Intelligent Automation has a strong ROI
Software robots advance automation further than previously, and differ from ‘business process automation’ tools that have concentrated on workflow between humans and business functions, in that the robots take in additional data points to act in quasi-human form, consuming information from multiple IT systems and making judgments on the data as they go.
The intention of RPA, or Intelligent Automation, is to either undertake simplistic tasks that alleviate human workload, or to provide better information to a human to make an informed judgment – for example, when presented with a case, the human agent might otherwise have to go searching for background data and research before ‘thinking about the case’ and adding value to the process.
Typically therefore, tasks will include:
- transferring data from emails and calls into back office files – updating customer records with contact details, new services etc
- reaching into multiple systems to update records and communicate with customers, for example issuing replacement credit cards
- reconciling billing queries and service charging queries
- understanding contracts using natural language processing
Because the processing that is being automated is relatively simplistic, RPA can be relatively simple to implement and deliver ROI. Such systems are suited to environments where there are multiple back end systems involved and data hand-offs and update processes. In effect, where a business process can involve multiple steps and hand offs between functions, each of which gathers data to make a decision and move on to the next step, RPA-based processes can gather all the data to support multiple steps at a time, learning from past cases what data and decisions are required, thereby potentially removing multiple steps from the process at once.
Does Robotic Process Automation replace human jobs?
It would be easy to argue that RPA could replace humans altogether, but the evidence to date does not support this – either the functions being automated have already been outsourced, so there is no impact on internal headcount; or the impact is on freeing up time for humans to engage in more value-adding thought based parts of the process, thereby become more productive by handling cases more quickly, with a correlating impact on customer service performance.
Whilst there may be some impact as the technological capability develops, with the development of further elements of cognitive capability, the business case would be driven more by improvements in customer service metrics and handling of caseload than reduction in headcount.
RPA projects require strong integration into existing systems and processes to find the most effective ROI. To get started with your project, or simply discuss your ideas, call us on +44 113 242 3795.