October 20, 2020
How Robotic Process Automation Can Boost Efficiency
Posted by John Stewart
Many organizations are grappling with a downturn in revenue, layoffs, and needing to do more with less. They are strategizing how to maximize efficiency and productivity, while continuing to deliver great customer experiences. Artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation are fast emerging as strategic tools to achieve the speed, agility and efficiency needed to meet business demands.
One method of automation is robotic process automation (RPA), which enables companies to automate tasks in a workflow process by using software robots (bots) to perform those processes without human intervention. For example, RPA can automatically detect data in an email attachment, extract it from the attachment and enter it into another application (i.e., your ERP system), then decide if an escalation is needed, and if so, notify an employee.
RPA frees employees from rote, mundane and low-value tasks to focus on higher value efforts. This improves staff morale. It also speeds up how fast processes get done, reduces human errors, and enables employees to provide better customer experiences by having key data and customer information and creating a smoother, faster workflow.
Use Cases for RPA
RPA can be designed for any business workflow, but the most common use cases include:
- Manual data entry
- Manipulating/formatting data
- Communicating with systems
- Automatically triggering responses/actions
These are typically applied across the organization in customer experience, supply chain management, finance and accounting, talent management, legal and compliance, IT and operations.
Getting Started With RPA
Instituting an RPA strategy requires close collaboration with IT and the departments implementing the automation. A typical path to RPA includes:
- Gaining internal buy-in by educating stakeholders on RPA and the business value
- Understanding current business processes
- Assessing how RPA can impact processes
- Designing a process flow and how RPA fits into it
- Planning the exact actions/requirements the bot will be performing
- Building a use case for RPA applied to the business process
- Selecting the best RPA solution for the needed processes
When designed well, RPA can boost efficiency and enhance the employee and customer experience, while improving an organization’s speed, agility and time-to-market.
John leads the Strategy & Transformation practice, providing management consulting and advisory for clients in all of Armanino’s business segments. He has extensive business, operations, and technology leadership experience from Fortune 50 to entrepreneurial environments. He has served across a range of industries, including entertainment, technology, retail/consumer goods, non-profit, manufacturing and distribution, and financial services. Prior to joining Armanino, John founded Arctos Ventures, a premier business strategy & innovation consultancy. He also held executive positions at OnPrem Solution Partners, 20th Century Fox, and NBCUniversal. He actively mentors & advises technology startups. John is certified in Design Thinking, Agile Delivery and Lean Six Sigma. He holds an MBA from the University of Southern California and a B.S. in Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University.
Co Authors :
Chris works as a Strategy and Transformation Consultant for Armanino helping clients drive innovation and change to meet the company’s goals and objectives. He works with a variety of Cannabis clients, helping them navigate issues surrounding accounting, cloud solutions and risk management practices as they grow. Additionally, he is part of the 2018 Spring Evening MBA cohort at Santa Clara. In his free time Chris loves to golf, watch sports, stay active, and hang-out with friends.