What is RPA (Robotics Process Automation)?

In the contemporary world people continuously seek for solutions thanks to which many business processes can be done faster, better and more efficiently. In response to these needs, business automation processes called Robotics Process Automation (further: RPA) has been designed. Let us present its essence, usage, as well as the benefits of its existence in companies.

To put it simply, RPA is considered as a technology of business processes automation using various robots which are responsible for simulating the activities normally done by employees. In practice, RPA robots are appropriately programmed or coded in order to perform specific types of business activities, usually based on the sequences of repeatable actions. A well-programmed RPA robot is capable of completing specific tasks assigned to it independently,  instead of a human. There are many cases of robots used in a corporate environment which log in to a given program, download a database from it and group data on its own. All activities of RPA robots do well in imitating and performing human activities only in the virtual environment.

In which business processes Robotics Process Automation is used most often?

Nowadays, Robotics Process Automation is considered to be a very prospective field which is developing rapidly. Thus, a catalogue of business areas and processed where RPA is used is growing.

The areas where RPA is used most frequently are:

  • Finance, Banking, Insurance: RPA robots are often responsible for registeting documents, data grouping, filling in and archiving accounting documents, as well as preparing reports.
  • Human Resources and Payroll: RPA robots are used to automate the processes of calculating employee`s salaries, bonuses or other benefits in very large business environments.
  • Transportation, Logistics: RPA robots lead automatic planning of routes, track the statuses of the shipped foods, monitor stock levels and report data.
  • The process of direct customer service: automatic registration of, e.g. customers’ complaints from the Internet banking system or mailboxes, sending text messages to clients informing them about their order or complaint query, etc.

Taking into acount the above processes, in which RPA robots are most frequentlt used, it should be noted that they are typically used in business processes where:

  • A robot peforms processes where the activities are repeatable and based on  identical rules,
  • A robot performs tasks which are based on input data in a stuctured form.

In addition,  the most fequent tasks that are deployed to RPA robots by the process SME’s are the processes in which we can observe excessive workload, seasonal workload peaks (e.g. in the holiday season) and where tasks do not require an individual approach or verification by an employee.

What are the main benefits of applying Ropotics Process Automation?

Technical literature and professional sites enumerate at least a dozen of  RPA usage benefits. It is worth highlighting three most important advantages of this solution:

  • Speed and efficiency,
  • Savings (e.g. time, money, resources)
  • Quality improvement

Indeed, using RPA robots in companies guarantees faster and more efficient task completion. It has been proved by various tests, analyses and studies. RPA robots work much faster than the human beings, e.g. while creating reports or automatic registration of customers’ queries. Moreover, RPA robots are errorless while people are not. Therefore, by using RPA robots we save additional time as their work does not require corrections or additional checks. RPA robots can work non-stop: at night, around the clock and during holidays. This is not the case with employees who work only within specific working hours, go on holidays or sick leaves and usually do not work on public holidays.

By applying RPA robots each company saves. Undoubtedly, there is some cost involved in creating a robot and running a project, however this cost pays back very quickly. While using RPA robots, an enterpreneour does not bear high costs of employment such as salaries, insurance, bonuses or social benefits. There are cases in which process SME’s were able to reduce the procedural costs even up to 80% after implementing RPA robots. Finally, using RPA robots is an opportunity to achieve higher quality of process execution. How is that possibile? Above all, it results from the fact that robots are errorless. Thus, they perform their tasks systematically, fast and according to the pre-defined patterns.

As we can see, robotics is nowadays so popular not without a reason, with more and more enterpreneous planning to implement RPA robots to their business environments. Applying RPA robots is a chance for significant savings, faster execution of many business tasks, as well as the improved quality of the end process result. Therefore, robots are a great alternative for enterpreneous who encounter problems with the human factor. Robots are less costly in maintenance, more precise, always available and able to work non-stop.

In the future we can expect that Robotics Process Automation will be the main development axis of many companies in various branches. It wouldn’t be unjustified to suspect that developing competitive market advantage in the future will be determined by how businesses handle effective automation of their processes.