Considering the amount of time that opening, reading, responding to, and managing email takes out of most people’s days, it’s no surprise that RPA could have a positive impact when it comes to email. A study by McKinsey estimates that professionals spend 28% of their working hours each week managing email. But most job descriptions don’t list “manage email” as a main responsibility which means there’s a whole lot of the actual job to fit into 72% of the workweek. The obvious benefit of using RPA for email is time savings. Let’s delve into some specific ways you can employ RPA for email to save time.
1. Launch tasks based on incoming email
Think about the tasks you have to perform because you receive an email. In a customer-facing role, that might be providing order information (when did my order ship? Can I get a copy of my invoice?). In other roles, that might be to generate reports for sales or management. In IT, you’ll have help desk requests for password resets. Email automation can take care of a number of tasks coming into your inbox without manual effort.
2. Automatically route attachments from incoming email
Whether it’s an invoice, a receipt for archival, an Excel report, or another type of document, you can set up tasks with RPA to identify the attachment and follow rules for processing. Maybe the invoice is sent through AP processes, the receipt is sent to your document management system, and the Excel report is filed for reference later on. While Outlook automation does exist within the platform, it’s limited by only being able to file emails within Outlook. An RPA bot could file your document or Excel within an EDMS or in SharePoint.
3. Automate outgoing email
The possibilities for automating outgoing email are endless, but here are a few use cases. HR might need to email all employees within a certain region every other Tuesday to remind them to get their time off requests in before the end of the pay period. Sales support might need to generate and send a monthly sales report to each individual representative with their totals for the month. Customer Service might need to send individual emails to every customer confirming that a recurring order is about to ship. You can also set up bots to send emails based on triggers so that an email only sends if a certain activity happens.
Automating email in this way not only reduces that 28% figure, but it also helps you to be more agile and on-the-ball. The right information, document, or reminder can get to the right place at the right time, dependably, even if you are out of the office or busy with other value-adding work.
RPA bots can tackle any repeatable process in your organization. Learn more about some of the most popular use cases for automation.