Anyone who has been assigned the task of cutting and pasting the contents of one massive spreadsheet into another can attest that repetitive, tedious tasks aren't the best use of their abilities. It is not only boring for the individual doing the work, but often results in errors.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a relatively new, rapidly-evolving type of automation that employs artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to undertake high-volume, repeatable operations. These virtual software assistants can process routine information faster and more accurately, require less capital investment, and provide an impressive return on investment (ROI). Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions, such as SAP for professional services, utilize RPA technology to allow workers to focus on more complex and high-value tasks.
What are the primary benefits of an ERP system and RPA solution? Implementing an RPA solution in ERP can benefit businesses in various industries. Consider whether your organization has "back-office" jobs that could take full advantage of process automation before deciding if it's suited for your needs. Finance, procurement, supply chain management, healthcare, accounting, customer service, and human resources are rule-based, non-subjective processes that could use RPA.
RPA is also an excellent fit for businesses that help manage information technology (IT) because it improves service desk operations and network device monitoring. IT infrastructures can investigate and solve problems more quickly by automating processes.
RPA is advantageous in industries that rely on voice recognition or automated online assistants. This is because recent improvements allow bots to offer replies in natural language rather than code. This benefits large call centers and other firms with client interaction because it reduces labor hours and labor demands.
Here’s how to implement RPA automation:
Step 1: Develop a Well-defined Plan and Road Map
A well-defined RPA business plan is essential for successful deployment. The program's beginning phase assists a business in determining the viability and benefits of an RPA solution. Analyze the process you want to automate and learn about the inputs, outputs, and steps required to complete the task. Create a flowchart or process map to document the steps involved in the process. Enterprises should consider data protection, cybersecurity, and scalability when deciding which RPA processes to utilize.
Step 2: Attain Resources and Approval
Coordinate resources and cross-functional project teams. To ensure that business goals are aligned, clearly define the responsibilities. A good strategy includes a plan to evaluate employee ideas, their possible effects, and encourage training programs.
Participants should agree on a clear description of robotic processes, the solution’s architecture, resources needed, and when they will be required. This stage comprises the creation and dissemination of work-related documentation and assignment of tasks to accountable executors.
Step 3: Create an RPA Solution and Create a Proof-of-Concept
Determine the RPA solution that best meets your requirements. You can select from several RPA solutions on the market that integrate with your ERP system. Experiment with RPA tools and technologies to better understand their capabilities, then create a proof-of-concept.
Begin developing an RPA bot with your selected RPA solution. Create an RPA script that will automate the indicated procedure in the ERP application. This entails setting the bot to carry out the actions outlined in the process map. Test that your RPA script works as planned. Subject the bot to a series of tests to ensure it carries out the procedure correctly and accurately.
Step 4: Deploy a Pilot
Run the pilot once you have conceptual proof. Using this phase for RPA implementation minimizes bot deployment inefficiencies even further. Set the bot to operate on a schedule or to be triggered by specific events. Launching a pilot allows you to determine if you’ve invested in the proper software. Compare the bot's performance to the manual process. Then, continue with the standard process against the bot–this helps you assess its value.
Step 5: Operate and Monitor
Analyze bot performance once they're up and running. This means that the bot's logs and reports must be checked regularly to ensure there are no problems and that they are not overloaded.
Requirements for RPA in ERP solutions vary for each firm. To run them successfully, you need RPA experts who are well-versed in these deployments so they can offer you a customized solution. If you want to learn more about what an ERP system should include, contact our experts at NBS for a consultation.