What processes can be automated within your business?
What processes can be automated within your business?
Employees and managers lose valuable hours in their working week to repetitive and mundane tasks (such as data entry and analysis). Automating these straightforward business processes helps to save time, and avoids the risk of human error in your workflow.
Robotic process automation (RPA) offers the solution. By introducing just a few areas of process automation, an employee can save an average of 20 minutes of work a day. For a business of 1,000 employees, this amounts to more than £2M in savings per year.
Despite this, over 84% of small-to-medium businesses still use manual or paper-based processes, resulting in over £2 trillion in added costs to global businesses.
In this article, we present six ways Robotic Process Automation can optimise your business.
What is Robotic Process Automation? (RPA)
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a technology that allows users to automate repetitive, rule-based tasks. RPA software bots can mimic human actions, such as navigating through applications, entering data, and clicking buttons. The technology can perform tasks more efficiently and accurately than humans, dramatically speeding up your business’s workflows.
What processes can be automated using RPA?
Let’s explore some of the best use cases for RPA software.
Onboarding new starters can be difficult and time-consuming – especially when your business uses a wide range of enterprise software tools, internal systems and workflows.
New starter checklists take time from both hiring managers and HR teams, who are then required to pull resources from their teams that could otherwise be used to complete day-to-day duties.
An RPA solution can automate these important, but crucial, steps in employee onboarding:
- Uploading the new starter’s information into your existing Human Resources Information System (HRIS).
- Automatically generating an employee ID and set up a user account for the new starter.
- Trigger the data entry for small tasks – such as printing an ID card, assigning a desk space or setting up an onboarding meeting.
- Simplify processing the new starter’s payroll information.
RPA works most effectively when it’s handling data entry. By configuring a software bot to handle a new starter’s information, you reduce the likelihood of errors and incomplete data entries.
Processing and scheduling annual leave requests can be quite a daunting undertaking for managers. It is in the employees’ best interest for managers to review and approve holiday requests as quickly as possible – but this can be difficult during a busy work period. Moreover, employees can oftentimes struggle to find the time to fill out a leave request form.
RPA software can help speed up the entire annual leave request workflow. Here’s how:
- Software bots can automatically calculate an employee’s remaining annual leave entitlement and can quickly adjust this if holidays are cancelled, or new bank holidays are announced.
- RPA software consolidates the leave request booking form into one digital form. When an employee fills this out, the software bot will enter this data into a digital calendar and actively seek out any clashes.
- A manager or HR team can set automated rules for the RPA software to decide whether to approve or reject a leave request. This software can be configured to send the leave request alongside any possible conflicts to the manager – or even handle the entire process for them.
Expense Tracking and Approvals
From scanning receipts to filling out expense forms and decisioning requests, expense tracking and approval can take a lot of time for finance teams to complete.
According to Concor, the average employee expense request takes nine days to complete – but this reimbursement time can climb to weeks, if not months, depending on the size of the finance team.
Here’s how software automation can help:
- RPA can simplify the expense and receipt submission process. Numerous expense requests are ultimately rejected or handed back to the employee owing to the incorrect input of information. Now, we can ask employees to upload images of receipts and bots to detect and enter the necessary information into the expense tracking system completely error-free.
- Risk algorithms can be used to detect any patterns of suspicious activity – such as higher-than-average expense claims or inconsistent receipts and invoice data. RPA bots can automatically flag any suspicious patterns to a finance decision-maker.
- Expense requests can be automatically sent for approval – and in the correct format. Once the finance team has approved a claim, an RPA bot can also process these payments to ensure employees get paid on time!
Creation of Documents
Creating documents from a data source – such as a form or email – can be a mundane and repetitive task. Did you know you can automate this process too?
- An RPA bot can read and parse the data from a web form entry or email.
- It will then create a document – for example, an MS Word file – and enter the correct data based on the format and template you provide.
- The document can then be saved or even printed, without any human input.
This is an effective way of speeding up the process of sending out letters or new emails when customers or employees fill out web forms.
Creation of Customer Quotations for Testimonials
RPA bots can be programmed to retrieve information from various sources, such as customer databases or review pages. They can then use the information to create accurate and personalised quotes.
These extracted quotations can be used in marketing copy and a testimonials section on your website. You can integrate your RPA software with your existing CRM to process and generate quotations based entirely on your correspondence with happy customers.
Just About Anything!
RPA technology is a highly flexible and intelligent automation tool. In short, it can essentially do anything a human can do on a computer. For repetitive tasks that don’t need human oversight, an RPA bot will thrive.
We recommend using RPA as an aid to enhance the repetitive parts of a business process and build an approval workflow where a software bot will refer to a human when it needs direct approval. Automation tools work best when they are augmenting human processes – not entirely replacing them.
Want to unlock the possibilities of process automation?
If you are looking to optimise your business in Burgess Hill, Crawley, East Grinstead, Brighton or anywhere across Sussex or Surrey, the award winning Extech Cloud team of IT service experts. We can explore your current workflows and find new opportunities for automation and efficiency, and help you find new automation opportunities and obtain all the information you need to make the best decision for your business. Contact us today.
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