Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has been emerging in top industries during the last few years. When applied with systematic planning, RPA substantially improves performance and counters inefficiency across business processes. Most enterprise processes are manual, deterministic, and repetitive, and more than 70% can be automated using software robots. Processes that have greater complexity and require human judgment can also be automated by 15–20% through strong collaboration between software robots and human workers. That’s why this technology is expected to have a massive economic impact between an incredible range of $5.2 billion and $6.7 trillion by 2025, according to experts.
Based on these figures, it is quite evident the RPA industry is poised to have a favourable impact on the economy through the product’s escalating adoption rates. RPA’s three predecessors — screen scraping, workflow automation and management tools, and artificial intelligence (AI) — have paved the way for it be a major contributor to business efficiency.
As innovation in technology evolves, industry leaders have been seeking to streamline their daily processes, allowing their employees to do more strategic, creative and customer-facing tasks. That leaves technology like RPA to do the more repetitive, long-running and high volume tasks, and it usually requires no human intervention. This is rules-based, and the cost comparison between a full-time employee and RPA shows a stark difference — the technology is approximately 65% less expensive when implemented. That makes these industries want to incorporate RPA software into the workforce.
I may be a little biased, but we at Untrite generally think that Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can make a huge difference in any computer-dependent organisation. We hope to be a big part of the change when RPA handles all of the monotonous work that no one wants to do (I know I didn’t, when I was working as project manager in the banking sector — it was really demotivating), but in the meantime, we know that the choice to pursue RPA has to be a strategic one.
To make it easier, in today’s article I’m going to try to give a closer look at six industries that show the most potential for RPA to change the way they do business. Shall we start?
An obvious one — utility companies — gas, electric, water, etc. — deal with monetary transactions every day, so an opportunity for RPA (and Blockchain-based micropayments, but that’s another story) would be in accounts and billing. But as a consulting company Genfour points out, RPA could also make a significant impact on meter-reading exceptions, handling customer service queries or debt recovery. By automating a number of troubleshooting robots, a utility company can lower the number of failed meter-readings that need human attention. And of course, plenty of other industries with similar operations could benefit from streamlined debt recovery and customer service as well.
Another no-brainer — with a massive number of account documents, templates, deposits, withdrawals, and other transactional files — the banking industry is trying to find a way to effectively and securely manage the day to day processes. Slower processing times are significantly cut short when RPA software is integrated, eliminating human error and allowing for ease of access to information, which in turn promotes a more transparent environment and strengthens customer loyalty.
One of the most important processes that RPA streamlines, though, is compliance. Due to complexity of international and local laws and regulations, the banking industry constantly sees changes in compliance. Usually, employees would have to manually check information, making sure it is in agreement with industry and government regulations. With the process automation software, all documents can be easily handled, making audits less inconvenient and 100% accurate.
Insurance companies have a balance to maintain: they have to create a vital and highly profitable business while controlling risks and reducing costs. Many insurance companies — whether providers of car, health, travel or property insurance — are heavily inundated with back-office processes. Insurers regularly handle claims-processing and underwriting as well as providing policy quotes. This means they are often overwhelmed with high volumes of repetitive business practices. With today’s customers wanting faster and savvier service, legacy systems have to be updated in order to meet those expectations.
As a result, many insurance companies worldwide are turning to automation technologies to help them streamline their business processes and increase their ability to take on more clients while improving handling standards for current ones. While some of these companies already make use of partial automation — e.g. in order to scan paper documents or to speed up data entry, — RPA capabilities are so much more — it can easily provide added support to help insurance companies automate entire workflows and streamline a greater number of their operational activities, like manual data input, legacy applications, disparate systems, and regulation and compliance maintenance.
One of the most demanding and regulated industries — healthcare — benefits from RPA technology with tasks such as patient scheduling, claims processing, data entry and billing. While those processes are at the core of the administrative side of things, there are other aspects of the health industry that help it to run smoothly with RPA software.
- Positive patient experience: With the automation of repetitive processes, patients can get more value-based care. Automation also makes shorter wait times for appointments possible.
- Fewer cancelled appointments: Profitability decreases when there are last minute cancellations and no-shows. The software automates scheduling, sending reminders to patients, giving way for doctors to see more patients every day.
- Patient data management — account setup, eligibility, and enrolment, billing, benefit management, and customer service
- 3rd party providers management — provider credentialing, provider data management, contracting audits, and network management
There are some aspects of the telecommunications industry that should never be automated by RPA. A prime example is customer service. How many times have you become frustrated when being put on never-ending phone menu maze or got directed to a bot who did not answer your query at all? I thought so. While we believe customer service has to remain human-powered, the industry’s other parts can take full advantage of RPA. Automation improves data communication, while improving operational efficiency and, of course, cuts costs and improves data communication and transmission. These savings can in turn be transferred to customers in form of upgraded products.
Unlike the physical robots that can be found in the manufacturing industry (which I wrote in last article), software based RPA helps it in a different way. The implementation helps to strengthen their supply chain procedures, bridging the gap with day-to-day activities such as quoting and invoicing for certain suppliers, as well as accounts receivable, payable and general ledger operations (better yet if company considers automation + blockchain x supply chain).
While we’re far off from truly intelligent automation, RPA is capable of handling other processes other than the mundane and data-based. AI (Artificial Intelligence) and self-learning capabilities will surely be the next steps for the RPA market. For now, robotic process automation software will continue to make every day business easier, faster, and more reliable, with an increasing number of other industries heavily relying on that technology.
At Untrite, we provide smart RPA solutions for high growth companies. We are very excited about the new projects we are taking on helping our clients’ employees focus on productivity — not processing. Follow our next steps by subscribing to our newsletter or get in touch by emailing me directly at email@example.com.