What is Robotic Process Automation?

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the automation of business processes with software.  The software “virtual FTE” mimics the steps of a user in an application by navigating through multiple screens and applications, clicking the mouse and saving data without changes to underlying applications.  RPA is used to automate:

  • Manual, repetitive processes

  • Simple business activities that are time consuming e.g. data manipulation, preparation of journal entries, data entry, reconciliation

  • Complex business processes with algorithms or business rules e.g. month end reporting, HR Offer letter creation, Supply Chain Inventory management

 

RPA Process Selection

Selection of the right business process for automation is critical to the overall success of the automation program.  Not all processes are good candidates for automation.  Key characteristics of good candidates include:

  • Highly manual and repetitive tasks e.g. data entry, reconciliations, journal entry updates

  • Rule based processes

  • Standard input

  • Electronic readable inputs  

RPA Deployment Lifecycle

 

 

 

RPA Benefits include

  • Focus on value adding activities - Ability to re-align talent to focus on Core Business functions by eliminating required non-value adding activities

  • Process standardization including elimination of wasteful tasks – a detailed process walk-through provides an opportunity to review the business process in details and paint points prior to automation

  • Analytics – reports on total number of transactions processed successfully and with exceptions can be published for the business to determine areas for process improvement  

  • Improved Cycle times – robots can run 24/7, weekends and holidays. 

  • Quality and control improvements – reduction of errors due to the robot performing the same steps all the time the same way.  

  • Cost optimization – flexibility to scale automated process during peak times e.g. Month End spikes, flexibility to reassign resources to critical business tasks

  • Employee satisfaction – Automating of error-prone tasks and focusing the resources on exception resolution leads to positive employee engagement.