What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?

The comprehensive introduction to Robotic Process Automation.

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Robotic process automation is a software technology that emerged from classic process automation. RPA is based on the use of programmable software robots, so-called bots. These bots can automatically process daily routine activities, which permanently relieves employees in the company. As a result, many business processes are optimized overall operational efficiency increases. The bots may be used for everything from basic data requests and form entry to more complicated tasks like managing electronic systems. Bots tend to take control of and swiftly complete all standardized procedures that adhere to a fixed set of rules and follow a predetermined pattern. Since these are often core processes with large amounts of data, e.g., in accounting, employee administration, or IT service management, the potential rationalization effect of RPA is enormous.

The robots need rules and specifications to carry out their activities. The corresponding work instructions are either programmed in advance or dynamically developed during task processing with the help of artificial robots that need rules and specifications to carry out their activities. The corresponding work instructions are either programmed in advance or dynamically developed during task processing with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning methods. In this way, the bots are partly able to react flexibly to different situations and, in exceptional cases, to make their own decisions.

The integration of RPA software into an existing system is simple since the bots run on virtual machines rather than being a part of the underlying IT architecture. As a result, no other programs need to be modified, nor do any new application interfaces (APIs) need to be developed. The software robots, on the other hand, can be customized to any interface and process.

As a result, software robots may perform cross-application operations in the ERP system, relieving individuals.

robotic process automation for Banking industry

Requirements for RPA

RPA makes it possible to simplify a lot of work steps. However, not all business processes are equally suitable for automation, and certain criteria are met so that sensible use of RPA can be made possible. Since RPA works rule-based, the process must be well structured with clear instructions and show variance due to recurring rules.

• Rule-based and do not have too many variations in their execution.

• Based on structured input data.

• Particularly error-prone due to a high manual proportion.

• Medium to high transaction volume.

• Labor intensive.

• Not have to be changed significantly in the foreseeable future.

Specific tasks of RPA

Specific RPA application scenarios are the processing of orders and customer inquiries, the implementation of data transfers, the administration of master data and billing, customer data maintenance, or the updating of notifications and status reports. Additionally, bots can take over many other mundane tasks. The following is a list of tasks that RPA can automate:

  • Filling out forms
  • Copy, paste, move & structure data
  • Processing data from different systems
  • Reading structured documents
  • Reading structured documents
  • Creation of reports
  • Editing log files
  • Execute if-then commands
  • Accessing websites & social networks
  • Processing data from the Internet
  • Opening & sorting e-mails and processing attachments
  • Login & operation of electronic systems
  • Ticket processing and dispatching
  • Upkeep of data in the ERP and CRM systems

The three types of process automation: Fully (unattended automation), Partially automated (attended automation) & Hybrid automation

In robot-based process automation, a distinction is made between partially automated solutions, fully automated solutions, and hybrid automation. With RPA, the goal is to minimize the need for human engagement by having the robots complete the procedures on their own.

Fully Automated (Attended Automation)

Unattended automation refers to fully automated processes when the robot operates on its own, even if no employees are logged into the system, and executes the necessary transaction-based operations after activating a predetermined trigger. Human involvement is either unnecessary or, depending on the situation, only essential in extreme cases. Fully automation helps an organization gather, organize, and analyze large volumes of data used in back-office systems. The goal of full automation is for software robots to work independently.

Partial Automated (attended Automation)

The interaction between individuals and robots is the focus of partial automation. The bot serves as the employee's virtual assistant in partially automated operations (known as attended automation) and helps them with small automated tasks where specific actions or orders given directly by the user are carried out. For example, database queries, summarizing the information you are looking for or filling out forms.

Hybrid Automation

RPA bots are both attended and unattended and work together in this type of RPA to provide automation for both front-end and back-end tasks. Additionally, it enables complete process automation.

Industries & Specific application scenarios

Even though RPA may be applied in practically any place, robots have so far made a strong impression in a few key industries. Software robot adoption makes sense, particularly in businesses where data management and gathering play a significant role in day-to-day operations. Here are some industries where RPA is being utilized successfully and extensively right now:

Banking Icon   Banking

Banks employee does several back-office activities that are repetitive, and need to be done repeatedly with little space for error, such as customer service, accounts payable, customer onboarding, and general ledger.

Financial Icon    Financial services

RPA makes it possible to handle financial activities including account reconciliation, master data management, invoicing, and termination processing safely and efficiently.

Insurance    Insurance

RPA is capable of automating a variety of structured tasks, including issuing insurance confirmations, processing contracts, updating address information, calculating insurance premiums, and establishing standing orders in the system.

Contact-Center    Contact Centers

Automating customer services, such as by responding to customer inquiries or doing automatic measures in the event of problems facilitating support, new customer acceptance, and order management.

Advantages of using RPA in Business

The advantages of using RPA in day-to-day company activities are vast and diverse. The following aspects significantly improved depending on the implementation:

Efficiency : Workflows made more efficient so that responses are quicker and tasks finished faster, boosting productivity overall.

Cost savings : Software robots work five times as much and cost approximately 30% of what a full-time person does because of the inexpensive license fees.

Data quality :The bots ensure that data sets are transparent and consistent. Defined controls and complete logging of the work steps to ensure that the governance requirements were met.

Error reduction : A high level of compliance achieved fraud risks are reduced by closely following rules and standards. In addition, even with large amounts of data, working accuracy is guaranteed.

Customer assistance :Customer satisfaction considerably increases because an individual can spend more time attending to customer requirements, and inquiries are handled more swiftly.

Employee satisfaction : Due to user-friendliness, the software robots are easy to use and relieve staff from time-consuming repetitive tasks. Instead, they can concentrate on strategic initiatives with better-added value and consumer demands, increasing total commitment.

Easy integration : Since there is no need for new software, the implementation is done by specialized departments without the need for extensive programming expertise. In addition, fragmented system landscapes are also integrated by automating end-to-end processes.

Scalability : After initial deployment, the process automation is highly scalable, enabling a flexible expansion in the size of the digital workforce in response to workload.

Expansion opportunities : Intelligent automation applies to non-standard processes thanks to AI and machine learning.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

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