against products, services, and/or for various other resources which can be handled by the RPA based software robots with the utmost ease.
Onboarding into organizations requires a certain process to be followed, in which case, in recent days there are a lot of individuals who are hired to ease this process. This process can be fully automated with the RPA based software robots to ensure that the required details are provided to the new individuals who join and also get the needed information from them to safeguard a smooth onboarding process for the new individuals.
Individuals joining new into Organizations would require their office setup again without human intervention as based on the roles that these individuals join into the Organization, the resources that they are supposed to be receiving do not change and the process of distribution and the necessary setups can be fully automated without the involvement of any human being. Monitoring is also not required as this is the best forms of fuller automation without a bit being missed.
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Organizations, when they grow in size, gets tough to closely monitor the compliances that each of them has to follow. The software compliance where individuals who try to install private software that is not recommended by the Organizations are installed for individual use can be easily caught red-handed when these RPA based software robots are installed for Software compliance. Just like this, there can be different kinds of compliances that an Organization tries to maintain, and based on each of those requirements, there can be different kinds of compliance-based software robots managing this work for an Organization.
Changes of address in passports, Aadhar, PAN, SSN's can be handled by the RPA based software robots which have to take in the incoming requests, trigger the corresponding workflows, verify the details provided by the individuals, and based on the outcome the details need to be persisted to the corresponding databases. This process is complete rule-based and the process laid out will be impeccable and hence the perfect scenario for it to be automated with the RPA based software robots.
Accounts pertaining to banks, organizations, applications, services, and what not – all of these need to be monitored for positive usage and anything that goes suspicious ought to be reported. Doing such a process manually going through logs on a continuous basis is not a viable option for an individual to do so and hence yet another scenario that was made for an RPA based software robot to take up.
Customer complaints irrespective of the type and line of business can be increased in an exponential basis depending upon the customer base that the business holds. Customer complaints that are logged can be made logged against a present set of issues and each of the newer issues that get raised can be categorized into these issue categories by the RPA based software robots. Based on each of these categories, there can be possible solutions that can be suggested to the customers right away. Doing so, the customer complaints can be answered 24 x 7 instead of 8 hours a day and only 5 days a week.
Data cleansing is also a good example where the unwanted details and data can be classified earlier and rules are laid out on what classifies to be bad data. Once the bad data is identified, this can be automatically cleansed by the RPA based software robots instead of human beings sitting for hours to do that which can get frustrating given the volumes of data that has to be handled on a daily basis.
Customer orders can be fulfilled without any hurdles that can come across because of human intervention. RPA based software robots can take up the whole process of handling these orders and systematically update each of the order once when done whereas the case when humans take up this activity might have issues or errors.
As discussed earlier, each of the e-Commerce websites or the logistics companies can put these RPA based software robots to use in providing the order updates to the customers without waiting on individuals to do so (based on the 8 hour time frame of a working day).
In this article, we have gone through around 30 practical implementations where Robotic Process Automation can and has found its implementation. By this discussion, you might have been able to understand that any business process which satisfies the rule of thumb (rules-based, repeatable, manual, monotonous job) can be automated with the help of Robotic Process Automation software.
Non-technical staff should be able to build the simple RPA models and solutions without the intervention of the IT department, but for enterprise-level automation – it is better to have consultants included to understand the exact business scenario, and based on that the solution can be suggested. You can claim that the RPA is best used when the boring repetitive tasks are handed over to RPA software and the employees are dealing with the non-standard knowledge-intensive tasks.
Hope you have gained the required knowledge and also understood the scenarios where one can suggest having a Robotic Process Automation software to pitch in, to automate the boring and repetitive tasks for good. Please provide your feedback through your comments on the comments section of the article.
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Ravindra Savaram is a Content Lead at Mindmajix.com. His passion lies in writing articles on the most popular IT platforms including Machine learning, DevOps, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, RPA, Deep Learning, and so on. You can stay up to date on all these technologies by following him on LinkedIn and Twitter.