Robotic Process Automation 101 (Machine Learning)

Robotic Process Automation 101 (Machine Learning)

Companies that struggle with inefficient processes often make the mistake of throwing more people at the problem. This results in high human labor costs and errors that severely hinder your company’s performance.

Robotic process automation (RPA) tools eliminate all these issues, as a result, they’ve gained a lot of traction in the business world. But before you commit to an RPA investment, here are some important things you need to know.

What is robotic process automation (Machine Learning)?

RPA is a specific type of software application, or a “robot,” programmed to perform activities that are manual, rule-based, and repetitive. These activities include extracting data from documents, indexing and organizing files, routing documents to specific people, responding to common customer queries, and more.

Depending on how well you define the rules and parameters of your RPA tools, you can condense hour-long, multi-step workflows into minutes. For example, RPA tools can interact with document management and accounting software to automate data entry and invoice approvals.

Streamlining your operations using an RPA approach enables a host of benefits, including:

  • Cost savings – Automating processes means you don’t have to pay massive labor costs. You can achieve greater output levels without hiring a full-time administrative staff.
  • Higher accuracy – RPA is designed to follow preset rules, reducing the risk of human error.
  • Improved compliance – RPA-defined processes can ensure records are always handled, retained, and destroyed in accordance with industry regulations like HIPAA and PCI-DSS.
  • Increased efficiency – RPA enables your staff to spend less time on repetitive tasks like data entry and document retrieval, and focus on more high-value projects that require creativity and decision-making.
  • Total visibility – Software robots constantly report on their progress, so you can make sure everything is going according to plan.
  • Integration-friendly – RPA integrates seamlessly with various enterprise applications and require minimal configurations.

The Drawbacks

Despite the benefits of RPA, there are common pitfalls in its implementation that you must avoid. For starters, some processes cannot or should not be automated. Even though automating customer responses saves you time, it may make more sense for client-facing staff to deal with more nuanced queries.

That’s why it’s important to evaluate the limitations and benefits of automating certain processes. The best candidates for automation are usually back-office tasks that have clearly defined steps like accounts payable, employee onboarding, and auditing.

Another mistake companies make is failing to account for employee onboarding. Just because you have more efficient processes, it doesn’t mean your staff will instantly adapt to the changes. Make sure to train employees on new processes to minimize confusion and bottlenecks.

Finally, testing automated processes before they go live is a crucial step you can’t overlook. If you have an automated purchase order workflow, test whether documents are being routed to the correct managers and channels. This is also a good time to see whether any processes can be improved further.

Are you ready for RPA?

Automating dozens of processes requires significant planning, investment, and support. Companies must map out their processes and devise a workflow that minimizes human intervention. This process is highly technical, which is why you should partner with seasoned automation experts that have worked with companies in your industry.

Here at PaperSave, we automate your most tedious, paper-based processes so you become more profitable and productive. Our document management solution is equipped with robust automation tools that integrate with business software like Intacct, Dynamics Business Central, Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge, and more.

Sign up for a free personalized demo today to find out what you can automate.