What is RPA?

WithYouWithMe - June 3, 2021

Did you know that RPA is currently a near-2 billion dollar industry and projected to reach almost 14 billion by 2029?  It’s also predicted to be adapted in some form by 90% of large organizations globally by 2022 and is the fastest-growing segment of the global enterprise software market.

So what exactly is RPA? RPA stands for Robotic Process Automation, and is the automation of manual business processes using automation software.  Mundane, rule-based tasks can be automated with RPA so that the software mimics the actions of a human worker on their computer.

Imagine a human worker in a company’s HR department is regularly tasked with entering every prospective employee’s information into their system and emailing out offer letters.  The human worker pulls the information from multiple sources, enters it all on a spreadsheet before inputting the data line by line into a CRM, and then composes and sends off emails to each candidate for the job offer.  Not only is this task time-consuming and tedious as it must be done for every single prospective employee, it is also prone to typos and other errors every step of the way.

The wonder of RPA is that a “bot” can be configured to complete these same tasks in a matter of minutes or less with no errors.  Efficiency and accuracy of the process are improved, but the human worker also benefits.  Being free from these mundane responsibilities gives them the opportunity to devote more time to challenging and engaging roles such as interacting with and serving customers, solving problems that require critical thinking and creativity, and collaborating with co-workers.

From a business perspective, RPA increases quality, accuracy and productivity while reducing costs.  Employee satisfaction and engagement is raised because the mind-numbing tasks that they once dreaded in their workday are removed.

Customer satisfaction also increases when the customer is able to complete a task online 24/7 with the help of a bot instead of waiting for a human worker to become available during normal business hours.

RPA is currently most popular in banking and finance services, but is becoming more widely used in all industries from insurance and healthcare to logistics and manufacturing as well as the public sector.  To name a few specific examples, Walgreens implemented RPA in their HR department and improved efficiency by 73%. Coca-Cola used RPA to run HR audits, adding 16 extra hours to the workday while hiring no new employees.  Where previously their data was only spot-audited, 100% of their data is able to be audited every day while freeing these employees to add value in more-fulfilling roles

As you can see, RPA is a huge industry with massive growth potential over the next few years.  With the ability to give human workers more time to spend on meaningful, thought-provoking work as well as reducing costs and improving efficiency and accuracy for the company, RPA is absolutely the way of the future.  As we approach near-universal adoption of RPA in businesses over the next 5 years, there has never been a better time to dive into RPA and to be part of this wave of digital transformation.

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