Isaac Asimov, the renowned sci-fi author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, famously said that he does not fear computers. Instead, his actual fear was the lack of any computer. While Asimov did not see the present day, the century is most definitely seeing the use and application of technology.
Interestingly, technology itself has evolved by aeons and currently stands at the gates of a new frontier; that of RPA or Robotic Process Automation. AI (Artificial Intelligence) is the driving force behind the functioning of RPA, and subsequently, it thrives on data.
With increased proficiency in assimilation and processing of data, the efficiency of back-office can be immensely increased using RPA. The different ways of using RPA to increase efficiency are discussed below.
Approach towards automation
Beginning with RPA, it is essential that users understand the proper way of approaching it. While most entrepreneurs and businessmen approach it with a view of replacing existing manual force, automation does not necessarily benefit as a replacement.
The most efficient way of selecting and implementing RPA is looking for the processes which can be automated. Instead of replacing job roles, replacing functions ensure that RPA is used as an upgrade rather than a substitute. Vitally, this can open up the manual force for more intricate processes, ones which cannot be handled by automation.
While most back-office processes are data-oriented and can be handled by RPA; providing manual force with the time to handle independent processes can lead to highly increased efficiency. Accounting departments estimate the requirement of manual force to reduce to around 41% from 69%.
Choosing the right process
There are many types of RPA software which can be incorporated in a back-office. Consequently, it becomes very important to choose the right software. Simply choosing software which is easy to implement with current hardware is unwise especially because this can seriously hamper the overall functioning.
While choosing software, entrepreneurs must make a proper balance between available hardware and necessity. While the latter generally takes the primary seat in terms of importance, minor compromises might be in order to cope with the expenses.
Maximising resource usage does not mean improper or wasteful usage, and it is important to keep this in mind while selecting the RPA software. It is also vital to keep in mind that using RPA can effectively change job roles or functioning strategies. Entrepreneurs, as well as executives, must be adaptable to this.
Client engagement was predominantly a front-office job. However, with evolving times, back-office has also got involved in client management and interaction. From handling different clients to client communication on research, feedback, or problem-solving capacity; engagement is vital to increase efficiency.
While most of these functions cannot be replicated or substituted by RPA; there are a few aspects where it can improve efficiency manifold. While some problem-solving issues require manual handling, most of it can be handled by RPA along with feedback oriented researches.
RPA has already proven itself as an efficient manager in many repetitive processes, be it back-office or front-office. With proper implementation, they can improve the functioning of any business by leaps and bound, rather than just replacing prevalent systems.