Robotic Process Automation
What is the RPA?
The term RPA (Robotic Process Automation) identifies those software technologies (software robots) that aim to free people from repetitive manual activities, with low value both in terms of skills needed by people and in terms of business.
The robotic process automation aims to totally automate back office processes, those boring and repetitive processes that are often entrusted to people, with a high risk of error and a demeaning type of work for those who have to do it.
In the past, process automation had already achieved good results, but structured data and system integration via API (Application Programming Interface) or scripts created specifically for the occasion were always needed.
The RPA allows to bring automation in practically every field because it is able to manage data from scanned documents, images, emails (unstructured data) and to exploit some typical technologies of artificial intelligence, such as machine learning and natural language processing. In this way, automated processes can learn and adapt to changes in the operating environment in which they are installed.
For these reasons, RPA is not really a technology but rather a new Business Technology practice that analyzes and optimizes the entire life cycle of a process, without having to rewrite or modify it.
Characteristics of the RPA:
The robots are able to easily access the end user system through a controlled interface, the need for programming the systems is reduced to a minimum.
Robotic Process Automation benefits
Reduced cycle times and increased productivity: Robotic software tools are able to perform various tasks faster than a human. 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Save time and increase accuracy: Software robots are programmed to improve accuracy, follow the rules and make no mistakes. You save time and are assured of data accuracy.
Scalability and flexibility: If a process can be automated and then followed by a robot, in the case of increased work and data to be analyzed and transformed, no more people are needed, just assign more jobs to the robot. This allows you to manage work peaks with greater peace of mind, allowing the possibility of climbing more easily.
Comprehensive data acquisition: can acquire any type of data. All the phases can be observed and it is possible to transcribe the logs, in order to monitor events, data acquisition and data transformation. In this way, it will be easier for companies to prevent errors or better understand how to improve a process or verify the sending of data.
Enhance the human resource: when people have to carry out repetitive jobs with low added value (copying data, responding automatically according to predefined answers), they are usually not happy, they often experience it as a punishment or at least they perceive that they are not appreciated at work. This decreases attention, decreases productivity and increases the risk of error. When these repetitive jobs are made to robots and people are given higher-value tasks, everyone is happier.
Cost savings or increased efficiency: since most of the manual and repetitive jobs can be easily automated, it is possible to reduce staff or allocate them to other jobs. Human errors and therefore costs are eliminated.
Quick return on investment: robotic process automation increases productivity in various industrial sectors because a single software robot is able to carry out the activity of about three people. This creates a positive ROI much faster than expected.
In which business processes can RPA be applied?
Robotic Process Automation by its nature can be used across the company. Here are some application areas:
Manual or repeated data entry: with robotic process automation it is possible to simplify and reduce data entry (or copying). Data translations and data entry from one system to another can be easily performed by the user.
Automatic Report Generation: Used to automate data collection, so that accurate and accurate reports can be provided.
Rule-based decision making: With the use of RPA, decision matrices can be managed and a simple rule-based decision can be made with precision.
Information Validation: Gather and compare data across systems to validate and review information, and provide compliance and review of results.
The processes affect many business sectors, from banks to insurance, from order entry in the transport and industry sectors, to the check of invoice bubbles in many other business sectors. Wherever there are repetitive activities performed manually, robotic process automation can intervene and improve the quality of work for people and companies.