Digital Workforce – Robots that Support Humans
Reshape the way you work with one of the highest ROI among emerging technologies
RPA is prevalent across many business sectors, including banking, insurance, logistics, manufacturing, and utilities. According to a survey conducted on behalf of UiPath by Forrester Consulting, already in 2019, 86% of respondents cited increased productivity, 57% improved customer service, and 57% increased employee engagement.
The outbreak of the covid pandemic has rapidly boosted digital transformation in nearly every industry branch, logistics included. As customers, especially in e-commerce, push for the digital acceleration of their businesses, it’s about time to rethink how to properly navigate the recovery in 2022 and become more resilient and more information-driven, which is what customers yearn for.
Robotic Process Automation has already proven valuable. It can be the third most important technology to drive growth after data analytics and artificial intelligence. RPA has become so widespread because it’s broadly applicable.
Do people in your company reach their full potential?
People orientation is directly or indirectly one of the most important values in any company. It is about respecting each other, valuing competencies, and promoting personal development. You might think that workplace automation is gaining ground because of inherent technological advances and because innovation naturally finds its way into the economy. But a study co-authored by an MIT professor shows another cause: robots are more widely used where societies become notably older, filling the gaps in an aging workforce.
According to Eurostat, the EU’s statistical center, there are now fewer than three adults of working age (20-64) for every European citizen aged 65 or older. In nearly every European region, the old-age dependency ratio is forecast to rise. By January 2050, there will be fewer than two working-age adults for each older person. Yet, if a smaller proportion of people works, job positions remain unfilled. Encouraging older people to keep working and paying taxes for an even higher retirement is one way of dealing with this issue. But automation seems to offer an even better solution – one that can satisfy everyone.
Besides, people have little interest in handling mundane, repetitive tasks. This is becoming recognized by more and more enterprises which don’t want to relegate smart people to low-value work.
The power of RPA rests not only in increased efficiency and reduced costs. The ability to truly unleash employees’ creativity by freeing them from uninspiring and menial tasks is crucial.
Automation eases the burden of mundane work on people, and we would like it to always have such a positive impact. But it may happen that some jobs will disappear because of automation, and people may lose their jobs. However, when implemented in the right way, RPA will positively affect employee attitudes and workplace culture. This is because employees will be able to focus on work that is more engaging and more suited to their competencies and interests, even if it is only possible after re- or upskilling.
Automating boring and repetitive manual tasks means employees are free to focus their attention and efforts on things like creative thinking, strategic planning, long-term projects, development, contacting customers, brainstorming with colleagues, empathy, and more. In other words, all the things humans do much, much better than robots.
Creating education and self-improvement opportunities, supported with good communication, helps your staff feel comfortable with technology.
Leading enterprises now organize a blended workforce of humans and automation to leverage the complementary strengths each of them offers. The use of automation enables humans to make the most of their abilities, which is in line with predictions of many studies, saying that by 2030 employees will spend up to 50% more time using technological skills.
We always say, “I don’t have the time for that because I need to do all this.” Now, we will have more time for meaningful and better paid qualitative work.
LET’S TAKE A CLOSER LOOK
KEY CHALLENGES ROBOTIC PROCESS AUTOMATION ADDRESS
Cost savings from reduced human effort (we take the robot out of the human). Estimates have found that RPA costs about one-third of a full-time offshore employee and as little as one-fifth of an onshore employee. In addition, hiring digital workers allows for a lower capital intensity — robots don’t require offices, desks, restrooms, parking spaces, PCs, cell phones, coffee, etc., which significantly reduces overall costs. Freeing up expensive human resources allows people to engage in higher-value activities where expert judgement, intuition, or collaborative decision-making are required and which are usually better paid.
Quality increase thanks to supporting high-risk control and regulatory and compliance requirements ( = reduction in risk). Software robots eliminate human errors and perform as commanded the same way every time, thus the digital workforce offers significant improvements in reliability and consistency.
Faster service by eliminating the bottleneck in personal resources, which in turn contributes to improving customer experience scores and brings additional revenues.
IN SHORT: ACHIEVE MORE IN LESS TIME WITH FEWER HUMAN RESOURCES
RPA is a business technology that increases process efficiency, employee satisfaction, and company’s productivity.
~65% cost savings and productivity gains
~50% reduction in human labor costs
Rapid, significant return on investment (ROI)
Minimal upfront investment
Improved business operation
Elimination of human errors
Quality and Compliance assurance
No disruption to underlying systems
Enriched customer and employee experience
Scalable and enterprise-ready
WHAT EXACTLY IS RPA?
