Robotic process automation (RPA) is the use of software bots to automate highly repetitive, routine tasks normally performed by knowledge workers.
Automating repetitive tasks saves time and money. Robotic process automation bots expand the value of an automation platform by completing tasks faster, allowing employees to perform higher-value work.
INDUSTRY SPECIFIC ACTIVITIES
- Account Closure: For The co-Operative Bank, account closure was lengthy and time consuming. It required the manual cancellation of direct debits and standing orders, transfer of interest charges and the transfer of funds from one account to another etc. Now the system is automated with RPA so customer service agents can complete an electronic form over the phone which is sent to a central mailbox where it is processed by the RPA system with no manual intervention.
- Validating and processing online loan applications: Blue Prism was used to built intermediary bots between the online system and the main frame that used business logic to ask the user to fix incorrect entries, make the loan decisions and generate confirmation letters
- Audits: Banks need to reply to requests by the auditors for company audit reports. Bots have been used to find all the customer’s accounts year end balances and returns the audit to the audit clerk in the form of a
Word document. This can reduce an average audit which can take several hours to complete and a large audit that can take several days into an operation that can be completed in minutes
- Know Your Customer (KYC) While dedicated KYC solutions are emerging, if your company does not prefer to use one, it is possible to use RPA bots to automate portions of KYC process. For edge cases that require human intervention, case can be forwarded to an employee.
- Loan processing : As with most document processing tasks, this process is also suitable for RPA automation as complex business logic can be embedded in bots partially automating loan decisions and the manual processes that follow the decision
Numerous telecom back-office processes have been automated. Examples include:
- Credit checks: Required for post-paid accounts and typically involves manual processes
- SIM swapping: Assigning a new SIM to a user. Could be due to a change of SIM format or a case of lost/stolen SIM
- Customer dispute resolution: Automatically classifying disputes, resolving ones that can be automatically resolved and assigning the more complex ones to related parties is a relatively simple yet effective back-office process to automate
- Porting customer numbers: Customers switching to other operators need to get their numbers ported which can be fully automated.
Bill of Material (BOM) processing
Bill of material is the document that contains each raw material, component, and instruction required to manufacture or repair a product. It is the core document of manufacturing and varying personnel use BOM throughout the lifecycle of products’ manufacturing. Any errors in BOM can lead to adverse chain impact on the remaining production cycle and result as a loss.
RPA can automate Bill of Material processing with support of OCR and deep learning based data extraction technologies.
Same as inventory management in retail, RPA bots can facilitate inventory controls by alerting you when the stock level is lower than demanded. For instance, in this case study, a Fortune 500 automotive manufacturer is claimed to have used RPA software to automate inventory control processes. The bot follows these steps:
- reads the emails and notifications received from demand planners. Emails would need to follow certain style guidelines to ensure that bot picks up data correctly from emails
- extracts the data from emails and updates the safety stock details in the ERP automatically
- notifies stakeholders in the process after updating stock levels.
Proof of Delivery (POD)
PODs are important documents for the customer service department of manufacturers. The document is highly labor-intensive and contains high-risk for human errors. RPA bots can track logistics systems and once the delivery occurs, links the shipping data into the warehouse management system. This frees time from customer service employees along with improving response time.
Patient Appointment Scheduling
The RPA bot schedules patient’ appointments based on diagnosis, doctor availability, location, and other variables including financial statements and insurance information.
Enhancing patient care by supporting analytics
RPA bots can collect various medical data. For example, RPA bots can transfer patient data to third party healthcare analytics service to deliver accurate diagnosis and improved patient care without restricting any confidentiality regulations.
Retail includes labor intensive and constant operational and analytics activities like launching new promotions. RPA bots can help retail companies without state of the art systems to bridge the gaps in their systems and automate their process.
A comprehensive list of RPA application areas identified by UiPath in retail are listed below. However, please note that these include processes that are common to many industries. In the list below, we only highlighted retail specific processes.
Global retail companies need to harmonize SKU data from multiple markets to be able to look beyond numbers to insights like “What is our toothpaste market share in Eastern Europe?”.
Traditionally these tasks required employees to manually match SKUs to categories in complex spreadsheets. Since this is a task that does not directly impact customers, fault tolerance is not very high and RPA bots can be used to automate the process saving thousands of hours of work.
Automating returns can both improve customer satisfaction and reduce manual labor. RPA bots can be used to automate manual aspects of the returns process such as checking customer purchase record from the system.
Shop floor trade promotions require a significant amount of backend admin work. Key tasks include
- Creating and allocating funds for promotions
- Generating reports that give visibility of promotion performance
RPA bots can automate these tasks as they are mostly mundane back-office tasks. Bots can make it easier and faster for retailers to launch trade promotions.
Inventory/supply chain management
Some retailers rely on legacy systems for stock keeping. RPA bots can perform constant checks on these systems providing data on key metrics like items with low stock levels or rapidly changing stock levels.