Staff reduction, the elephant in the room?
These software robots, or bots, can harvest manifold potential benefits. These can include reducing costs (by cutting staff), lowering error rates, improving service, reducing turnaround time, increasing the scalability of operations, and improving compliance to better manage risk.
New Processes for Old?
Beyond automating existing processes, companies are using bots to implement new processes that would otherwise be impractical. For instance, UK retailer group Shop Direct used RPA to identify flood-affected customers and automatically
remove late payment charges from their accounts.
Financial services providers have also used such “one-off” RPA implementations to comply with regulatory requirements in areas such as remediation processing, monitoring, and reporting. RPA interacts with existing legacy systems at the presentation layer, with each bot assigned a login ID and password enabling it to work alongside human operations employees. Business analysts can work with business operations specialists to “train” and to configure the software. Because of its noninvasive nature, the software can be deployed without programming or disruption of the core technology platform
RPA software automates repetitive, rules-based processes usually performed by people sitting in front of computers. By interacting with applications just as a human would, software robots can open email attachments, complete e-forms, record and re-key data, and perform other tasks which mimic human action.
The software robots can be seen as a virtual workforce assigned to middle- and back-office processing centres. Additionally there are applications for which the RPA software can assist front-office staff—for instance, prompting contact center agents during customer interactions and automatically capturing call notes, a mode known as “attended automation".