Robotic process automation (RPA) is the application of technology to computer software, which allows a ‘robot’ to capture data, trigger responses and communicate with digital systems. Put simply, RPA is a type of software that can be programmed to mimic the activity of a human carrying out a task.

By managing repetitive, administrative tasks quicker and more efficiently, RPA technology is transforming the business world. RPA can reduce the burden of manual labour, free up employees to focus on more complex tasks, and help nurture a culture where people go above and beyond to serve the customer. It can also deliver significant cost savings to the organisation.

RPA software has the capability to capture anything a user does when clicking on a screen or typing on a keyboard, before repeating those actions as directed. As such, RPA saves people time and effort by completing tasks such as entering data into a spreadsheet, completing forms online, and filtering emails. RPA can also transfer information between legacy systems and act as the bridge between the incumbent legacy system and a modern one.

5 key benefits of RPA software in your business

  1. Increases operational efficiencies.

    RPA software can perform a variety of complex tasks and applications in a more precise, consistent and timely fashion than humans. Embracing RPA can help you automate administrative processes and increase operational efficiencies.

  2. Reduces errors and downtime.

    Mistakes in production and delivery can be expensive to fix. Given that RPA software can complete tasks more efficiently and effectively than humans, it can help you safeguard your business against unwanted downtime and reduce the risk of human error.

  3. Delivers cost savings.

    Automating routine tasks with RPA removes the costs associated with manual errors and inconsistencies. Administrative labour costs are also reduced, freeing up your people to focus on other value-add areas, such as delivering better customer service on the frontline.

  4. Higher return on investment.

    RPA software reduces human effort and time taken for laborious tasks, delivering a higher ROI. With repetitive tasks taken care of by automation, employees can focus on solving complex problems, seek out new avenues for growth, and maximise profits from existing channels.

  5. Drive future growth and scalability.

    Data collected from RPA can be analysed to identify areas of improvement and drive future growth for the business. RPA software can also be scaled up or down to suit the current workload, ensuring that quality is maintained, and products or services are delivered on time.

RPA in the back and front-office

RPA software can add significant value to back-office operations, where employees usually perform manual and routine work, which can take hours, days, or even weeks to complete. Since back-office work arrives at specific times (such as at the end of the month or when mail is delivered), backlogs can easily occur, with employees having to work twice as hard for twice as long.

Across every industry, RPA is set to transform the back-office by enabling people to spend less time bogged down by repetitive tasks and manual operations. Automating these processes can improve service quality, decrease errors of manual data entry, reduce rework, and decrease customer complaints.

RPA is also being recognised for its front-office potential. By freeing up frontline agents to focus on helping customers, the organisation is likely to see increased customer satisfaction. Employees will have more time to listen to what the customer has to say and empathise with their needs.

Going forward, business leaders should focus less on categorising tasks into siloed areas, and look at ways to improve operational efficiencies with RPA and automation. However, automation on its own will only take organisations so far. RPA software delivers bottom-line savings – but a cohesive approach between people and technology is needed to deliver long-term benefits.