Discovering the Best Processes to Automate with RPA

April 11, 2019
When to Use RPA


Robotic process automation (RPA) software offers big transformative benefits like boosting productivity, improving accuracy, and helping your organization grow. Unfortunately, RPA isn’t a magic wand that will fix all your tedious problems—to see the benefits, you need to be smart about the processes you choose to automate.

It’s important to determine which processes to automate, which to skip, and how to get the most out of your RPA strategy.

Which Processes Are Best for RPA?

Once you hear about the benefits of RPA, you’ll want to jump right in and automate everything. But slow down—as you get going on an RPA implementation, it’s best to start small. The best processes for RPA are simple projects that will have a big impact on your organization.

Look for high-volume, repetitive process that take up the time you could be spending on more value-adding activities. What processes in your organization come to mind that fit this framework? Think about processes like:

Once you’ve made your list of simple projects with big impact, it’s time to prioritize. Determine your priorities and consider factors like criticality to your business, potential for human errors, and the amount of time a process currently takes your team to perform.

Looking for more ideas to get started? See real-world use cases in our guide, 15 Ways Automate Solves IT and Business Problems – The 2019 Automate Use Case Guide.

Which Processes Are Not Ready for RPA?

Not every process is a good fit for RPA—especially when you’re just starting out in your automation journey. These are processes with tasks or data that are too unstructured or abstract for RPA software robots to perform. Plus, there are always processes in every business that no matter how powerful the robots, will always be better performed by a human. Examples of these processes would be ones requiring high-levels of analytical thinking, like making hiring decisions, sales, and creative roles like copy writing and design.

But don’t give up hope! Some highly-complex processes are better suited for streamlining down the road, once you’ve proven the success of RPA in your organization. After you’ve successfully streamlined your starter RPA projects that have shown big impact, you’ll be ready to take your RPA strategy to the next level.

Get the Most Out of Your RPA Strategy

As you get started putting RPA to work in your organization, it’s not too early to start thinking about the future. The best way to get the most out of your RPA strategy is to ensure you’re starting small while being aware of the processes you can start automating down the road once you’ve proven the value of RPA.

Get more value out of your RPA solution by using it to build in cross-functionality with processes that integrate different business applications. As modern businesses use more and more disparate applications in their day-to-day functions, it can make things a little hectic. Having to go in and out of multiple applications to get the information you need to complete a task can be tedious and take up a lot of time. Connecting these applications through RPA helps you get the information you need without taking up your precious time.

For example, a hospital relied on three main applications: an HR system by PeopleSoft, a time and attendance system by Kronos, and a staffing system by Per-Se’s ANSOS One-Staff. To ensure proper staffing levels, they would have to juggle between these applications to get the information they needed. It was starting to take time away from their patients and mission, so they put RPA to work. Now, RPA software acts as a “traffic cop” and automates the data transfers between the three applications so they have accurate and up-to-date data so they can stay properly staffed and focus on their patients.

Also look for tasks where you can put your software robots to work alongside your human employees. One company used RPA to help the agents in their call center. As agents answered calls, the software robots work with their CRM to automatically pull up the customer’s information and insert orders, leaving agents free to focus on providing quality customer service.

Could your organization benefit from RPA?

Ready to find out how a robotic process automation (RPA) solution can transform the way your business operates? Take our quiz to see how your organization could benefit from an RPA solution.

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