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If You are Asking Yourself these 6 Questions, Maybe You should Automate Intelligently

By Pola Zafra-Davis - 18 Jun 2019
  • Intelligent Document Capture

Inefficient or silo-ed processes can cost you time, people and money. AIIM surveyed businesses and they said that 75% view automation as “important” or “very important”. But 67% of those surveyed also say that less than half of their processes are automated. RPA isn’t the only game in town. automation is a team sport!

There are also brainier tools like Cognitive Document Automation, Intelligent Screen Automation, Robot Life-cycle Management and Automated Process Discovery.

If you find yourself asking the following 6 questions about your business, maybe you need RPA. But maybe you can also benefit from its advanced helpers!

1. Where are my people spending the most time doing repetitive, high-volume, manual tasks?

The best candidates for automation are tasks that are rule-based with a process that already knows how to handle exceptions and outliers. The process needs to be mature enough that you can build the rules for the robot to operate effectively, preferably without placing a steep cost-inefficient learning curve.bored-storm-troopers

Keeping this in mind, it is easy to get people on staff started with RPA. There are options like Kofax Robotic Process Automation that have fully visual editors. There is no coding environment to scare people off. Also, people do know the pros and cons of their own processes. So why not encourage them to give their input into their own robot?

2. Does my team have people routinely keying data into different systems, or pulling data from multiple portals to analyse or just for collection?

Your team members are better off being used for complex strategy and analysis, not needing to find the data and typing it in. Consider leveraging intelligent screen automation with an RPA robot. RPA can lead the way in enacting the workflow by keying the data for you. Intelligent Screen Automation gives it the eyes. What a human sees, the robot sees. Remove a step in your data-heavy processes earlier.mess-of-telephone-wire-red-with-stress

Intelligent screen automation uses machine learning neural network technology so that robots can read a web page effectively. It’s especially helpful in web-based applications. Intelligent screen automation software can identify UI elements, wherever they may live on a page.

This advanced RPA add-on means that users will have an easier time automating digital processes without human intervention. Intelligent screen automation also generates less exceptions. Compliance increases. Result -- Customers become more engaged in a company they can trust.

3. How am I handling process integration with our external business partners and customer systems?

Mixing mediums, like paper vs. electronic leaves you exposed to all sorts of process problems. Organisations go into digital transformation at their own pace. So it can be difficult to see eye-to-robotic-eye. seagulls-staring-at-unique-seagulls

Cognitive Document Automation (CDA) makes the road to a multi-channel capture environment a lot less bumpy.

If you’re the admitted paper-hoarder, consider introducing CDA to lighten those filing cabinets. CDA uses machine learning and natural language processing techniques. The software recognises types of documents, identifies the document’s key elements and lets the robot make cognitive decisions to trigger actions.

If you are the one already dabbling in RPA capabilities, robots can be extended with CDA tech that recognises and categorises unstructured documents inside automation processes. Unstructured documents include E-mails, PDFs, paper documents…practically anything that doesn’t have a form field.

CDA’s powers are nothing to sniff at. Even if the majority of companies start a digital transformation journey, 60% of business processes still use the above unstructured documents….which RPA can’t read!

4. Has anyone outlined a timeframe for implementing an RPA, project, the business drivers and urgency?

Properly map out your desired process ahead of time!

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Locating and modifying the bottlenecks is still a human judgement. You can ensure the reliability of your process analysis by using Automated Process Discovery. This tool maps out human-digital interactions and can help teams save time when planning, building and operationalising projects.

It’s also a good idea at this stage to plan for contingencies. Version Control Software (VCS) makes it possible for you to scale your robotic operations and reduce robot errors and downtime. Robot deployments can be scaled exponentially while being managed in a single management console.

Some of the tasks that VCS handles include: documenting and tracking robot changes, trouble-shooting issues (maybe it ran into a logic loop) and if worse comes to worse, rolling back the robot to a previous version.

5. Where else are people using RPA in my company?

Think about their motivations. Look at your own processes with a critical eye. You can learn from their successes (or otherwise) in isolation.

binoculars-spying-on-coworkersMost importantly, see how automation solutions can be integrated with these other departments. This is automated process delivery on a grander scale.

Consider if you need to match compliance and finance standards when interacting with the RPA-savvy LOBs. The point of automation is to enhance the efficiency, speed and costs of workflows. Automation can’t add value and replace an entire process if the process is flawed to begin with. Don’t automate waste!

6. What Lines of Business (LOB)s have discussed RPA or may be using it now?

Take advantage of office water-coooler talk. If you’re just mulling over the idea, now is the time to speak up. While discussing RPA, make sure everyone is on the same page and that your processes are linked or at least compatible in the long duree.

This goes for your IT Guru, Head of HR, Finance Director, and your MD. Robotwhite-chess-pieces-together governance should be managed across the enterprise. Silos may be what has gotten your organisation into a process mess, so don’t transfer it to your automation strategies.

Pre-empt everyone’s scalability concerns by suggesting using Version Control Software (VCS). You could theoretically let a robot run loose, but like people, they still need to be managed. When you want your robots to meet other LOBs, think about introducing RPA robots into processes them like you would a merger. This means getting acquitted with robot lifecycle management.

VCS can be added to RPA to easily manage thousands of robots. Ensure true robot governance throughout your entire enterprise!

Introducing Your complete RPA Strategy

table-of-full-automation-strategy

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