Try ‘Task Automation’
Task Automation is a simple yet powerful way to speed up your business, cut errors, save time and reduce costs. Giving it an esoteric name like RPA (Robotic Process Automation) has been an obstacle to its large-scale implementation. Read about how to get on the RPA (Task Automation) journey.
An esoteric term like RPA (Robotic Process Automation), has been an obstacle to large-scale implementation of task automation.
It is most likely that you are already using RPA in your daily life. Your mail software is already using RPA to identify spam and in some cases deciding on priority mail. Some of you may have set rules to categorize your mail into different folders or forward them to other mailboxes. And what is being done individually can be implemented across your company. It might even make your shared mailbox (info@) to extract mail of interest such as leads and relevant information.
You can also use an app called IFTTT (If this, then that), which works across one or more apps on your phone to automate routine tasks. Triggers in one app can automate another app to create a task, send a reminder or even prompt a phone call.
Taking RPA deeper into your organization can start with repetitive administrative tasks like approvals for leave, expense accounting, utility bill payment, travel authorization, recruitment, and vendor registration.
As a business, you can automate all routine tasks related to your business that are repetitive and governed by rules. Look at your different workflows and see what processes are being done with low-skilled workers, or ones that have fixed rules and require a higher accuracy and attention.
A typical Task Automation starts with an input that could be either from a digital file such as email or a PDF or scanned document with OCR quality content. The data required for processing is extracted and using a set of hierarchical rules is converted into output for the next stage. The output may need several additional stages till it becomes the final desired output. The end process would be one or more outcomes such as updating a database, creating a document, or sending an email.
Banks use RPAs for KYC and onboarding new customers. Your ATM accepts a cheque deposit and automates the task of scanning, verifying, and crediting your account. Online accounting software reads the bank statements to debit/credit accounts and assists in reconciliation. Insurance companies use RPA to create insurance policies and process claims. Airlines use it for managing travel agency transactions, frequent flyer mile awards and claims.
While large enterprises may have custom-built RPAs, a business of any size can use online platforms that help in creating the desired flows suitable for your needs. Automation Anywhere, UIPath and Blue Prism are some of the popular platforms. Software like Salesforce, SAP and Zoho have in-built RPAs while some middle-ware like Zapier can work across different apps as well.
Mohammed Sutarwala, Managing Director, emQube