Small Business Brief


What Is Robotic Process Automation? How Rpa Is Changing the Way We Work

In recent years, robots have been taking over domains previously dominated by humans.

Robotic process automation (RPA) is spearheading this major development. The term refers to a set of technologies that emulate or integrate human work.

RPA robots typically feature a user interface for manipulating data points and multifarious applications. They are also able to “talk” with other software systems and execute repetitive tasks. As such, RAP is a disruptive force driving digital transformation across industry sectors.  

But, we’re not talking about some great banishment of human workers ensuing. The future will not be worse for them, just different. Namely, the current wave of automatic innovation entails flesh-and-bone employees working alongside digital counterparts.

Here is exactly what this means in practice.

The Game Has Changed

Robots of today are a far-cry from one-trick ponies only good for lifting heavy objects.

The manufacturing sector has pioneered automation, but that was just the dawn of the new age. Robots are getting smarter and smarter as time rolls by. Already, they are capable of mimicking a whole range of human actions.

One of the major steps forward comes in the form of robots handling administrative and office tasks.  In the age of ever-higher compliance standards and competitive pressures, this is a true game-changer.

First off, one can minimize error rates and supplement manual labor. Secondly, automation reduces processing time and costs, while boosting productivity.

More specifically, RPA units:

  • Utilize apps
  • Transfer (copy/paste) files
  • Rearrange folders
  • Fill out forms
  • Scrape the web
  • Open emails
  • Do mathematical calculations
  • Close reports

The list goes on and includes any high-volume, non-value add, and recurring activity. Thus, automation holds the potential to eliminate sluggish, manual, and inefficient processes. In its full glory, it leads to a complete back-office overhaul.

For instance, a trade credit insurance company can automate credit limit request underwriting. No need to gather the information manually from different sources. Not only that, but one can leverage automation for insurance to perform a complete back-office refurbishing.

Similarly, when it comes to HR, RPA facilitates hiring, payroll, and candidate management. On the other hand, financial departments can speed up invoicing, as well as accounts payable and receivable. The level of human intervention is minimal or close to zero.

These different processes can take place simultaneously, in both desktop and cloud environments.

Benefits Liked to RPA

The main benefit of RPA is related to streamlining operations.

Companies can deploy new tools for a fraction of the cost it would take to roll out clunker technologies. After all, RAP solutions are geared toward frictionless implementation.

They don’t disrupt present systems and tech infrastructure, as they are designed to be non-intrusive. What is more, they are easy to train and program.  Hence, the upfront investment and ongoing costs of maintenance are minimal.  

Yes, the IT staff has to provide support, but business departments are in full control.

Another great thing about RAP is one doesn’t simply grow out of it. The technology is highly scalable and evolves together with your needs and requirements. This is especially true with RPA cloud solutions.

They allow you to swiftly respond to seasonal fluctuations and ups and downs of work flux.  This makes RPA an investment for the long haul and one that can pay off many times over.

Furthermore, unlike human workers, RPA robots don’t require sleep and rest. They work tirelessly around the clock. There’s a much higher level of operational and business predictability.  

Robotic servants spare you the flurry of sick leaves and compensation claims. They are reliable and produce accurate and consistent output. Everything they do is closely monitored, which brings more security and safety overall.

The ultimate result is a refined workflow and immediate profitability.

On top of that, robots also produce a steady stream of reports over time. This valuable data allows you to engage in constant process fine-tuning. Down the line, further accumulative operational cost reductions await.

They’re Our Friends Folks, Not Foes

We should stress that robots aren’t exactly stealing our jobs.

Rather than pushing us closer to dystopian nightmare, they are merely shifting the way we work.

For instance, many companies that underwent RPA transformation didn’t lay off workers. Instead, they moved them to consumer-facing tasks.  

Besides, RPA alleviates mental stress and physical strain that stem from mounting work pressure. It keeps boredom, fatigue, and burnout at bay. Therefore, workers are more likely to thank their mechanical helpers than to curse them.

As for decision-makers, they have more time to focus on what they do and know best. Automation enables them to grasp the big picture, make educated decisions, and act strategically.

That being said, there are some roadblocks to be aware of. A lack of corporate buy-in can lead to lackluster implementation. Some companies pick processes that are not suitable for RPA and cause unnecessary headaches.  

Others simply set unrealistic or non-tangible goals.

So, make an effort to avoid these roadblocks and pitfalls. Open the channels of communication and develop a solid employee onboarding system. Everyone should be in-the-know and on the same page.

Finally, bear in mind that robots may start to operate sales and related tasks soon. This will tackle segmented campaign targeting, subscription renewal, discount distribution, etc.

The takeaway is clear: brace yourself for the future, which is already upon us. This is a great way to gain a powerful competitive advantage and dominate the market.

Process Automation with Robots Leading the Way   

Robots are here to stay and rock the business world.

You can rest assured RPA is no fad: it’s the next big leap in the evolution of process automation. It encapsulates various tasks we used to think only humans can do. The trick is to select business processes across a wide spectrum of use cases and revamp them without breaking the bank.

To make it happen, you need to come up with a solid plan. Strive to align human resources, business strategies, and technology. Their synergy is what unlocks the full power of RPA.

Focus on addressing your specific business needs and meeting regulations and standards. Relocate human employees to more creative and customer-oriented tasks.

Feel free to check out our small business articles for more insights.  It’s time to tap into digital transformation at its finest and supercharge your operations!