Robotic processing automation offers many attractive solutions for various business functions. For example: back office work, supply chain management, data mining, or crafting an email marketing campaign. Quantifiable effects like time reduction to complete tasks and error reporting are worth getting excited over. However, RPA delivers the most value outside the operations it automates. To prove it, think about its effects in the following six environments.
Finance and Human Resources (HR): Robotic Processing Automation Loves Paperwork
Robotic processing automation champions back-office administration tasks like payroll, sales order processing, accounts payable, user termination, and claims processing. The ability for robots to collect data from customers and employees or transfer data from multiple programs frees up valuable time while eradicating error. Looking at it from a broader perspective, robotic automation keeps data accurate, a critical factor needed for financial decisions and project planning. Its reliability helps save costs while adding value to current product offerings without changing their design. Likewise for HR, robotic automation saves costs on training and maintaining human capital value through job satisfaction.
Take into account Roboworx client Reinsurance Company’s case. The company faced a backlog of client financial reconciliation and slow processing rates. Process automation robotically collected the information from bank statements and compared with Reinsurance Company’s current accounting system to ensure pinpoint accuracy each time. The company saw an increase to 100% processing accuracy with an 80% reduction in turnaround time.
Management makes decisions off of collectible company data, from financial reports in project assessment to receiving sales and inventory statistics, used to predict and outlay trending products. Using data to make decisions is a key strategy to acquire and maintain competitive advantages. This data has two requirements for validity: credibility and collectibility.
Many banks take advantage of data automation, through entry and collection, to systematically process information along with the use of artificial intelligence (AI). This collected information, along with customized robotic processes, sorts customers into targeted demographics. The data is then used to determine what products may be most appealing to the sorted demographic. Using available data from the RPA systems, customer profiling allows customer-facing personnel to accurately upsell products while simultaneously building trust and healthier customer relationships.
Typical sectors include targeted direct to consumer marketing (such as email, digital, and social media marketing) but also more specifically in the targeting of new customers. Just as management uses data mining to make decisions, marketers use information collected to craft better customer relationship management (CRM) strategies.
Rather than manually adding customers into CRM software like Salesforce and Oracle, robotic automation can automatically collect data and build customer profiles in a fraction of the time. As a result, robotic processing automation collects and builds extensive profiles for each customer–excellent for rapidly growing companies–saving time for creatives to focus on complex projects and developing more effective marketing campaigns.
Information Technology (IT): An obvious pair for Robotic Processing Automation
Robotic processing automation especially aids departments like IT and HR for the primary reason of the systematic processes involved. The use of multiple vendor applications within a company’s technology network often requires interfaces to bridge gaps, among other application processes. Aside from APIs, robotic automation can continually monitor websites, notifying staff when a site goes down or an issue surfaces in which a company can suffer revenues if not handled immediately. And because robots work 24/7, companies save on manual monitoring during off hours.
Supply Chain Management
RPA solutions apply to companies operating in B2B and/or B2C structures. Process automation leads to better inventory management, like customized just-in-time (JIT) reordering systems, to help save costs. This helps in building leaner operations and taking advantage of economies of scale. Users can add more value to their supply chain management too. This is done by keeping better records and quality management of goods received and sold. By far one of the most valuable assets RPA can address is helping to maintain supplier relationships that keep the business running smoothly and with lower variable costs.
Customer Service: Robotic Processing Automation’s Unexpected Benefits
Customers can arguably agree that long wait times are a primary reason for dissatisfaction. The culprit? Time-consuming customer data collection paired with clunky operator systems that transfer customers to wrong departments. Many companies diagnose the issue as a lack of staffing to accommodate high caller volume. To treat the situation, they turn to outsourcing to off-shore companies. These off-shore companies offer more staff at a fraction of the price. However, the tradeoffs in quality and training lead to poor service more than make up for the savings.
Robotic processing automation adds value to both the unhappy customers and the representatives assisting them. Via process automation, data collection can begin the moment a customer contacts the company. RPA’s chat robot possesses a conversational style that mimics human interaction and collects customer data prior to speaking with representatives. Once a call transfers to an agent, the agent then has access to the customer profile. The agent can begin to troubleshoot problems immediately, reducing frustrating wait times.
Further, automated systems transfer callers to the right division of customer service. Specialists in a customer’s problem area can target solutions without the need for multiple call transference. Having specialized personnel reduces the amount of training new employees require and lowering hire/fire costs in a department that often sees the highest turnover.
Businesses in industries requiring many front and back office processes. Banking, insurance, and healthcare are among the more obvious candidates for cashing in on the benefits of RPA. But even less obvious industries, like restaurants and hospitality, can take advantage of process automation. Regardless of what industry your business is in, likely there’s at least one function that process automation can add value.
If you’d like to further explore what areas in your business or processes might be great candidates for robotic automation, check out our article on performing an RPA diagnostic.