By now, you’ve probably seen numerous articles claiming that robots will one day eclipse humans in the workforce and leave millions out of work. When we think of such robots, our minds tend to call forth visions of gargantuan factory machines and humanoids made of metal-and-plastic.
The truth isn’t nearly as fantastic.
Robots have already made their way into the workforce, but they’re really just lines of code—software. Robotic process automation (RPA) is code that replaces certain repetitive workflows with software-based robots, and it’s all to its human operators’ benefit.
One day, a robot might take over the most repetitive portions of your job—the parts that you hate—giving you an opportunity to showcase your talent, creativity, and aptitude for innovation.
RPA in finance and accounting has shown high rates of adoption, because of how accurately robots emulate human actions—they can read text on a screen, type, explore company infrastructure, and identify or extract data. RPA bots help humans avoid errors and enable employees to work on the creative and strategic projects that require uniquely human talent..
The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that 81% of physical work, 69% of data processing, and 64% of data collection could be automated. Many of these functions may soon be supported by RPA in your workplace; read on to find out how this labour-saving automation promises to make business more interesting, exciting, and human.
No employee wants to spend their day transferring numbers and letters from one form to the next. Not only is manual data entry mind-numbingly boring—they take too long to do using human talent, and there’s just too much room for error. There’s a high chance that employees will type the wrong digits, skip a numeral, or even miss entire rows or records. Even though copy pasting is convenient, there’s no guarantee that the data will be plotted into the right spaces.
According to Forrester, 57% of leading decision-makers agree that RPA reduces manual errors. RPA can also help your overworked, exhausted employees slash lengthy hours of tedious work. Proper use of RPA could save finance departments over 25,000 hours of avoidable work per year, says Gartner.
Unlike humans, robots don’t suffer from exhaustion, eye fatigue, or sleeplessness. They can finish tasks all around the clock using a fraction of the effort that human teams exert.
RPA robots also help you achieve a resilient workforce. Companies have always struggled to handle peak seasons and seasonal changes—it can take weeks to source the contractors, gig workers, and talent needed to cope with temporary spikes in demand. Ending such projects is just as much of a hassle, because of the added paperwork required to manage talent.
With robots, you can invest in a core team of talented human employees and employ robots for the rest of the work. Hybrid human-robot teams imbue the organisation with flexibility, agility, and scalability. Your personnel will have less paperwork to fill out at the beginning and end of the engagement.
Robots can be implemented in a variety of departments, such as customer service, marketing, and sales. They can be used to standardise certain repetitive processes—for example, sending out e-mail updates or answering basic questions—allowing human talent to only step in when there is a serious question or challenge.
Through such a redesign of customer-facing processes, you’ll achieve more efficiency. Robots can answer questions at any time of the day, boosting engagement time and helping customers get the answers they need quickly.
We build bots to help us do what we want them to do. We can’t build them to think out of the box—that’s your human workers’ job. Humans have a unique ability to innovate, create, and collaborate; they can see the big picture and develop clever business strategies that robots would never consider.
RPA effectively replaces employees’ tedious workload with high-value activities and gives them an opportunity to take charge in solving the most difficult problems. This can make work more enjoyable and exciting for your talents. Forrester reports that 57% of executives agree: RPA improves employee engagement at work.
Unlike other digital initiatives which can take months or even years to develop or are suitable for niche aspects of the business, RPA can be quickly implemented and broadly applicable to different parts of your enterprise (so long as you work with the right partner). It is one of the simplest steps a business can take to digitally transform—and yet, it offers some of the greatest benefits in the form of tangible time and cost savings.
Virtually any high-volume, business-rules-driven, repeatable process can be automated with RPA. However, there are certain industries that will benefit the most from RPA. These include financial service companies, manufacturing and production, industrial sectors, healthcare, and retail.
RPA does not need to be a big costly project. HKBN JOS has implemented basic RPA packages for departments like, the Finance and Accounting. Contact us to understand more about the small yet impactful projects for your business processes.
Posted on: 13 Oct 2021
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