Technology can be a wonderful way to add value to your company. It can be utilized in different ways to make your teams and employees work more efficiently and save you money while doing so! A technological approach that can help you to run a business is the one known as Robotic Process Automation.
Below, we will go over Robotic Process Automation in more detail, as well as the myriad of ways that implementing this strategy can help to make strides in your small business and change the way you operate, day to day!
- What Is Robotic Process Automation?
- 7 Ways Robotic Process Automation Can Transform Your Small Business
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Robotic Process Automation?
The first question that you may have is, what is Robotic Process Automation in the first place? Robotic Process Automation, or RPA, as it is known for short, is the usage of software robots, or bots, to help in automating certain business processes. They do so for the maximum in business cost savings and for increased efficiency. By utilizing RPA tools, companies can transform their organization on a wide scale due to their ability to streamline and organize responsibilities or tasks on a very wide scale. It’s taking their business process management to a new level where RPA software can replace existing systems and automate processes.
RPA bots are designed to mimic the actions of human workers, interacting with applications, databases, and systems just like a human worker would. They can be trained to perform a wide range of tasks and can work 24/7 without the need for breaks or downtime.
RPA is often used in back-office operations, such as finance, accounting, and HR departments, to improve efficiency, reduce errors, and free up human workers to focus on more strategic and value-adding tasks. It is also used in customer service operations, such as chatbots, to provide automated support to customers.
7 Ways Robotic Process Automation Can Transform Your Small Business
Read on to learn more about the top 7 ways that Robotic Process Automation software works for enacting change in small businesses, and how it can be used to help you!
1. Reduce Costs
One of the first things that implementing RPA can do for your business is reduce costs. It is able to reduce costs in a number of ways, some of which are associated with the other benefits of RPA that we will be going over further in this article— like saving time. When a business asks a human team member to complete a task, this costs the company money and can also be affected by errors. There is always the possibility of human error with humans doing the work, but not with the use of RPA and automation! RPA is also a more cost effective option when it comes to certain tasks like data heavy tasks, rather than hiring a full time employee who would work on these tasks.
2. Save Time
As we mentioned above, RPA implementations can also help in your business by saving time. We have all heard the saying that “time is money”! RPA can complete some of the more time intensive tasks that human employees would otherwise have to do themselves. You are able to strategize and have RPA perform tasks so that humans can focus their energy on the ones that still need more of a human touch. By saving time, you are also increasing efficiency in all of the facets of your business that the Robotic Process Automation touches.
3. Reduce Errors
We also touched upon this briefly. RPA software tools can help to reduce errors that may have occurred when humans workers were handling these different, and likely complicated, tasks. While we do want to be understanding of the fact that mistakes can happen, it is also true that there are areas where mistakes just cannot happen— if they do, they can have very serious effects. For instance, if an error were to occur in payroll, billing, or sales, this can have effects that are not easily fixed. It could really affect the bottom line of your small business— and that is the last thing that you need if you want to scale, grow, or simply thrive at the size and stage that you are currently at.
4. Enhance Customer Satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is key to any of the businesses out there, regardless of the industry that you are in. If your customers are unhappy, this is another factor that can affect your bottom line. This is why it is so great that RPA technology is able to help you increase and enhance your customer experience and customer satisfaction. This is one of the many benefits of automation in business. Some of the things that can be automated in this vein, with RPA, include customer service emails, IT tickets, and improving response times to customers on a variety of topics.
5. Improve Employee Retention
Another great thing about Robotic Process Automation is that it can make things easier for your employees and teams. It can improve not only the external customer experience, but the internal employee experience, too. This means that fewer employees will become frustrated or burnt out by the daily tasks required of them, which will also increase your employee retention. Therefore, you will spend less time and resources training new staff! When hiring new staff, the hiring and training costs can be very expensive, so increased employee retention will also save you money. Employees will be able to focus on tasks that engage them, rather than boring and repetitive tasks that can be better handled by RPA bots.
6. Access Advanced Insights
RPA is also able to identify patterns, which can be a valuable tool for your small business. The RPA technology is able to collect and organize data, then automatically run reports for you based on this data. You can even customize your RPA rules, too, meaning that the technology will not pull extraneous information or data that you are not concerned with that could clutter up reports. RPA can then identify different trends that you or other human staff members might have missed when looking at the data your company has collected.
7. Streamline Business Operations
Last, but not least, is that RPA software tools can help to streamline your business operations— and by streamlining your business operations, you can transform your business! RPA is considered to be one of the best and easiest ways to make changes in your business to begin transforming different areas for the better. It can also help to first give you proof of concept before you continue to introduce new changes or initiatives. This is why the implementation of Robotic Process Automation is typically one of the first steps when making changes to or transforming an organization.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between RPA and Robotic Automation?
RPA (Robotic Process Automation) and robotic automation are often used interchangeably, but they refer to two different types of automation.
Robotic automation, also known as industrial automation, refers to the use of physical robots to automate tasks in manufacturing, logistics, and other industries. These robots are programmed to perform physical tasks such as assembly, packaging, and transportation. They are typically used in industries where there is a high volume of repetitive tasks that require a high degree of accuracy and consistency.
On the other hand, RPA refers to the use of software robots to automate repetitive and rule-based tasks in business processes. These bots interact with applications, databases, and systems just like a human worker would, but without the need for human intervention. They are typically used in industries such as finance, accounting, and HR to automate back-office operations and reduce manual workload.
While both types of automation aim to improve efficiency and reduce errors, they are designed for different types of tasks and industries. Robotic automation is focused on physical tasks, while RPA is focused on automating routine and repetitive tasks performed by human workers.
What are examples of Robotic Process Automation?
Here are some examples of tasks that can be automated using RPA:
- Data entry: RPA bots can be trained to read data from various sources, such as emails, spreadsheets, or PDFs, and input it into the appropriate application or database.
- Invoice processing: RPA bots can be used to automatically extract data from invoices, validate it against pre-defined rules, and create purchase orders or payment requests.
- Report generation: RPA bots can be programmed to generate customized reports by collecting data from various sources and presenting it in a specific format.
- Customer service: RPA bots can be used to provide automated support to customers through chatbots or voice assistants, answering common queries and directing customers to the appropriate resources.
- HR processes: RPA bots can be used to automate HR processes such as employee onboarding, time and attendance tracking, and benefits enrollment.
- Supply chain management: RPA bots can be used to automate supply chain processes such as order processing, inventory management, and shipment tracking.
Overall, any rule-based and repetitive task that requires the manipulation of data across multiple applications or systems can be a good candidate for RPA automation.