What is robotic process automation and why do you need it?

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You have likely heard the phrase, but what is robotic process automation (RPA) and how precisely does it generate benefits for your business? RPA is essentially a technology that allows you to automate tedious, manual tasks that your human workforce might be completing every day, such as data entry, customer transactions or reporting.

Robotic process automation vs artificial intelligence

While both AI and RPA can be used to automate tasks, there are some key differences between the two technologies:

  • AI involves machines that can learn and work independently, while you have to program RPA software to complete rules-based tasks.
  • AI is better suited for jobs that require human-like skills, such as customer service and fraud detection, while RPA is better suited for repetitive work, such as data entry and claims processing.
  • AI is still in its early stages in many ways, with some challenges yet to be addressed, such as data privacy and ethical concerns. RPA, on the other hand, is a more mature technology and has been widely adopted by many businesses.

What types of processes does RPA manage?

RPA can improve efficiency and accuracy in your organisation. In addition, RPA can help reduce the cost of processing by eliminating the need for manual data entry and processing. It is essential to understand that RPA is best leveraged for specific processes within the business, including the following.

  • Rules-based processes: RPA is not AI, so it works best with rules-based processes that do not change or require human reasoning. You can program it to automate various processes, including data entry, cleansing, validation and workflows. By automating these processes, you can improve efficiency and accuracy while reducing the cost of processing data.
  • Consistent processes: RPA can help to complete consistent tasks accurately and efficiently. You might program RPA to manage tasks you must complete by a specific time every day. It will also work best if these processes change as little as possible; if you often have to program RPA to do the process a little differently, you may want to rethink using it to handle such tasks.
  • High-volume processes: When you have a high volume of manual tasks, it takes valuable time from everyone’s day and makes the transactions take longer. RPA supports high-volume tasks, such as processing customer transactions or invoices, improving efficiency and accuracy and reducing daily costs.

What are the business benefits of RPA?

There are many benefits that a business can reap from RPA. Three of the top benefits include:

  • Create more time for tasks that require human reasoning: How much time does your team spend on repetitive, rules-based tasks, daily? Even if each person spends only ten minutes, this adds up over time. RPA can automate many repetitive and mundane tasks that people are often required to do, freeing up time for people to focus on more important work.
  • Boost the efficiency of repetitive tasks: RPA can manage tasks such as data entry or processing invoices. When performed by a human, these tasks might take twice as long and cause people to become dissatisfied with their work. It is pertinent to note that RPA complements and assists human workers instead of replacing them.
  • Improve accuracy and reduce errors: When people complete repetitive tasks, they are prone to making errors that impact the quality of reports or the information a customer service agent uses when liaising with a customer. By automating repetitive, rules-based tasks, RPA improves accuracy and reduces errors because they follow rules and procedures precisely, eliminating the potential for human error.

What industries can benefit from RPA?

RPA suits any industry or business that relies on manual, rules-based processes. Some of the sectors that MakeSense services include:

  • Government organisations are under pressure to improve the efficiency of their processes. Robotic process automation can help them to do this by automating repetitive tasks, reducing the need for manual input and improving accuracy. Automation can also help to speed up processes and reduce costs. In addition, RPA can help organisations to comply with regulations by providing an audit trail of actions taken.
  • Retail organisations can leverage RPA for processes such as taking orders, stock management and customer service. For example, RPA can help speed up order taking and processing and improve accuracy. RPA is, therefore, a valuable tool for retail businesses.
  • Utility organisations can significantly benefit from RPA. For example, RPA can help with the processing of invoices and payments, as well as helping to manage customer data. RPA can also help to improve the customer experience by automating tasks that humans typically carry out. For instance, RPA can be used to respond to customer queries or requests automatically.

MakeSense can support your journey with MuleSoft RPA

You have a business vision, but are you unsure where to start? As one of the MuleSoft Partners, we know that mapping the next steps of your RPA strategy feels daunting. We believe having a second pair of eyes to find direction is the starting point.

MakeSense delivers consulting and strategy, architecture and design, implementation, and support solutions. We are end-to-end MuleSoft experts and wholly believe in the returns generated by the Anypoint Platform.

Our experts can assess your current strategy, make recommendations, and implement a solution with MuleSoft’s platforms. Learn more about our MuleSoft expertise and how we can support your business.

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