RPA is system-agnostic software that seeks to mimic the human role in processes and make those processes faster and less error-prone.
Robots imitate the way people work with files, systems, databases, email services, and websites.
RPA eliminates swivel chair work, that is clicking on multiple systems, getting data from one source, and putting it into another.
Using algorithms, we can teach a robot to perform a sequence of activities, handle exceptions, report (to an employee) the need to make a decision, and in rare cases report failure in performing a task. Robots don’t make mistakes related to the source of data, structure, classification, or communication. The slowest robot will still work twice as fast as a human, does not need breaks, does not leave, and doesn’t even require a working station. Software robotics is a non-invasive technology for the company’s IT environment, meaning no hard integration with the existing IT landscape (no development of interfaces) and minimal involvement of the IT departments (accesses and some governance functions).
RPA is ideal for automating workflows that involve legacy systems lacking APIs, virtual desktop infrastructures (VDIs), or database access. In most cases, RPA is being used in conjunction with other automation technologies and techniques like big data analytics, intelligent OCR, content services, machine learning, Natural Language Processing, industrial IoT, and even blockchains.
WHERE TO USE – FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING EXAMPLES
Virtually any high-volume, business-rules-driven, and repeatable process is a great candidate for automation. Especially finance operations that involve inputting, processing, and merging financial data from numerous departments in financial planning & analysis (FP&A) systems – the majority of these tasks can be automated. Software bots are able to support many financial and back-office activities, including gathering data, executing orders, closing reporting and settlement periods, entering and accepting suppliers’ invoices, processing and tracking payments, reporting deviations, and many, many more.
Accounts Payable (AP)
Accounts Receivable (AR)
Processing bank statements
Reconciling open items
Posting incoming and outgoing invoices, etc.
Preparing dato for tax returns
Verifying data and conformity of taxable and non-taxable amounts
Verifying contractor’s VAT EU data
Updating master data, etc.
Sending notes and reminders to debtors
Maintaining relationships with contractors
Generating overdue debtors reports and aging lists, etc.
Preparing data for reports (daily, weekly, monthly)
Generating provisions for costs and revenues
Preparing ratio analysis
Comparing tables of performance vs. estimation figures
Gathering budgeting and forecasting data, etc.
Statutory and Group reporting:
Consolidating financial statements
Creating statements of financial position (B/CE sheet)
Creating profit and loss statements
Creating cash flow statements
Creating statements of changes in equity, etc.
Supporting purchasing activities (P2P)
Verifying correctness of internal order placement
Preparing price lists based on submitted offers
Verifying compliance of documents sent by suppliers (offers, invoices, notes) based on internal control procedures, etc.
Processing fixed assets master data
Verifying the correct use of fixed assets for the organization needs (use of company equipment) (AM);
Supporting reporting activities (e.g., environmental waste, work safety regulations), etc.
Veryfimg employment history
Onboarding new employees
Generating payroll and employees’ remuneration reports
Preparing earnings confirmations for the finance institutions
Reporting benefits and absence (leave settlements) etc.
Typical use-cases in LOGISTICS OPERATIONS
Transport Shipping and Logistics (TSL) is all about cooperation. However, successful collaboration doesn’t come easily.
Data sharing today has become very important because different stakeholders within a supply chain – TSL being one of them – have their own way of doing things and their own IT infrastructure to support individual business processes. Thanks to RPA’s most important feature of linking systems that cannot see each other, it has become broadly applicable in the TSL industry, recognizing it as having one of the highest potentials for automation.
RPA can boost the efficiency of the following processes and tasks:
Shipment scheduling and tracking from initial pick-up request to checking and reporting shipment status between internal systems and external portals extracts –passing on details from incoming emails, logging jobs in scheduling systems, and providing pick-up times in customer portals.
Preparating reports (shipment status reporting, inventory rotation, occupancy of storage units, etc.).
Supporting tendering process on customer transportation portals.
Receiving, entering & validating orders.
Invoicing with the use of integrating systems with customer’s portals, automatically extracting shipping data, and attaching scanned PODs.
Automatically performing rate look-ups from multimodal carriers and 3PLs and capturing data from load boards and emails into internal systems.
Procurement: supporting purchasing activities (P2P); verifying the correctness of internal order placement; preparing price lists based on submitted offers; verifying documents sent by suppliers (offers, invoices, notes) in terms of their compliance with internal control procedures; etc.
