What Is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?

Posted by Kristen Bowers on Nov 28, 2018 10:57:00 AM

Robotic process engineeringTechnology is supposed to make things easier, and it certainly can, when properly applied. Yet precisely how technology makes things easier can vary widely. One way that technology can make the biggest difference is in "sharing the load" and doing some of the work. Robot process automation, or RPA, is one of those leading concepts, and it can make a huge difference in the world of administration.

Automation Is Not Just for Physical Tasks Anymore

Usually, when people hear the words robotic process automation, the first image that jumps to mind is an auto-factory, with a long line of robots meticulously assembling cars, faster and more precisely than a human could. While it's true that mechanical RPA was the first and most obvious use of this technology, it's far from the only one.

A new and very useful development in technology is RPA software. This software is similar in concept to the assembly line robot, which repeats a single, simple task over and over again. Instead, RPA software dedicates this work activity to bureaucratic and administrative tasks.

RPA Makes Workflows Much Faster

Every business, whether it is healthcare, manufacturing, banking or even logistics, must deal in the entry, storage, preservation, and use of information. Robot process automation can be a big boon for companies in this respect because it takes out some of the manual requirements. For example, if a form for claims processing in an insurance company doesn't require a human employee to fill out 100% of the form, from start to finish, because it's a standard claim, then RPA software can assist with the task and save human workers a lot of time.

Additionally, if RPA software can anticipate some of the needs that an office has, then it will speed up or smooth out operations significantly. When completing a form, the RPA software can be programmed to make the required copies of that form and then send it to the necessary employees, automatically logging and notifying approval. With many tasks, like filling out standard portions of forms, RPA technology can even cut down on human errors with misspellings, incorrect entries, or even missed entries being taken care of.

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Countless Future Possibilities

We're only just beginning to see the benefits and understand the potential of what robotic process automation can do for administrative tasks in various businesses. Imagine routine accounting, for example, automatically logged, processed, and entered into a system so that qualified, human accountants only need to approve completed forms and can devote their human ingenuity to more productive financial tasks.

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Or think about how much faster logistics operations can be if RPA software can coordinate the various connections between freighters, trains, and delivery trucks, ensuring that no steps are missed, and then logistics companies can worry more about protecting cargo instead of making sure all the forms are in order. These and many other possibilities are well within reach with RPA software.

Robotic process automation can regain your company valuable employee time. Your operations will be more agile, you will be able to serve clients quicker, and you'll be mistake-free.

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