Robotics used to be a word that was limited to engineering labs at universities. Robots and their processes were thought to be too obscure, unattainable, and niche of a subject matter. However, robotics has entered the mainstage in the last few years, thanks to its ability for automation in the business world.
McKinsey and Company goes as far as saying that RPA is the next acronym that you need to know. RPA stands for robotic process automation. Companies and employees who are using this technology are seeing ROIs or return on investments of thirty to two hundred percent in the first year.
What is RPA? What should you know about it? Whether you’re a business owner, employee, or consumer, RPA is on the rise. Here are the top ten things you should know about robotic process automation.
#1 What is RPA?
First off, it’s essential to know what robotic process automation is. Essentially, RPA is using software robots to automate business processes. Simple enough, right?
#2 RPA Software Learns by Watching
Standard software is programmed via API. When you’re automating processes, you program those processes into the software, and the software repeats it. In RPA, the robot learns by watching a human complete a task, and then duplicates those tasks.
#3 It’s Best for Simple Tasks
The technology is still developing, but for now, RPA is best for automating straightforward, repetitive tasks. It can’t employ reasoning or decision-making. It’s especially useful in completing tasks that are redundant, time-consuming, and boring for humans. Examples include things like data entry, logging in and out of programs, payroll, filling out forms, copying and pasting data, etc.
#4 It’s Different Than Macros
You might be thinking that RPA sounds a lot like macros. While it’s similar, these bots are much more flexible and intuitive. Exposing the bots to stimuli increases their capabilities over time, whereas macros stay linear and limited.
#5 It Has a Lower Barrier to Entry
Most emerging tech requires deep technological understanding. RPA isn’t that way. In fact, it doesn’t require code, and it’s relatively easy to set up. The most challenging part of implementing RPA technology is deciding the best processes to automate.
#6 Productivity Improves Dramatically
The ROI that we see with RPA technology is as a result of the productivity achievements. These bots can work 24/7/365. Tedious, repetitive processes that you once had to pay an hourly wage for are now entirely automatable. Plus, the bot can run around the clock, making the completion time much quicker.
#7 RPA Increase Accuracy and Reduces Fraud
While there aren’t any comprehensive studies on this, it stands to reason that having bots perform tasks eliminates the element of human error, thereby increasing accuracy.
Moreover, if you task these bots with completing financial tasks or regulatory information, they can only do what they’re allowed to do. In other words, they won’t break laws. They can leave an audit trail, and they can even be programmed to replay past actions.
#8 Early Studies Show RPA Improves Customer Satisfaction
Not only does RPA decrease human error, improve productivity, and improve accuracy, but studies indicate that it also increases customer satisfaction. It does this by streamlining and speeding up processes and improving output quality.
Additionally, these same studies show an increase in employee happiness and satisfaction, too.
#9 RPA Does Require Some Technical Knowledge
While it’s not nearly as complicated as IT solutions and other techs, you’ll need some help getting started with RPA. There are over fifty vendors to choose from, and ultimately, you’ll have to download software onto company computers, which will impact server load and traffic. It’s also crucial to implement and choose the right automation processes.
#10 The Early Adopters Will Reap the Biggest Rewards
As with any new tech, those who jump in first and learn the new tech will benefit the most in the end. This tech is still in its infancy. It has a ways to go until its potential is fully actualized. However, if you jump in now, not only will you see a huge ROI, but you’ll have the benefit of early adoption. Once these bots can do more complicated processes and takeover larger tasks, you’ll be way ahead of the curve.
RPA: The Next Big Thing You Haven’t Heard About
Experts expect RPA to affect the business world in a significant way. It’s an emerging tech, so it has a lot of room to grow. Robotic process automation is the latest in AI or artificial intelligence, and it’s causing quite a stir.
These ten things should give you an idea of what RPA is and why it’s such a significant talking point right now. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, an employee, or a consumer, you should expect to see more of this tech in the future. If you have the opportunity to jump into this market, you should do it.