What is RPA?
RPA stands for Robotic Process Automation. It is a broad concept that includes robotic process automation software to automate repetitive and manual tasks using bots. RPA frees up humans to work on tasks requiring critical thinking or decision making.
What is a bot?
Bots are configurable software that can follow a set of steps programmed by a human. You can think of a bot as a robot that is told what to do by humans and consistently executes that function. If you’ve used Macros in Excel, the concept is similar. Bots reduce human error such as mistyping or clicking the wrong field. They do what they are configured to do. There are also bots that can “learn” by watching a human perform a process on a computer.
How is RPA setup?
Configuration varies by the robotic process automation software being used. RPA software often has multiple bot types. These bots include a set of rules that are configured by a human user to emulate manual tasks in a business process. Current RPA software is point and click configurable and does not require custom coding or developer skills.
What is the best RPA software?
NPS works with several RPA providers and recommends the “best” for you based on your business needs, budget, and tolerance for innovative technology. In short, contact us and we’ll provide expert support to help you determine your robotic process automation solution.
What can RPA solve?
Any repetitive or mistake-prone task can be helped by RPA. Some examples are below.
Payable and Receivable Processing
Finance departments are grateful for bots that can perform a review on invoices, POs, or bills received via email or scanned electronically. They can look up to ERP and CRM systems to confirm line items, vendors, or quantities. They can kickoff exception processes or emails internally or externally. They can post data into other systems. Any step can include a user review to validate the bot interaction and exceptions found. Human error like mistyping an amount or code is removed and redundant tasks like confirming a vendor is active are automated.
The process to onboard an employee for HR or a vendor for Procurement can be remarkably similar. Certain documents are required, background checks performed, and data entered into systems. Use bots to confirm all required fields are completed on applications, all documents are received and signed, and look up to 3rd party systems to validate background or statuses. Automate an email with any exceptions found. If all data is accurate, create the record in the HR or ERP system. Remove tedious tasks from humans like confirming required data is provided, retyping information into multiple systems, and making sure all documents are present.
Mortgage and loan closings are frequently held up due to third and fourth checks of data turning up mistyped or out of date information. Bots can cross check documents, alert to dates out of range, remove human mistyping errors, and validate all required documents are provided. Automate emails to customers and agents requesting more information and provide a secure location to receive sensitive documents. Loan closing time can be reduced not just by days but by weeks with the addition of RPA. Reduce costly mistakes that require explanations or fees for regulators and confusion from customers.
Data migrations and conversions are tedious on the IT staff responsible for ensuring jobs are running. Data exceptions can also be overlooked or misinterpreted as unimportant if the reviewer doesn’t understand business rules. Use bots to start and stop processing on schedules, assess exceptions, report anomolies, and check data against other systems. This streamlines the effort for both IT staff and business owners and ensures the data migration will not account for all data but do so on a schedule that does not lag due to human influence.
Compliance needs impact all departments within an organization. Whether it is retention rules on records, reporting regulations for finance, or mandated training, an RPA solution can replace spreadsheets used to track and humans sending repetitive emails to request compliance. More importantly, RPA can monitor and alert policy owners that an individual or group is out of compliance. This saves costly fees, lawyer costs, and embarrassment from public perception at being unable to meet regulatory rules and policy.
Help Desk Automation
Let IT staff take a break from password resets and train bots to reset passwords in line of business systems. Receive the same question over and over from online forms? Let a bot answer it with the answer you determined. Bots can setup or inactivate user accounts and send automatic emails to users. To prevent cyber attacks, bots can alert IT to questionable access attempts and monitor network logs for irregular activity. Best of all, bots can do this in seconds which improves customer satisfaction with the help desk and makes everyone’s lives easier.