Apart from logistics, enterprises operating in various industries – financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, public sector, retail, and far beyond – have implemented RPA.
Supply-chain automation opportunities: the following heat map increases the efficiency of the time spent for process identification.
Don’t you think it’s your turn now?
How to start
Our 5-year practice focuses on providing critical insights and methodologies for enterprise customers in intelligent RPA. BPMN is a globally accepted ISO standard for process models.
OUR OFFER COVERS THE ENTIRE IMPLEMENTATION OF INTELLIGENT AUTOMATION:
Automation readiness assessments and reviews
Signing the NDA, followed by workshops with your team to discover the bottlenecks, improve current processes with non-technical solutions, and get an overview of the automation potential.
Identification & selection of high priority automation candidates
Creating process automation heat maps. Roadmap creation. Documentation review and creating the first BPMN process twin.
Defining RPA governance & future cooperation frameworks
Offer and decision
Setting up controls, ROI assumptions, Robot as a Service, or own license.
Development of Proof-of-Concept Solutions
Solution Design Document (SDD), Process Definition Document (PDD), RPA Development
Model and Tool selection for final automation
Robot as a Service or own license, single or multi-vendor strategy, cloud, on-premise, hybrid.
Development business case one by one
User Acceptance Test, moving processes to the production environment
Maintenance and support
Monitoring performance, incident and major incident management, problem management, change management. We keep the automation smooth by providing ongoing support and maintenance 24/7.
Scaling across the enterprise
Starting industrialized usage of robotics by automating additional processes/procedures within a single function, with an eye toward expanding capabilities with other technologies. Knowledge sharing.
Processes Assessment – Methodology
While searching for suitable candidates, we conduct a high-level assessment with your staff to consider the following criteria:
the reasons making the process problematic from a business perspective, process frequency (e.g., 5 times a day), average handling time, number of steps, number and names of applications ( data pulled from different systems, screens, data sources) used in the process, number of users (full-time equivalent counts), number of process variants.
Other criteria: the input must be electronically readable (structured data), the process and its underlying application must be stable, the process has repeatable business rules. At this stage, we can compare different candidates and prioritize implementation. The biggest Return of Investment is one of the most common prioritizing criteria.
ABOUT RHENUS AUTOMATION PARTNER
G1ANT: Founded in London in 2015, G1ANT is the fastest-growing RPA software platform in the advanced business automation (RPA) market. G1ANT is a group of dedicated professionals who believe that Robotic Process Automation is an essential step in the evolution of any business. The team consists not only of experienced programmers, RPA developers, and software engineers but also business analysts, outstanding development managers, and even psychologists. In addition to continuous software development, G1ANT also focuses on the innovative use of the RPA technology, creating products that meet current market needs and are built on the powerful G1ANT.Studio engine.
In 2021, G1ANT was ranked by Software Reviews at TOP 4 RPA companies and named one of the RPA Champions of the Emotional Footprint Awards.
The most valuable resource at G1ANT is the global network of partners, one of them with a strong team of developers is Rhenus Automation.
Automation Anywhere is globally one of the largest software providers for RPA platforms on which companies build their digital workforce. The Enterprise A2019 offers 100% web-based automation capabilities. This allows for streamline workflows and makes organizations more future-proof and accelerating towards Industry 4.0. Automation Anywhere build products that anyone can use to make their work—and the world—better. Automation 360 is the only cloud-native intelligent automation platform, enabling companies to transcend front- and back-office silos and systems, both SaaS and legacy. AARI is a digital assistant that simplifies automation so that anyone can automate their business processes. All of our consultants are Automation Anywhere certified and have broad experience in implementing their technologies.
UiPath is a global RPA leader providing a complete software platform to help organizations efficiently automate business processes. UiPath’s RPA Platform is known for its inherent scalability, robustness, and extensive features, including Citrix automation and built-in Artificial Intelligence skills. All our consultants are UiPath certified and have broad experience implementing UiPath technologies. UiPath has the vision to deliver a fully automated enterprise where companies use automation to unlock every worker’s creativity and full potential. UiPath offers an end-to-end platform for automation, combining the leading robotic process automation (RPA) with a full suite of capabilities that enable every organization to transform its business digitally. UiPath has been a leader in every Gartner Magic Quadrant, Forrester Wave, and Everest Peak Matrix for RPA.