How does Robotic Process Automation actually work?

Robotic Process Automation

Every organization wants to be able to work as efficiently as possible, so automating business processes is a logical step. With Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can even run processes completely automatically: software robots take over common tasks, so that employees can focus on other things.

Many daily activities of employees in, for example, the financial or HR department consist of repetitive actions. Consider, for example, booking invoices or creating new users for your systems. It takes a lot of time. You would rather use that time for more value-adding activities. Robotisation can yield a lot in these cases. In essence, robotization is simple: you replace repetitive manual work with robot software, which takes over the tasks.

Robotic Process AutomationAdvantages of robotisation

The advantage of these robots is that they can perform the actions faster, the chance that something goes wrong is virtually nil and that the robot is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It also provides the ability to scale up more easily at peak times. For example, there is no need to deploy additional staff on these tasks; the capacity is easy to expand and the software can be programmed to absorb the load. When the peak time ends, you can also easily scale down again.

Guaranteed cost savings

This flexibility in deployment, in combination with the constant availability of the robots and the small risk of errors, guarantees the organization a cost saving. This means that the ROI of robotisation for many processes is less than a year, or even faster. In addition, the software provides good insight into the processes and the use of a software robot makes it easier to comply with internal control and compliance. For example, a software robot has its own audit trail, where every step and activity can be logged and viewed.

Employees can focus on tasks that have added value for your organization

Deploy employees more efficiently

“Does that make my employees superfluous?” Is a frequently asked question. No, you can make employees work much more efficiently. They can focus on tasks that have added value for the organization. For example, think at a strategic level. This way you keep the lead over the competition and you can even expand it.

How do you robotize the processes that are important to you?

There are many processes in an organization that can be robotized. But that does not mean that everything has to be done at once. It is therefore important to consult a reliable and experienced partner, such as Dynatos, which specializes in RPA and advises you from start to finish, supports and assists in the development of the required software robots.

In-depth analysis of the organization

It all starts with an in-depth analysis of the organization. Which processes are there and which processes can be robotized? This analysis is made in a brainstorming session. One of the goals is to find out where repetitive tasks are most common. We also look at how data is structured within the organization, so that good coordination with the software can be made for this. Based on this analysis, you identify various processes that can be made more efficient by RPA. Take the invoice processing process, for example. Now this still requires a lot of repetitive actions by employees who process the invoices. Thanks to robotisation and Artificial Intelligence (AI), invoices can be automatically received, read and processed, and then also paid automatically.

It is wise to designate two to three processes, where RPA is quick and easy to implement

Not robotizing everything at once

Not all processes have to be robotized at once. After all, it is quite a change for an organization. It is therefore wise to designate two to three processes, whereby RPA can be implemented quickly and easily, so that employees also see what its usefulness is and how it affects their work. The process owners then go deeper into the processes: what exactly is the process and what exceptions are there in the process? All this is documented and shared. Then a developer makes a design of the software robot.

Together with the process owner, it is examined whether the robot will do what is desired. If this is the case, the development of the robot starts and there is a test phase. In this phase, the robot is widely tested on day-to-day operations, what happens if an exception to the process occurs and how employees can deal with it. When the test phase has been completed and everything is working properly, the robot is put into production. Once this is satisfactory, you can look at which processes are even more eligible. Consider, for example, the on-boarding of suppliers or hiring processes in the HR department.

How to digitally transform your organization

The term “digital transformation” is indispensable. But what does it actually mean for your organization? In general, you can say that a digital transformation makes the company less dependent on paper-driven processes and makes it work more digitally. This can be done by automating and robotizing processes and establishing digital connections with customers and suppliers.

Every organization is unique

Every organization is unique and requires appropriate solutions when it comes to digitization and robotization. That does not always make it easy to take the steps to the right solution for your organization.

A successful digital transformation stands or falls with the right, independent advice. This also applies to the implications on your employees through this transformation. Because one of the assumptions is that a digital transformation leads to job loss. On the contrary, the employees will work differently, get new tasks. A digital transformation offers employees new opportunities and relieves them of repetitive actions. A study by the World Economic Forum indicates that new jobs are being created through the use of automation solutions. (Source: Future of Jobs Report 2018. World Economic Forum) Because an organization becomes ‘agile’ through a digital transformation; it can quickly respond to developments and adapt to them. To achieve this, honest and correct information and advice is required. Based on your wishes and requirements, a strategic partner for financial process automation comes up with a plan and elaborates this to achieve this, independently of the infrastructure and software suppliers.

First steps

Digitization, AI and RPA are indispensable. But taking the first steps can be difficult. But remember that it is a necessity for organizations to transform digitally. Serving customers faster and better, taking full advantage of payment discounts and successfully developing a long-term strategic market approach should be key top priorities. Automation, robotization and agility are important factors to lead the way in today’s markets. But above all to be able to stay ahead.

This article is sponsored by Dynatos

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