Are some of the best minds in your organisation spending most of their time managing letters, forms and invoices? Processing, analysing, extracting, entering and storing – these processes can easily absorb most of our working day, leaving little time for the work that really makes a difference. Instead of adding value, your colleagues are absorbed with repetitive tasks that make little use of their creativity, knowledge or skills.

Robotic process automation (RPA) provides an alternative to manual handling and processing of inbound documents.

The question is: why aren’t all organisations using robots to manage more processes?

While the adoption of RPA in both the private and public sector has been slower than expected, the technology is starting to gain momentum.

The Hackett Group’s Vice President of Research, Erik Dorr, believes the adoption of RPA is set to explode: “Finance executives are particularly bullish: They project mainstream adoption of Robotic Process Automation to grow by nearly 13 times, from 3 percent today to 38 percent within two to three years.”

And at the Cabinet Office, they are promoting the use of RPA within central government, because they recognise the immense potential for ramping up efficiency, reducing errors and reassigning colleagues to more meaningful work. 

What is RPA?

Robotic process automation is simply another application, or a component of an application, that can be instructed to interact with other applications, just as your colleagues would. RPA applications typically offer an intuitive graphical interface, making it easy for users to monitor progress and observe the robot at work.

RPA is ideal for tasks that involve switching between multiple applications or data sources. The RPA software doesn’t require custom coding or specialist skills to set up.

RPA can automatically carry out routine document management tasks, so your teams can focus on new projects, challenging queries and building your business.

RPA is ideal for:

  • Managing repetitive, labour-intensive tasks
  • Switching data between applications
  • Downloading and updating files
  • Analysing and extracting data
  • Searching databases
  • Validating data and verifying users
  • Monitoring data, users and activity for fraud prevention.

How long does it take to implement RPA?

Because RPA typically relies on a separate software package to manage the underlying tasks, it is relatively quick and simple to implement.

The RPA solution interacts with your existing software via the front-end, just as your colleagues do now. This means there is no custom coding required and no changes to your existing processes and solutions.

Getting started with RPA is primarily a business analysis project, rather than software development. The key task of implementing RPA is in assessing your current businesses processes and evaluating which process is most suited to automation.

Additionally, organisations should define the goals of RPA adoption. Is it simply a case of streamlining a few core tasks and eliminating bottlenecks, or is it part of a strategic shift to a digital-first organisation?

Maintaining your RPA

While robots may be flexible, tireless and adept at managing complexity, they can’t work unsupervised.

Routine changes like new passwords, software updates or file locations can break the connections between the RPA system and the underlying applications or databases. By monitoring the RPA instance, users can quickly rectify any roadblocks and keep the system working.

The rise of the robots

Would your organisation like to explore the advantages of RPA?

At Data Capture Solutions we help companies transform their approach to data management by using technologies such as RPA to reduce workloads, improve accuracy and accelerate processes.

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