Robotic process automation (or RPA) software is a fundamental automation tool.
It automates many of the tedious and routine tasks employees typically perform through the help of software robots. And while the value this provides is clear today, it’ll be just as relevant to future business needs: Experts predict that the RPA market is projected to be worth $8.85 billion by 2024.
Despite RPA’s value, organization can’t get the full benefits of automation with the software alone. What else is needed to automate at the highest level? We’ll tackle this question, but before we do, let’s dive into the top benefits RPA offers.
How RPA and enterprise automation differRead guide
How RPA can benefit your business
RPA software offers organizations multiple critical advantages:
1. Streamlined scalability
Many companies have uneven workloads. Certain times of the year might require more work, such as increasing orders during the holiday season or summertime—forcing organizations to hire temporary workers and pay overtime. With RPA software, however, companies can avoid hiring temporary hires and shift workers during busy seasons.
And It’s not only certain seasons that require scalability. As companies grow and expand operations, they need software that meets increased demands. RPA can grow alongside a growing business because as companies find themselves taking on more workloads, they can simply deploy more bots in response.
2. Improved analytics
Companies can collect more data around task execution for analytical purposes with RPA. For example, enterprises can analyze work volume patterns, errors and exceptions, and cycle times.
With these types of insights on hand, companies can make informed decisions that ultimately allow them to better streamline their processes and boost efficiency.
3. Greater efficiency
While companies can improve their worker efficiency, there’s a limit to how much one employee can do. RPA, on the other hand, works on a level that’s impossible for employees. They run 24 hours each day of the year and don’t take vacations or sick time. As a result, one RPA robot works the equivalent of several full-time employees.
4. Increased security and compliance
The average cost of a data breach for companies is $4.24 million, so taking the time to ensure that your data is safe is vital. Moreover, the rise in remote work has made organizations more vulnerable, as employees can now handle sensitive information on insecure networks.
RPA can reduce the risk of compromised data and ensure that your company maintains a high level of security, as the bots (and not necessarily employees) are accessing and performing actions with the data. As a side benefit, your organization will have an easier time complying with wide-reaching data privacy and protection measures, like GDPR.
5. A high ROI
RPA is an upfront investment: the cost of the solution, extra infrastructure, development, and ongoing maintenance may make some leaders pause. However, organizations find that these investments pay off for their companies significantly. Case in point: McKinsey estimates that RPA software delivers an ROI that’s anywhere between 30-200%.
There are a number of reasons why RPA sports such a high ROI: round-the-clock work, reduction of paper waste and other costly resources, lower data-processing costs, more motivated employees, and a better customer experience are just a few.
The initial investment that RPA requires saves companies far more down the line while also improving their businesses and increasing sales.
6. Enhanced work quality
Mistakes are a part of being human. However, they also cost companies significantly. In fact, over 95% of executives stated that poor data quality undermines their business performance. Considering that human error is one of the leading causes behind faulty data, automating as much as possible is critical for increasing its quality.
Although employees reduce errors with enhanced tools, training, and accountability, these solutions only go so far. RPA enables companies to avoid common mistakes and improve the overall quality of work and data by eliminating the human error factor altogether.
7. Better customer experience
To ensure that your customer service team provides a best-in-class experience, they’ll need to overcome the issue of long wait times: nearly 60% of consumers stated that long holds and wait times are the most frustrating part of their experiences with customer service.
RPA bots can directly address this, as they can handle the repetitive and tedious task of inputting customer data, allowing support agents to concentrate on taking care of customers quickly and effectively.
8. Elevated employee engagement
Employee engagement is critical in fostering a healthy company culture and business success. Studies show that engaged and inspired employees are 125% more productive than merely satisfied employees. However, engaged workers are harder to find than ever. Research shows that engagement levels at work dropped for the first time in a decade.
One of the drivers in inspiring and engaging workers is providing them a role where they can be creative and grow. RPA can help by performing the repetitive and tedious tasks that leave employees bored and uninspired in their roles—which, in turn, frees employees to perform more creative, collaborative, and critical work.
Related: 25 RPA use cases
Build even more powerful automations with an enterprise automation platform
RPA is a powerful tool that companies can harness to help them scale, perfect their processes, and improve their overall efficiency. However, RPA can’t be an organization’s only automation tool.
In every organization, workflows run across data, applications, and teams. Automating these workflows effectively and at scale requires:
- API connectivity that serves as the foundation for automation across all databases and applications.
- The ability to trigger automations in real-time, on a schedule, or via polling (where an enterprise automation platform checks an app on a predefined cadence to see if the business event took place)
- Custom platform bots that allow workers to access actions and data in their apps without leaving their business communication platform, such as Slack
- IT to centralize governance and monitor integrations and automations
With an enterprise automation platform, organizations can make the most of their RPA technology while still meeting these additional needs.
For example, consider how Workato, the leader in enterprise automation, and an RPA tool such as UiPath can work together to streamline purchase order processing:
1. A purchase order arrives through an email service such as Gmail, which triggers Workato to begin the workflow.
2. Workato downloads the order and identifies the sender’s pages in a CRM (such as Salesforce) using the email address of the sender.
3. The RPA bot searches and retrieves the Standard Industrial Classification (or SIC) code to enrich the Salesforce account.
4. Together, RPA and OCR parse the order, and the bot adds suitable services or products to the opportunity. While this happens, Workato uploads the PO to the Salesforce account.
5. Workbot, Workato’s customizable chatbot, then alerts the assigned salesperson of the PO through Slack. The rep can either approve or reject the PO within the message.
6. Once the rep approves the PO, the chatbot will change the opportunity in Salesforce to “closed-won” and send a confirmation email to the client that their order was processed successfully.
As you can tell, utilizing both an enterprise automation platform and RPA software allows you to fundamentally change how your workflows operate end-to-end. And in doing so, the benefits outlined earlier only amplify dramatically.
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