4 Use Cases for Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

3 min read
  • Information Technology
  • Process Automation

Organizations going through digital transformation now have more opportunities than ever to further automate their business processes.

Robotic process automation (RPA) is one of these innovations you can use to build upon your existing automations and make them more efficient.

RPA allows staff to record themselves performing manual, repetitive tasks across application screens. The result is a software bot that can repeat the recorded actions, allowing your organization to bridge automation gaps between applications and processes where the use of software was previously infeasible. This is because RPA bots can communicate with systems code-free, solving issues where legacy or proprietary systems lack APIs or other back-end integrations. Thus, RPA can make staff more productive and give them time for work that focuses on business growth and connecting with customers.

Read on to see some specific examples of how robotic process automation can help your business increase efficiency.

IT: Provisioning New Users

Many IT departments spend more time than they might like setting up user accounts for new employees or application-specific profiles for current employees. This kind of work ties up highly skilled talent doing manual, repetitive tasks. In addition, some systems don’t include the functionality to run back-end automation scripts.

For example, an IT department may already have a mostly automated system in place for new user account provisions – a user submits a request for an account on a particular system, and once the system administrator approves the request, the account is manually created. This means that in order for the process to continue and send an automated email to confirm setup, the administrator has to manually configure the new user’s security permissions.

To design a more complete automated solution, IT can create an RPA bot to perform the administrator’s actions during this configuration step, so that in the future, the only manual work IT has to do for this type of request is to approve it.

HR: Onboarding New Employees

Most organizations use more than one software system to get their work done. For example, many recruiting teams use specialized HR automation tools to process employment applications. However, once an employee is hired, their information might need to be entered into an entirely different system. If the systems involved lack APIs or opportunities for back-end integrations, staff may need to perform this transfer of the new hire’s information manually, taking up their valuable time and bandwidth.

Using RPA, HR staff could record themselves as they perform manual transfers from their recruiting platform to their payroll system. Using these recordings, a software bot could automate this data transfer each time a new employee is hired so the recruiting team can focus more on procuring talent instead of administrative busywork.

AP: Invoice Processing

Even if an organization’s accounts payable (AP) department has the right software to scan, store and gather metadata from invoices, it might be completely different from the software used to process the information presented on the invoice.

For example, if an AP department wanted to upload information from its incoming invoices to a legacy enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, but scans and stores invoices in a separate enterprise content management (ECM) system, they likely have to enter data between platforms manually for each individual invoice.

To allow for faster AP processing, staff can record this data entry process once, and then deploy a bot to automate it, streamlining the entire business process, from the initial invoice scan, to data extraction and finally entry into the ERP system. This new process can speed up AP department operations, enabling them to be more efficient and keep better track of spending.

Sales and Marketing: Collecting Leads

Collecting leads is an essential part of today’s sales process. Marketing and sales teams will regularly update or create new entries for potential leads with a CRM system with information gathered from outside sources. Although some CRM platforms offer their own built-in data uploader tools, legacy systems may require users to enter each new lead’s information manually, decreasing the time staff has for other tasks and increasing the chance for error.

Take, for example, a firm that regularly goes to popular industry conferences to gather potential leads. Before using robotic process automation technology, they may have had to enter each prospective customer’s manually into their CRM system. With RPA, users can program software to enter this data from their spreadsheets the same way a staff member would, likely faster and with a higher level of accuracy. This way, staff can focus more on engaging with sales leads instead of inputting their information.

Increase Your Organization’s Efficiency

RPA’s ability to automate manual data entry and bridge automation gaps between systems enables more complete automations, so your organization can be more efficient, productive and focused on the customer.

To further explore robotic process automation and discover even more of its benefits, please read our Guide to Robotic Process Automation, which gives you information and insights on how RPA can benefit your organization.

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