Robotic Process Automation and its Applications
The advancement in technology has led to the development of new and innovative tools and techniques to automate business processes. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) or Software Robotics is a very good example of this advancement. First emerged in the year 2000, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has now become the talk of the town. RPA is a software-based technology that automates routine, repetitive, and mundane tasks, mimicking human actions in a non-invasive way. In the last century, it was just an idea maybe with non-significant development.
However, in this 21st century, its application in multiple fields is trending. This post will educate you comprehensively about RPA if you read it till the end.
Okay, first of all, what is RPA or software robotics?
Well, it is a technology that uses software robots, also known as bots, to automate business processes. These bots interact with applications and systems as humans do, without the need for complex coding or programming. RPA automates repetitive, rule-based tasks, such as data entry, form filling, and customer service queries.
Robotic Process Automation Tools
There is a score of tools one can find for RPA. Each with its own set of functions. However, if we talk about the most popular RPA tools, we have UiPath, Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism, WorkFusion, etc. These tools offer a range of functionalities, including visual process mapping, drag-and-drop interface, OCR capabilities, and artificial intelligence-based decision-making.
What if someone wants to experiment with RPA free of cost?
Well, for that there are open sources.
Robotic Process Automation Open Source
There are also open-source RPA tools available for users who want to experiment with RPA without incurring licensing costs. For instance, Robot Framework, OpenRPA, and TagUI to name a few. The functionalities of these tools are the same as proprietary RPA tools but with greater flexibility and customizability.
The next segment of this blog is the application of RPA.
Robotic Process Automation Use Cases
RPA has numerous applications in healthcare, where it can help to automate administrative tasks and improve patient care. For example, with the help of RPA, we can automate patient registration, appointment scheduling, and insurance verification. It can also be used to extract data from electronic medical records (EMRs) and transfer it to other systems, such as billing or reporting systems. RPA can also be used to automate the processing of insurance claims, reducing the likelihood of errors and improving efficiency.
Take the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), for example, which implemented RPA to automate the billing process for its medical center. And they claimed to have greatly improved their systems.
Banking systems are also replacing their old-fashioned working style with software robotics to automate a variety of tasks, from account opening to compliance checks. Because it can be used as a service to automate repetitive, rule-based tasks, such as data entry, form filling, and customer service queries. It can also be used to extract data from different sources and aggregate it into a single system for analysis and reporting.
What RPA can do in HR? From sending jobs to screening resumes and from shortlisting candidates to scheduling interviews, RPA can perform almost every duty related to HR. Further, it is applicable to automate the onboarding process, including collecting new hire information and distributing welcome packets. Not only that but RPA can reduce huge human effort in payroll processing, e.g., the calculation and distribution of paychecks.
Many businesses are exploiting its benefits. One such example is Adecco, a global staffing firm. This firm used RPA to extract data from different sources, including time sheets and employee data, and calculate paychecks.
RPA can manage certain tasks related to manufacturing, e.g., supply chain, inventory control, and quality control processes. In addition to that, it can come in handy in other works related to the same industry such as automating various tasks, including the tracking of inventory levels, the ordering of materials, the scheduling of production runs, etc.
BMW, for instance, uses the RPA to automate its production line. The carmaker used RPA to monitor inventory levels, schedule production runs, and inspect finished products. Hence, a significant reduction in the production time and improved efficiency.
RPA is useful in invoice processing to automate various tasks, including data extraction, validation, and payment processing. Similarly, to extract data from invoices, including the vendor name, the amount due, and payment terms. It can also be used to validate the data against existing records and process payments, including the generation of checks or electronic transfers.
Siemens is a German-based multinational conglomerate. It is Europe’s largest industrial manufacturing company. Siemens has implemented RPA to automate its accounts payable processes. The company used RPA to extract data from invoices, validate the data against existing records, and process payments.
Disadvantages of Robotic Process Automation
While RPA has numerous benefits, it also comes with some disadvantages to consider. The major setback of RPA to the human workforce is the potential job loss. Furthermore, it can be costly to implement and maintain. Especially for mammoth organizations. Lastly, RPA can be limited by its rule-based nature, as it may not be suitable for more complex decision-making processes.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a powerful technology that has the potential to transform the way businesses operate. It offers a range of benefits, including increased efficiency, improved accuracy, and reduced costs. However, it is important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of RPA before implementing it in a business setting. By doing so, organizations can ensure they are making the most of this innovative technology while minimizing potential risks.