A Crash Course in Robotic Process Automation – 10 Questions to Get You Started

October 5, 2020 Corporate Blog

by Roman Pugachov

If you’re baffled by the term of Robotic Process Automation (RPA), we’ll demystify this concept for you. We’ve gathered 10 questions that readers always ask us about RPA, and we’ve answered them all in one spot. Read on to learn about the ins and outs of Robotic Process Automation. 

Robotic Process Automation

1. What is Robotic Process Automation?

RPA is the technology that allows anybody to create a set of instructions for a robot to carry out. RPA bots can mimic most typical human-to-computer interactions, therefore carrying out tasks at a quick speed without reducing accuracy. It’s used to make the completion of mundane, repetitive tasks more efficient and allow you to free up your time for other tasks. What’s more, you can run RPA bots around the clock. After all, a robot never has to sleep. If you want to boost the efficiency of your enterprise, RPA solutions can do the trick.

There is one unusual component of Robotic Process Automation –  namely, that within this form of technology, one application interacts with another application through an existing UI, rather than through an API. Or, to put it in even simpler terms, a program will act like a user in order to communicate with another program. 

2. What Does a Robot Look Like?

The robot has no physical form; it’s simply a program that mimics the actions of an employee. For all intents and purposes, it is actually an employee – albeit, a virtual one. Robots have their own virtual “workplaces” and their own accounts. In most cases, robots will be on a remote server. However, you have the option to put it on an employee’s computer. In that case, the robot will carry out a simple procedure until the employee is doing a different job on that same computer. It’s like doing work with four hands. 

Even though you can run many kinds of robots, you’ll need an orchestrator. This is a scheduler program that gives tasks to each of the linear robots – like, for instance, telling them to do one task from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. and then another process from 12 p.m. until 10 p.m.

3. What Processes Does a Robot Work With?

RPA solutions can work with processes that use a repetitive action sequence – for instance, opening emails, inserting a template-based message, clicking on the “send” button, and so on. If a process is repetitive, measurable, and rules-based, there is a great chance that it can be automated. There are other characteristics that allow a certain process to be efficiently automated. For example, if there is a high risk of errors from manual labor, a task deals with structured data, or it doesn’t require ongoing adjustments. Automation can also be useful in cases with compliance requirements, stable parameters, or high volume and process frequency workload.

Learn some cases of RPA implementation here, here, and here.

4. What Processes Should Not Be Automated? 

RPA bots can’t tackle every process efficiently. Some pitfalls include: 

  • setting up a process that has frequent changes;
  • choosing a process that does not impact your business significantly;
  • picking a process that has too many sub-processes;
  • using a process in which a custom solution would be a better option; and
  • attempting end-to-end automation if it isn’t cost-effective.

5. What Results Can Be Expected From Robotic Process Automation?

To evaluate the results you can expect from enterprise robotic process automation, we’ll walk you through the foremost differences between humans and robots when carrying out processes. 

Robots can perform tasks 24/7. Unlike humans, they don’t need sick leave, vacation time, or mental health days. Robots are also not wrong. If a bot is properly configured, it will be able to perform all tasks accurately. With humans, however, there is always the chance for mistakes. 

If a process needs to be modified, you simply have to change the robot’s script. On the other hand, human employees will need to be retrained – which can sometimes be a time-consuming process.

Depending on the type of robot you use, it can replace the work of a few employees. Furthermore, the robot doesn’t need physical office space, health insurance, or other benefits. So, when you implement Robotic Process Automation in your organization, you can reduce the direct cost of business processes.

With this case study, see what result you could get with RPA.

6. In Which Industries Is Robotic Process Automation Applied?

Robotic Process Automation is applied in nearly every industry nowadays. But the top industries that use RPA integration are BFSI (banking, financial services, and insurance), telecom, manufacturing, and healthcare.

 

RPA market share

 

7. How Much Does It Cost to Implement RPA?

The development cost depends on the complexity of the solution and the number of specialists involved in the development. One of the simplest Intetics cases is a bot that one developer created in just two weeks. In most cases, an RPA solution would cost 1/3 the amount of hiring an offshore employee or 1/5 the amount of hiring an onshore one.

finance robotics cost

8.  How Fast Can RPA Be Implemented?

The timeline of implementing Robotic Process Automation looks something like this: 

First, you’ll have to audit the existing business process. We will meet with the integrator analyst, ask them questions, and draw up a process flow with all possible scenarios. Next, we figure out what benefits robotics will bring and how quickly their usage will pay off. 

Next, we make a plan for RPA implementation and develop the robot. We’ll choose the platform that fits best and teach the robot how to perform a repetitive, formula-based process. 

After checking the bot for any errors, we’ll teach your employees what the robot does and show them how to interact with it. Then, we’ll begin a pilot project and scale the RPA solution, if necessary. In our experience, companies typically deal with further automation by themselves, only turning to external consultants if there are very complex issues. 

The total time from start to finish can take anywhere from 2 weeks to several months. 

9. Who Makes the Software for Robotization?

The top three software providers are UiPath, Blue Prism, and Automation Anywhere. At Intetics, our business partners are Automation Anywhere and UiPath.

Robotics Process Automation

10. Does RPA Lead to Mass Layoffs?

Companies that utilize RPA solutions and other enterprise automation tools are able to do more without hiring more people. However, it also isn’t necessary to layoff people either. Instead, it’s more advantageous for the companies to transfer employees to more intelligent positions, where they can use soft skills. Overall, Robotic Process Automation is an excellent solution that takes the drudgery out of mundane tasks, saves companies costs, and frees up your employees’ time to focus on more involved processes.