Technologies like robotic process automation (RPA) and intelligent capture are opening opportunities to improve processes, and totally rethink them.
However, with automation opportunities everywhere, where should enterprises start?
Foremost, when automation opportunities are everywhere, it’s pertinent to prioritise them. Here think high volume, high value and high stakes. To elaborate:
- High volume – these are highly repetitive processes and easy targets for automation, as they take significant time that could be spent on work that requires more human thinking-related tasks.
- High value – these are important processes for the business, ranging from money-related processes such as sales quotes, those that create enhanced customer experience, reduce churn and so on.
- High stakes – mistakes in these processes could potentially land the enterprise in hot water. For example, a copy-and-paste error could result in a costly compliance breach, or a process backlog could cause routine missing of deadlines.
With an understanding of the kind of processes the enterprise wants to automate, here are 10 processes across functional departments where RPA can be applied:
1. Key stakeholder (vendor, customer, employee) onboarding
While these processes span finance and accounting, sales or new accounts and HR, they’re good candidates for automation as they all involve extensive paperwork, vetting, and lengthy back-and-forth between the company and the other party. RPA allows enterprises to design an automated onboarding process to even include automatic status communications and full integration with the enterprises’ internal systems.
2. User setup and configuration
We talked about employee onboarding from the HR side above. On the IT side, someone must add and configure a new user so that new employees can log into their computer, email, network, etc. RPA can automate this process so that staff can focus on higher-value work in the backlog and even discover even more ways to automate.
3. Key stakeholder (vendor, customer, employee) maintenance
Likewise, these parties often need to be updated. For instance, an employee may submit a change of address form, a customer may decide to re-sign a yearly contract. RPA offers excellent capability for automating processes that are triggered by another event (annual renewal), a date (all partner contracts are due 31 March), or a task (employee filled out a form for change of bank details). RPA ensures the data is accurately updated in real-time across all systems.
4. Report aggregation
Finance and accounting teams will know how time-consuming this process is, especially at the end of a month or quarter. RPA can automate the collection and aggregation of data in a fraction of the time, leaving the team bandwidth to leverage that information for insights.