What is RPA? Robotic Process Automation

In the past few months, RPA seems to have taken the world by storm. Everyone’s talking about it, thinking about it, and wanting to see what it could do for their business.

The Forrester Wave , a famous quarterly report of new tech, just examined this rapidly growing niche which has recently surpassed NASSCOM’s prediction of market growth by $300 mil, reaching $1.57 billion this year. McKinsey estimates that work automation will keep increasing and affect 9% of the global workforce in the next few years.

So, what’s it all about? As with all new technology, it can be difficult to see past the buzz and get to the bottom of what it is exactly and what it can do for you. This article will explain what Robotic Process Automation is, why it’s so sought after, and how you could use it.

What is RPA (Robotic Process Automation)?

The name itself explains a lot – RPA stands for Robotic Process Automation, and is a technology that enables us to build simple bots to do tedious, repetitive, time-consuming tasks. What would those tasks be? Think feeding information into a spreadsheet, handling sales queries, making calculations, handling financial transactions.

Generally, each department in your business will have to deal with a certain amount of such high volume repetitive tasks, wasting your money in the form of the precious time of your high-skilled employees.

Using software with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning capabilities, RPA is able to create bots that can handle all of them more efficiently. If you are a business owner, the new promising technology of RPA is bound to sound to you like an exciting prospect.

Just imagine how valuable it would be to acquire a piece of software that can handle all of the little, repetitive tasks that end up slowing down your employees. How much time would be saved, and how much more effective would your business be if it could use its time on the more complex tasks that need special attention?

The answer for most business owners is: immensely.

Why should you use RPA?

There are many benefits to using RPA. Here are the ones that will have the most impact on you and your business:

1. It saves you money

NASSCOM has also estimated that RPA can help businesses lower their running costs – they have crunched the numbers and realized that domestic businesses can reduce their costs up to 65% just by using RPA. Add reduced training costs to that, and you might already find yourself convinced to try it out.

2. It’s a more human robot

If you’ve interacted in the past with automated online assistants, you know how infuriating they can be. The set responses, the lack of nuance and simple logic can make for a frustrating interaction – RPA is different from that as it’s more technologically advanced. It can deliver responses and ‘talk’ to users in language more similar to our natural way of speaking, creating a better customer experience.

3. It removes human error

When people do repetitive, time-consuming tasks, they get mentally fatigued; this can lead to mistakes that cost you time and money. RPA can deliver consistently error-free output. It offers a very low operational risk and keeps a high quality of work. It’s good to note here that RPA cannot replace actual employees; what it does do is take away the burden of the tasks people don’t need, or want, to do.

4. It delivers high-quality service

Unlike people, RPA can run 24/7 – so whenever your customers reach out to you, RPA can be there to respond and create a positive brand interaction. With lover delivery times as well, it makes for happier customers and, in the end, higher profits.

How do you set up RPA?

RPA is set up using different tools. The most popular ones are UiPath , Blue Prism and Automation Anywhere , and at FusionHit we use all three. These tools help us meet our objectives and build the most intelligent and effective bot we can.

There is a simple process to setting up RPA in your business, and if followed correctly it can free up a lot of your employees’ time. Let’s dive into it and make it easier to understand by following one specific example of setting up RPA to take information from inbound emails and feeding them into a spreadsheet.

Phase 1: Planning

In this stage, we focus on what the task we want to automate entails and understanding the process that will need to be automated. In this phase, it’s important to also gather a few tests, so that we can see if it works later on in the process. The key task in this stage is making sure that we finalize how we approach the implementation of RPA in this instance.

To follow our example, we’d need to understand that the bot we built will have to connect to inbound emails, read the information they contain correctly and pull the right data for it then to be fed into a spreadsheet.

Phase 2: Development

In this stage, we put the plan devised in Phase 1 into action and create the automation workflows we’ve designed. It is now that we’d use the tools that we mentioned before, such as UI Path.

Phase 3: Deployment & testing

After we deploy the code, it’s crucial to test it rigorously so as to ensure that it is bug-free. The entire point of RPA is to increase efficiency and effectiveness – we don’t want to use a piece of code that is defective and will detract from that ultimate goal.

Phase 4: Ongoing support & maintenance

The developer’s job doesn’t end after testing. Like any other piece of technology, it’s important that it is maintained and adapted to the ever-changing needs of the business. For example, if more data needs to be pulled from the emails than initially thought, or if some bug occurs, developers need to be on hand to support the business.

Is RPA worth it?

Short answer: yes. RPA just makes sense. It’s easy to implement, simple to use and doesn’t cost a fortune, while also cutting your business’ running costs.

At FusionHit, we are a small but passionate team of developers who love to try out new technologies. In our partnership with companies in the States, we operate as a nearshoring Costa Rican developer studio that brings new solutions to the table and solves real problems. This is why we see so much value in RPA, and why we’re already certified in the top three tools used today for its development. We have even developed our own RPA solution.

If you’d like to find out more about what we offer, don’t hesitate to get in touch – we’d love to chat.

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