Automation Software and 7 Important Questions
Automation Software and 7 Important Questions
RPA does not solve every problem within a company's operations, but it can offer benefits to more than just its technology function.
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The Best Questions to Ask for Reaping Automation Software's Benefits
When it comes to automation software, most businesses can experience the benefits of RPA. Whether it be to scale a business, reduce human error, increase performance, or boost employee and customer satisfaction, robotic automation can be a helpful and cost-effective solution. However, not every process can have the benefits of RPA. To help you discover processes that may be viable candidates for robotic automation, here are seven questions you can ask.
1) Does the task involve frequent human interaction between two or more applications, repetitive data entry, or frequent drag and drop keystrokes?
Processes like data collection, customer verification, and other frequent tasks often rely on obtaining the same information each time a process is repeated. Automation software reduces the hands-on time needed to complete the process through a prerecorded dialogue mimicking human interaction. In turn, robotic automation can save on human capital costs and complete tasks faster with greater accuracy. In most cases, these automation processes improve both the customer journey and the efficiency of a company, and over time, predict customer behavior through artificial intelligence (AI)-enhanced RPA technology.
2) Is the database inaccessible or in need of an API?
Robotic automation offers a solution to save time on transferring data from applications lacking an interface. Customer-facing employees specifically benefit from the collection and automatic sorting of data through a data robot, saving time in handling cases while increasing customer satisfaction. Using robotic automation aids in seamless integration between multiple vendor systems. In such cases, an interface does not exist to help systems connect, creating the bottleneck from manual processing.
3) To increase efficiency, does the process require an expensive or unavailable system upgrade?
For many growing companies, upgrading a core vendor system falls outside the budget. For strategic uses, the company may way want to collect data for a specific purpose unrelated to a vendor system function, such as back-office management and company-specific CRM uses. Updates may require a complete system upgrade that far outweighs the value of its use.
Shaun Williamson, Senior Product Manager of the Department of Work and Pensions (UK) and RPA user, notes the benefits of robotic automation compared to an upgraded system. "We've proven that you can move from concept to deployment quickly and that there is little cost or no cost in expanding the number of robots you have available," Williamson remarks. "Our experience suggests the return on investment (ROI) is around 15:1." Compared to building or upgrading to a completely new system, RPA technology becomes an effective way to customize company processes without the weighty price tag.
4) Does the process involve the collection or allocation of sensitive data?
Any industry involving collecting sensitive data runs the risk of security breaches and entry errors. Utilizing automation software to handle information processing reduces human error--and HR headaches. For the healthcare industry, data entry automation goes further than reducing manual labor. Automating patient information and charting data can reduce cases of HIPAA violations, medical errors, fraud, and lawsuits relating to the misuse and confidentiality of patient information.
5) Is the manual process the cause of production inefficiencies or inaccurate data processing leading to fines or penalties?
In Williamson's case, filing a mass amount of pension claims lead to a backlog of 30,000 claims. Manual entry caused a bottleneck in production that would have taken several thousand man-hours to rectify. Claims Processing Automation cleared the backlog in a matter of two weeks.
Likewise, in cases like accounting and other financial processes, manual entry errors can lead to severe fines or penalties from audits. Eradicating human entry errors through data entry automation in the healthcare sector can prevent some unnecessary lawsuits or roadblocks in billing and payment. Automation software reduces error significantly — and, in most cases, completely — adding to the value of its ROI.
6) Can an automated process free up employees to work on skill-specific or customer-centric tasks?
Hiring top talent can take a business only so far as the job allows freedom to express their expertise. RPA frees employees from repetitive and menial tasks so they can focus on areas in need of attention.
Brendan McDonald, Director of Customer Compliance Operations at Ladbrokes Coral, sees the value of robotic automation in his company. It serves as one of the UK's largest betting and gambling companies. "We have been able to remove all of our accuracy issues by letting robots take care of the repetitive tasks and freeing the team to handle exceptions." As a result, employee efforts redirect to enhance customer service and ultimately net higher customer satisfaction.
7) Does your company seek to lower turnover rates and boost employee satisfaction?
Taking advantage of intrinsic motivators such as providing employees with more fulfilling tasks simultaneously increases employee satisfaction and performance. Employing RPA to handle repetitive processes indirectly reduces turnover rates and the financial costs associated with it. Over time, RPA becomes a company's most reliable employee. It allows room for management to be the best your employees have ever worked for. Freedom to focus on where true human interaction is needed the most reduces time spent on some tasks employees dislike the most.
RPA does not solve every problem within a company's operations, but it can offer benefits to more than just its technology function. So, performing a discovery analysis based on these questions can help you determine which processes are most suitable for automation in your business. Thus, you can apply robotic automation in a way that takes your company to the next level.
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